Sunday, October 9, 2011

Latasha and the Little Red Tornado - Michael Scotto

Publisher:  Midlandia Press (November 15, 2011)
Pages: 141
Source:  I received a copy from the author in exchange for a book review
Genre:  Realistic Fiction, Middle Grades

Author Bio: 
A bit about my background: I'm 28 years old, and I've been working in the education field as a writer for the past five years. Before that, I studied Creative Writing and English at Carnegie Mellon University, where I got a BA and an MFA. Before *that*...I've been writing stories since I was four years old, and save a brief flirtation with the idea of being a firefighter/policeman (I thought I could do both), I've never wanted to do anything else.

Description From Goodreads:

Latasha and the Little Red Tornado tells the story of Latasha Gandy, a precocious and inventive third-grader who lives in Pittsburgh with her hardworking mother and a naughty puppy named Ella Fitzgerald. At eight years old, Latasha cannot wait to grow up. Ella, on the other hand, absolutely refuses to! When Ella's antics push the Gandy's landlady, Mrs. Okocho, to her wits' end, Latasha realizes that she must turn her mischievous mutt into a model dog. Latasha enlists the help of a classmate and neihbor, Ricky, in her efforts to train Ella. Their friendship grows as Ricky joins the girls on their adventures in the park. But after Latasha and Ricky have a falling out, Latasha decides to take Ella out on her own, a choice that proves to have grave consequences. At turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this tale of friendship and maturity follows Latasha as she struggles with Ella, school, and her mother's absence from home.

My Thoughts:
This was a wonderful book.   Kids will definitely be able to identify with Latasha and some of the problems she has.  Not only does she have a puppy full of energy, but she has to worry about the puppy bothering their landlady.  She worries about her mother’s new job and about not spending a lot of time with her mother.  Latasha learns a lot about friendships both with the old and young.  There are subtle lessons all throughout the story.   The problems in the story such as a single parent home, and Latash staying with  the landlady as her babysitter are some of the same problems  my very own students face.  The characters are all very believable and well developed.

I am proud to put this book on my shelves at school.  I am sure this book will be enjoyed by my sixth  graders no matter what their reading level.  I’ve head the name of the author before and will definitely check into his other books.  After all, addition to students who need quality books, I have nine grandkids that need quality books to read.

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