Today’s review goes under the category of, “If you have not read this yet, this is a “must read.”
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is truly a wonder. Auggie Pullman, a tween born with a number of physical deformities in his face and head, starts his 5th grade year at a private school after being homeschooled for his entire life. The book follows Auggie, his friends, and his family throughout his school year as he deals with transitioning into middle school life and the way he looks.
The way the book is written is that it switches points of view between many of the characters in the book including Auggie himself, his sister, his friends, and his sister’s friends. This is what really makes the book so fantastic. Not only are we getting the story from Auggie’s point of view, but from other characters as well. We can truly see the impact of Auggie and his appearance on other young people in his life. The short chapters and life-like narration and dialogue also help to make this book so enjoyable to read. I recommend seeing the movie as well!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section under J PALACIO. We also have this book in Large Print, as well as in Audiobook and Playaway format. For “movie night” we also have the DVD available!
Continue reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Today’s Recommendation: Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings. A courageous teen’s moral dilemma—and how he comes to terms with it—underscores this well-written, sometimes gripping story. Living near the water on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends J.T. and Digger become entangled in a tragedy which tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong. A young child, for whom 15-year-old Brady Parks once baby-sat, dies after his family’s kayak sinks during an outing. Brady’s valiant attempts to revive little Ben actually get him to breathe for a few minutes. Sadly, the tiny boy succumbs and Brady’s plagued with guilt and grief. His sorrow is nothing, though, compared with the shock of discovering that the tragedy was the result of a malicious prank by his two best friends. Even worse is Brady’s discovery that he himself unwittingly gave them the idea. This sickening fact, reluctance to “rat” on his pals, and the thought that he, too, could be criminally charged in the death keep Brady silent. In the end, though, Brady knows what he must do. A great read that deals with the courage that is sometimes needed to do the right thing.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J CUMMINGS
Today I recommend: I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest.
I Am Princess X starts out with 2 best friends, May and Libby. They create a cool character named princess X who carries a samurai sword, lives in a haunted house and wears red chuck Taylors. Later, sad things happen and Libby and her mother pass away, and their princess X stories and drawings are accidentaly thrown out. A couple years later, May is lonely without her best friend, but then starts seeing princess X everywhere, stickers and patches and merchandise of all sorts, and there is a web comic of the princess. May is convinced that Libby did not actually die, but is waiting to be helped and found by May, writing clues in the webcomic for help. But is it actually true, is her best friend alive? Find out more once you read the book.
I absolutely loved this book very much. Most of it was in novel form, but the princess X webcomic strips were included throughout the story as comics. The comics were beautifully drawn and the words were very descriptive. I recommend this book to whoever likes suspense, mystery and comics.
-Elizabeth N. Teen Blogger
You can find I am Princess X in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA PRIEST. This book was also on the Illinois Reader’s Choice Award List – Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award list in 2018.
Today’s recommended read is: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
It’s autumn and Sunny is back home and starting middle school. Dale her brother has been sent to a boarding school to help with his drug problems. Sunny misses him terribly and her fun is often interrupted by thoughts of him, thoughts that are often completely unrelated to what Sunny is doing. When Dale returns home for the holidays feeling angry and betrayed by his family, it’s Gramps who helps Sunny see the sunny side of things again. Through it all, Sunny tries to stay positive and learns we can’t always fix everything.
If you like this book you may like DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier or All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.
While trying to cheer up her depressed mother, twelve-year-old Sophie gets roped into doing a triathlon as part of a school project on risk-taking, and discovers she can see people’s thoughts in bubbles above their heads.
This middle-grade novel deals with important topics including depression, therapy, preteen insecurities, and more. While seeing people’s thoughts sounds exciting Sophie quickly learns that you may not want to know what other people are thinking- luckily she has some good friends on her side. For middle-grade readers who like their realistic fiction to have a feel-good ending and don’t mind some low fantasy elements.
You can find this novel in the Juvenile Fiction section at J COOPER.
Matilda, a brilliant, sensitive little girl, uses her talents and ingenuity to seek revenge on her crooked father, lazy mother, and the terrifying Miss Trunchbull, her wicked headmistress, and save her beloved teacher, Miss Honey.
Published in 1988, Matilda is another example of Roald Dahl’s work and another classic novel that has been released as a movie. The humor and the triumph of good over evil with the girl as the hero make this a book that has become a classic.
You can find Matilda in the Juvenile Fiction section at J DAHL.
When unlikeable Elsie dies in the influenza pandemic of 1918, she comes back to haunt Annie to make sure she’ll be Annie’s best–and only–friend soon.
For readers who enjoy horror, but prefer it to be creepy rather than gory Mary Downing Hahn is one of the go-to authors. This page-turning ghost story is for those who enjoy historical settings, and those who enjoy Hahn’s other books.
You can find One for the Sorrow: A Ghost Story in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HAHN.
Bradley Academy’s all-girl a cappella group used to be the pride of the sunshine state, but the Nightingales have recently fallen out of harmony. When a boy comes between Nightingales co-captains Lidia and Sidney, the a cappella group appears in dire straits, until new girl Julianna hopes to bring the group back to their former glory in time for the big state final.
The plot may sound familiar- girl finds herself falling for the guy her best friend has a crush on- but the a cappella aspect of the books makes it fun to read this book anyway. If you liked Glee or Pitch Perfect, this is the book for you. Characters frequently burst into song, and spend much of their time picking out songs for their performances- you’ll need to be keeping up with music from the radio and from musicals to catch all the references. For middle school tweens looking for a light and quick read- this could be the right choice!
You can find Turn It Up! in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA CALONITA.
Miniature people who live in an old country house by borrowing things from the humans are forced to emigrate from their home under the clock.
What could be more fascinating than the idea that there could be tiny people hiding in your own house- borrowing things and living just under your nose? This classic children’s novel was the inspiration for the Disney and Studio Ghibli movie The Secret World of Arrietty. First published in 1952 in the United Kingdom and 1953 in the United States- this book also won the British Carnegie Medal in 1952 which is awarded to the year’s most outstanding children’s literature by a British author. This is great for reader’s who enjoyed books like The Doll People by Ann M Martin.
You can find this classic in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NORTON.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside – Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger. When Mr. Toad gets a new motor car, he gets them all in trouble.
First published in 1908 – this classic children’s novel is for readers who like animal stories full of antics. This classic has been adapted in various stage plays, musicals, and, of course, movies! You can find it at the library in the Juvenile Fiction section at J GRAHAME.