Here's another #booktalktuesday with some recommendations from our librarian, Mrs. Olson. Books are available for checkout each weekday from 8 AM to 10 AM or digitally with the Sora app. See our website for all the book talks from Mrs. Olson as well as the link for the Sora app. #mtnebojhs #NeboSchoolDistrict #utahpublicschools #athomelearning2020
Slip of a Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff
Anna, her father, and younger, disabled sister, live in their family home in Ireland. Anna's mother died and the older siblings emigrated to America. Anna works hard to take care of both her father and her little sister. She counts out how many potatoes each of them will need daily to survive. Even though her family has lived in the stone house they built themselves for generations, the English are raising taxes. If taxes are not paid, the English send in their people with battering rams to tear down and destroy the homes of the Irish. Anna's family home is threatened. Will Anna be able to save herself, her sister, her father, and her home?
We meet Anna in the aftermath of the great Irish Potato famine. The story is told in verse and is a fast read. The story is emotional and heartwarming as Anna and her father are fighting for their home and end up getting arrested. Anna has spunk, she's determined and she is very brave. This story put the whole Irish-English conflict in a different light and I could see it from the perspective of young Anna. I felt every emotion, every barefoot step she took and the cold and wet she experienced while reading this book. I loved this book and can't stop thinking of Anna, and of what all the Irish people went through and how they suffered. I highly recommend this book.
The Miraculous by Wunder by Jess Redman
Ellis is 11years old and he believes in miracles. He keeps a journal of all the miracles happening all around him and considers himself a specialist on miracles, or a miracologist. However, everything changes when his baby sister dies at 8 days old. Wunder is very upset and gets rid of his miracle journal. He meets Faye, a girl who wears a cape and has her problems. They start exploring, hanging out at a big, abandoned house, meeting an old woman who asks for their help. This leads to Wunder and Faye on lots of adventures and eventually to friendship and even healing.
I liked how Wunder was such a positive and happy kid. He was always smiling and believed in the good in the world. He kept a journal of miracles, small and big, and he believed in all of them. That is until his baby sister died. Wunder works through his grief and mourning and eventually finds a way to look at the bright side again. I liked that the book shows that life has its good times and hard times and that we can get through the hard times and be happy again.
The Skylark’s War by Hilary McKay
Clarissa (Clarry) loses her mother right after she is born in the early 1900s. She grows up with a very distant and introverted father and an older brother, Peter. She helps Peter with his schoolwork but is not allowed to go to school herself, even though she longs to. The highlight of every year is summer in Cornwall with their grandparents and her cousin Rupert. When World War I breaks out, Rupert enlists. At first, Clarry doesn't realize the gravity of the war, but reality soon catches up to her when Rupert is missing in action.
I liked that Clarry was so kind, positive and that she set a goal and went for it. She worked hard and applied to school, going against the wishes of her father. I enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Clarry. I recommend highly recommend this book. It was well written and the story flowed easily. Very good reading.
Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy Warrior to Navy Seal by Jocko Willink
Marc just has had the worst year ever! The fifth grade was awful. He is excited for the summer because his Navy Seal uncle is coming to visit. He is sure his uncle Jake will help him transform into a Navy Seal so he can show off and stop the other kids from tormenting and bullying him. Will Marc be able to follow uncle Jake’s workout plan? This is a great book and we have 2 more books in this series in the library. It is a great read and I am sure you will love the story of Marc. Jocko Willink is a retired, real-life Navy Seal!
Brightwood by Tonia Unsworth
Daisy and her mom live a life of seclusion at Brightwood Hall, an old, crumbling mansion. As things are right now, Daisy and her mom can live for years at Brightwood without leaving the property. Still, her mom insists on buying more supplies. Every day her mom makes a Day Box and inside she puts a few items so they can remember that day box. They now have stacks and stacks of Day Boxes and have made narrow isles through them all to go from one place to another. One day, her mom does not return from her weekly shopping. Daisy is not worried at first, but as the days go by she does worry. A stranger comes to visit, claiming to be a relative. Strange things are happening.
Can Daisy evade the evil stranger? Will she work up enough courage to leave the estate and find her mother? What happened to her mother?
Daisy is a great heroine and a well-developed character. The book has good supporting characters and this is a well-written story. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
Karina, Indian, and Chris, white, are neighbors and seventh graders at the same middle school. Other than seeing each other in class and riding the same school bus and they have no desire to be friends. It isn't until Papa, Karina's grandfather, come to live with them and Papa strikes up a friendship with Chris that the 7th graders begin to bond. One day, outside the school, Papa, Karina, and Chris are walking to the car when they are attacked by a man with a knife. Papa is knocked to the ground and violently kicked. Their lives forever change, as does the way they see themselves and their world.
I loved the book and I could not put it down. The story is well written, heartwarming and heart-wrenching. It is written with deep feelings and a touch of humor. Varsha Bajaj has written two seventh grade students so well. I liked how well she describes being an immigrant, working for the "American Dream," making your dreams come true and being the victim of hate crime. It also shows how good people come together, bond together, and help each other overcome the hate. I salute Karina, Chris, and Papa for standing up for what is good and right in their community and the world. There are a lot of good surprises in this book and I highly recommend reading it. This would also be a good read-aloud book because it has so many good discussion points in it - so many things to talk about.