Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dexter the Tough

I just finished reading DEXTER THE TOUGH by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I am a big Haddix fan. For starters, she is from Ohio. And I became totally hooked on her SHADOW CHILDREN series. She has written several great middle great books lately--THE GIRL WITH 500 MIDDLE NAMES and SAY WHAT? My very favorite by Margaret Peterson Haddix is BECAUSE OF ANYA--an amazing story about a girl who is dealing with the loss of her hair.

So, I was thrilled to see a new book for this age group. Each of Haddix's books for middle readers deals with a real-life issue. The issues all make for lots of thinking and great conversations. Haddix does a great job of writing about issues in ways that are appropriate for students in grades 3-5. She takes on big issues and helps us come to know the character as he/she deals with it.

DEXTER THE TOUGH is a short novel--144 pages. Dexter has just moved to a new school. He is having a bad first day. He is angry about his life and we find out, as the story unfolds, that his father is going through aggressive cancer treatment, so his parents have sent him to live with his grandmother during treatment. He covers his pain with anger but grows as he makes a friend. I think this would be great book for a book talk in the middle grades.

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