Sunday, March 26, 2023

Before You Go by James Preller


Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source:  I purchased a copy

This is the third book I’ve read this week that had a drowning in it. This is another story where the sibling feels the drowning is his fault and where the parents deal with grief in different ways. Jude’s dad jogs to try to forget and his mom self-medicates.  At the end of the school year Jude gets a job and meets Becca. She is easy to talk to and so he shares his grief with her.  Then he is hit with another tragedy when he loses a close friend in a car accident.  Once again this is a story about dealing with grief. So many times people shut themselves up to grief. This story is divided into two parts: Before and After. I felt like the second half was better, stronger than the first half. Would I recommend this to my students? You bet. Can they get it from my shelves? No. This is another one that had to be pulled due to district guidelines.  I still recommend it.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Student Saturday: My Cousin's Keeper by Simon French


Sttudent Reviewer: Humberto G.

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

The characters in "My cousin's Keeper" are Benn,Kieran, Renee, and Gina The setting takes place at his home and school.

Kieran, and Ben are related. At the start of the school year a boy shows up, which is Kieran ' cousin he doesn't know. Ben is in a really bad conditiona at home and at school. There are people at school who bully him. Kieran wants to be in a popular group with teh popular kids. When seh found out that they were relatedhe feels embarassed because of the way Ben looks. At home Ben has a mom who doesn't take good care of him. Ben has long braids, a babyish hat, and has a funny voice. Ben has an only friend which is Julia who likes Kieran.

Things I would do in this situation would be stand up for family. As we know Kieran and Ben are relatives and Kieran feels embarrassed to be Ben's cousin. Kieran lets people bully his cousin. I I was in this situation I would stand up and not be embarrassed over family and the way they look. This story has a big meaning to it and would recommend it to people who dealt with this tough time. I would also recommend this book to people who love drama.

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.