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

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Student Saturday: Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Genre: Middle Grade, Biography, Graphic Novel
Student Reviewer: Zoey L.

The book I read this month was called Guts. This book is about a young girl named Raina. She always did great in school and never had a problem with anything. Until, one night she wakes up with a terrible stomachache. Later, she returns to school with normal school days, drama, and bullying with the other stuff too. Although everything is back to normal, Raina is not. She can't take her mind off her stomach bug. She just keeps thinking about it. Now it is starting to get into the way of everything. Will Raina be able to fix this problem? Overall, I like this book. I have read similar books by this author. They are always fun to read. I relate to this book because I get stomach aches too. I would recommend this book to my little brother because he likes comics. I give this book a 10/10 and I would definitely read it again. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed


Genre:  Middle Grade, Biography

Source:  I purchased a copy. The opinions expressed here are my own.


This is the second graphic novel I have read that has greatly touched me. Omar and his brother Hassan are victims of the civil war in their country of Somalia. Omar witnesses his father's death. He runs to tell his mother. She thrusts Hassan into his arms and tells him to run. He joins thousands of others running from soldiers. He and his brother end up in a refuge camp in Kenya. Fatuma is their legal guardian, since they have no adults.  This story tells of his life in the refugee camp. The struggles of raising a younger brother who can't speak and has medical issues. It tells of his dream of going to school and making a better life. It tells of the dreams of everyone in the camp, dreaming of leaving the camps one day.  This is not an easy book to read. One of my students told me I HAD to read it. Before I could check it in and take it home another kids said, "I want to read it." So, I did what every good teacher would do, who wants to make readers of their students, I checked it out to him. I purchased my own copy to read this weekend. I am glad I did. We who live here in the land of the free have no right to complain when we read books like this. Our lives are so easy compared to the many refugees in camps all over the world.  This is a definite must read.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Alias Anna by Susan Hood

Gene:  Middle Grade, Biography
Source: I own a copy

I knew I couldn’t get through Spring Break without reading at least one Holocaust book. I had five selected. This is the one I got to. We learn that this book came about when Zhanna’s granddaughter had to write about her grandparent’s history and any major thing that had happened in their life. The story is co-written by her son Greg Dawson, whose daughter sent the letter.

Zhanna Arshanskaya was a child when she, her sister, mother and father and grandparents were sent on a death march. Her father was a candymaker and played violin. He helped his daughters Zhanna and Frina develop a love of music, playing the family’s piano. They were sent to a music conservatory until Jews were no longer welcome.  Their father offers a bribe to one of the guards while on the march to look away so his daughter Zhanna can step out of the line. A while later she was joined by her sister. They changed their names to better blend in. Zhanna became Anna and Frina became Marina.  The help from a Christian family, an orphanage and believe it or not the Nazis themselves helped them to survive. This is a story that must be read and recommended to students everywhere. I strongly recommend it.

Make sure you check out all of the resources at the end of the story. There are websites, books, etc to help you learn more.

Monday, February 6, 2023

47 Days Annette Oppenlander


Genre: Middle School, Young Adult, Biography
Source: I purchased a copy.

 Near the end of World War II, Hitler knew he was losing. This did not stop him from continuing the fight. When man power was dwindling, he reached out and drafted the Hitler Youth. These were young school boys. Helmet and Günter were best friends. They receive their draft notice in school and are required to report within one week to Marburg. They were told there would be no transportation and they would need to find their own way there. Günter goes to find Helmut. He tells him he doesn't plan to go. Helmut agrees. If they are caught they will be shot on the spot as traitors. Günter's father went to ward almost five years earlier and his brother left last year. This will leave his mother and younger brother all alone. Günter and Helmut start walking, slowly, deciding they will hide out in hopes the war will end before they actually get there.

     This story is the true story lived by the author's grandfather Günter and his best friend Helmut. It is a quick read, yet a hold-your-breath type of read. I worried the entire time I was reading about what they were going through.  I hear our youth today complain about such simple things when kids like Günter and Helmut had to worry about war, being killed, starving, freezing to death. It made me think about what was going on in Ukraine right now and how those children are living something similar. This should be in every middle school classroom. This is a definite must read

Monday, July 18, 2022

Andrew Jackson by Terri Kanefield


Genre: Middle Grade, Biography
Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review, The opinions expressed here are my own.

Teri Kanefield does an excellent job of giving us a well rounded view of Andrew Jackson. As a teacher I know that a lot of what is taught in our history classes is a glorified view of men and their actions. We don’t always get the whole picture. We see him in one case going against the supreme court because he thought that his opinion and his decisions as the president were worth more than the judgement of the supreme court. He managed to create an environment in Georgia whereby their actions eventually drove the Cherokee people out of Georgia. He is presented as a passionate family man. He definitely had trust issues when it came to government. However, the author provided a lot of information to entice you to do further research. This is a book that should be in every school library.