Showing posts with label Fantasy Middle Grade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fantasy Middle Grade. Show all posts

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese

Genre: Middle Grade,  Fantasy
Source: I Received an ARC from the author to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Whenever I approach a new book to review for middle grade students and my shelves at school I look at it through two different lenses. The first is that of a middle school teacher. Is this something that I would recommend to my fellow teachers? Is it a book I would recommend to my students and put on my shelves? Most importantly, is this a book that I can talk about with students because the message within is important?  The second lens I look through is that of a grandparent. Is this a book that my grandchildren will enjoy and thus pass on to their teachers, and class-mates.  This book goes above and beyond what I would normally recommend.

I have often spoke of the school I teach in. We are an IB school. We have several “Learner Profiles” that are a major part of our teachings.  One of them is being “caring”.  We require our students to complete community service in every grade.  So, the idea that you have a group of students who set about to change the lives of people in their town made this a worth-while book.  The book takes place in a small town named Cliffs Donnelly. Many of the major businesses in the town are closing. Two boys out exploring a tunnel realize, by accident, they have walked underneath the city’s wishing well. When they hear a class-mates wish a decision is made to help make it come true. 
I loved that this book is told from multiple perspectives.  I know that this will drive many people nuts. This has been their number one complaint of my own book. There are many more like me who love the different perspectives. I felt in this case it made the issues and secrets in the story, that are discovered within the town, more well-rounded.  We learn that we can’t always judge a book, or bully by its cover. Things aren’t always what they seem. We also learn what one act of kindness can do and how it can be carried forward.  These are lessons that we as teachers, parents, and grandparents want our kids to learn. There is no better way to learn this than through a book.  I believe that many students will be able to relate to this book in a variety ways.  I place this up there with one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. I really can’t wait to see what this author writes next.

This book comes out February 26, just two days away. This is a must read book so get ready to get your copy.

About the Author from Scholastic website

Keith Calabrese is an author and screenwriter who holds a degree in creative writing from Northwestern University. A former script reader, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, kids, and a dog who thinks he's a mountain goat.