Saturday, July 3, 2021

Hey, Kiddo by Jarret J. Krosoczka

Genre: Young Adult, Graphic, Biography

Source: I purchased a copy


This was a tough book to read as I  lost my niece to heroin a year ago. She left behind four kids. This is a book I want my nephews to read and later their sisters. My sister did her best to raise the kids  but had her own issues.  They were eventually put in foster care until other arrangements could be made. I think they will be able to identify quite a bit with the author and I believe it may actually show them that no matter what happens in your past, you can always move ahead in life. This is a book I will definitely recommend to my students.  As a teacher I hear stories from my students like this all the time. I am so happy the author decided to share his story and how his past shaped his present. This is such an important message.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Talent by B. Lynn Goodwin

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic fiction

Source: I purchased a copy


This book is by far one of the best  I have read this summer. I can't wait to talk this up to my students and recommend it to our media specialist and the other teachers in my department. Let me tell you about this beautiful book.

Sandee Mason is a young girl whose brother is missing in Afghanistan. Diego, her neighbor and former seventh-grade boyfriend, is the only one who hasn't treated her differently since they received the news.  Encouraged by her brother's voice, she auditions for the school play, "Oklahoma." Is she running away from or to something?

As I read, I journeyed with Sandee as she tried to find her place in her new world.  I won't tell any more of the plot than that because I don't want to spoil anything.

This is an emotional read because of the situation Sandee and her family are in. It is emotional because of the behind-the-scenes drama Sandee finds herself in with the play's cast members.

This is so much more than a coming-of-age story. This story rings so true. You have a variety of relatable characters. All of them have their own hopes, dreams, quirks, and issues. Sometimes we focus so much on our own issues that we don't see others around us hurting the way we are. This story deals with teen drinking and alcoholism, grief, friendship, and family relationships. 

This author has written a book that will draw you in and hold you until the last sentence. Like I said before, this is one of the best books I have read all summer. I want to shout that from top of the world.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Source:  I purchased


This is a book I am excited to put on my school shelves.   Hanneke is a young girl in Amsterdam in the middle of Nazi occupation. She smuggles goods to help out. One request will set her on a dangerous journey. Hanneke has been asked to locate a young Jewish girl named Mirjam. For this assignment she will need to get help from a resistance group. The book is true to WWII and the horrors of the Nazis. One reason I find this such an important book for my school shelves is that we have a holocaust unit. I try to provide great books that accurately tell of the holocaust events. So many people sided with the Nazis, not because they hated the Jews but because they wanted to improve their own position in life. Some were just bystanders who didn’t agree but didn’t want to get involved. This book shows so many sides to this war. As a word of caution it is full of the violence that so many experienced. This type of history should never be watered down. I applaud this author for telling a story that is authentic and exactly what kids and adults should learn. We need more books like this that show the importance of resistance groups and people like Hanneke.