R.J. Palacio’s Wonder tells the story of 10-year old August Pullman. A boy who’s undergone countless surgeries to correct crania-fascial disfigurements due to a genetic anomaly. He’s been homeschooled his whole life but will now enter Beecher Prep as a 5th grader.
Kids can be cruel and this novel doesn’t hold back and we see it from the victim’s perspective. But kids can be amazing too. Growing up is hard. Growing up with a physical difference makes it harder. Palacio does an inspiring job telling his story of growing up from so many different sides. Each trying to do their best, pushing away friends in the process, and learning about who they want to be.
I started reading this with my 10 y/o and 8 y/o but they both finished it on their own before we could read it together. This is a great book to read with your kids and to talk about the hardships of life and how its easy to be cruel but its always better to be kind.
Read January 2020
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, by Julie Berry, tells the story of a Victorian aged boarding school where the headmistress and her brother die mysteriously die. Craving their independence, the girls decide to hide the bodies and run the school themselves.
Fun story, listened to audiobook while on long car trip.
David Patneaude’s Last Man’s Reward tells the story of a group of friends that makes a valuable discovery. Realizing it cannot be split equally, the group of boys decides to make a pact that the last one still living in the temporary company housing wins the prize but will need to cross a ravine to get their reward.
What started as a group that was stuck together due to proximity, small friendships evolve and they end up depending on each other more than they could expect.
I read this with my son’s 4th grade book group and they devoured this story! It was a fun and unexpectedly emotional book.
Read June 2019
Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia was an amazing coming of age story about a young boy Jesse and his friendship with the newcomer to school Leslie. Jesse’s family is big, loud, and poor. Leslie’s family is smaller, smarter, and quieter. But Leslie is able to open up Jesse’s imagination to the world beyond his small world.
There’s alot of about family dynamics and friendship with in this book. I read this with my son’s 4th grade reading group and everyone agreed about how emotional and great this book was. This is a tearjerker, fyi.
Read March 2019
Gordon Korman’s Restart was a great book to read with the 4th graders. Its about a middle-schooler who falls off his roof and gets amnesia. The kid he becomes is vastly different than the kid he was before. This prompted great discussions about bullying, social structures within schools, being cool, and following your own interests.
Read October 2018
The 3rd book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban tells the continuing story of Harry, Ron, and Hermione and Hogwarts. I read this aloud to my kids over the last year and they both and myself loved it!! Lots of wizarding twists and turns in what everyone thinks they know about Harry’s parents’ death.
A little scarier with the Dementors, but well written and enjoyable!
Read August 2018
I just finished Malinda Lo’s A Line in the Dark and I realized I’ve been duped. The twist at the end really began at the beginning and now I’m questioning if I actually know anything that happened other than what I read in the Epilogue. Interesting to have the main character be so untrustworthy, but not let the audience in on it until it’s over.
Anyway, Jess and her best friend Angie have gotten mixed up with girls from the nearby boarding school. Lots of jealously about friendships and relationships between a small group of kids. One girl goes missing and discovered dead close to Jess’s house.
A really good read!
Read July 2018
(Spoiler) This is the 3rd mystery I’ve read recently that a young girl has an affair with her teacher and ends up dead. WTF? Even the last novel had an older man and a young woman. I pick my reading randomly without knowing what the books will be about really, so its strange that the 3/4 of the last books have had young girls explaining away why they don’t want the teachers to get in trouble for the affair. The novelists are decidedly NOT ok with the young girls feelings, and all the teachers have paid for their crime, but still a disturbing trend in my reading type.