Monday, May 09, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Kellee (Unleashing Readers) and Jen (Teach Mentor Texts) for hosting It's Monday! What Are you Reading! Check out their blogs for the round up!

2016 is such a great year for books!  I've read so many great books. Her are some of my favorite recent reads:

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart is an important read for everyone. This is a great story about two teenagers.  Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl.  Duncan Dorfman is dealing with bipolar disorder and other issues in his life.  This is a great story about friendship, kindness, understanding and change.  As a teacher this was an important book for me as it not only helped me understand what transgender teenagers might be experiencing, but it also helped me understand the challenges that parents face too. This book seems perfect for middle schoolers-I'd consider it a young YA book.  

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner is another must read.  Kate Messner is one of those authors who can write about hard issues in a way that is perfect for middle grade and middle grade students. In this book we get to know Charlie who catches a magical fish who will grant her wishes.   As the story progresses, we learn that Charlie's college-age sister is dealing with heroin addiction.  Charlie wants desperately to make a wish that will make things better for her family.  Kate Messner does a great job of dealing with not only the issue of drug abuse but the effect it has on families.  

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown was worth the wait! I am a huge Peter Brown fan and love all of his work. When I heard he was writing a middle grade novel I was thrilled.  I got a copy of the book the day it was released and read it in a few sittings.  Roz, a robot, lands on an island and builds a life for herself there with the animals. I can't name exactly when I fell in love with Roz but I did and I was totally drawn into her story.  This book is one that has such powerful messages and is one that begs to be reread.  Totally brilliant book and very unique. I can't think of another book that does what this one does.

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore is my favorite kind of book--a dystopian fantasy. Most of these that I read are YA but this one is perfect for middle school. Mori and her friends live in Old Harmonie, a perfect world that is protected from pretty much everything.  A new girl, Ilana, moves into the neighborhood and things start to change. This is a book that engaged me throughout and I think it will be hugely popular in 5th and 6th grade classrooms. I am hoping there is a sequel coming to this one. (It was a coincidence that I read it soon after I finished The Wild Robot but some good discussions could happen for kids who read both of these novels!)

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