Hi all! I am so excited for you to come back soon. As we prepare for a new school year, I wanted to send out a few book recs. I read a TON of great books this summer; here are just a few of my favorites that I definitely think you should check out soon. Trust me, this is just a small sample of what I got through this summer. Stop by and we can talk about some other great titles.
Josef. Isabel. Mahmoud.
Jew. Cuban. Syrian.
Alan Grantz takes the stories of three children displaced at three different times in our world's history, and weaves together a tale of heartbreak, struggle, hope, and what it means when you are forced to leave your home behind. As I read, I found myself putting the book down because it hurt too much to read these realistic tales and then reaching for the book again minutes later because I had to find out what was happening to these children. This is a must-read. Highly recommend.
Chase Ambrose has no idea who he is. When he wakes up in the hospital after falling off of his roof, he doesn't know his name, his mother, or even his own face. So he definitely doesn't know what kind of person he used to be. But he begins to get a pretty good sense when the other kids at school take a wide berth around him in the halls, his 4 year old half-sister screams when he says hello to her, and he finds out he was supposed to be doing court-mandated community service. The problem is, he doesn't remember being that way or doing those things. And the person he is now wants to do other things, like join video club and help out at the nursing home. His old friends don't trust the new Chase and his new friends are having a hard time forgetting the old one.
Holy cow, this is one of the best books I've read in a while. For me, it was a true 5 stars. It had everything-humor, sadness, a gripping reality, characters you rooted for, and a dash of literary awesomeness that seems to be the lifeblood of some of the YA greats-John Green, Jeff Zentner, etc, BUT in a MG novel. So, so, so good.
Ben was a foster care kid, but he's been living with Mom Coffin for two years. Things are going OK, with the plan being that they are going to move to Florida next year after she retires. He finds Flip, a dog, on the street and takes him in. But then, things start to go wrong: Mom dies, he has to move in with his aunt and her boyfriend, and Halley, his best friend, is still sick with cancer. Ben doesn't know what to do, because unlike what he reads in books, he knows that you can't go back to the past. And nothing stays forever. So, while he tries to make connections, he also doesn't get too close because in the end it won't matter.
At least, that's what he used to think.
Full disclosure, Graphic Novels are NOT my forte. In fact, this is only the second one I have read. I made an excellent choice.
Nimona is complete and utter AWESOMENESS as a protagonist. She is complex and complicated, and completely engaging. The way Stevenson deals with well-known fairy tale ideals (good vs evil; the use of magic; overthrowing the establishment) is magical. The bad guy isn't all that bad. The good guy might not be that good. There are layers of gray throughout.
Kit's father has just died. She can't deal with her usual lunch crowd and instead decides to sit with David Drucker, resident odd-ball at her school. She hopes that by sitting with him she won't have to talk, or at least won't have to talk about anything serious. For David, Kit stopping by his lunch table signals the first time that anyone, ever, has sat with him at lunch. He knows. He's counted. While she's with him, he reviews what he knows about her (and everyone else at school) by going through his notebook of information: physical descriptors, notable encounters, and rules for social interactions that his sister Lauren has drummed into him throughout the years. Most important: do not engage with those on the Do Not Trust list. Lucky for him, Kit is firmly on the "trust" list.
As the two continue to sit together, an unlikely friendship develops as Kit tries to figure out how to move on from the accident that killed her father and David tries to figure out how to maneuver high school when you AREN'T neurotypical (or normal).
Highly recommend. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon, Jennifer Niven, and John Green.