I've sadly neglected reporting on the great books I've read recently.
Let me jump right in!
Hot off the presses, a brand new middle-grade debut. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this, but now everybody can buy, request from your library, read and share.
This new novel has FOUR starred reviews, and that's not surprising. I loved Lyndie's personality, her sheer joy in research and facts, how she doesn't give up. I loved the 1980s southern setting, the Vietnam War connection via her veteran dad, the gorgeous language and strong characters. Such a good book!
Another middle-grade novel, just out: Cynthia Lord's BECAUSE OF THE RABBIT.
(Click HERE for a post I wrote ages ago and one of my favorite quotes about fantasy, via Cynthia.)
Check out this tres cool cover!
If there's a teacher or librarian out there who hasn't read it or has a special student just meant for this middle grade novel, I'd love to send my ARC to you. Leave me a comment and I'll pick someone and zip it off.
One thing I liked about this novel (there were many) was how accessible it is. Less than 200 pages, easy reading, appealing story-- this could be that gateway book for a reader who's been challenged by longer books and has not yet found the perfect novel to love.
The third book I recently finished is Sharon Draper's BLENDED.
Yes, there were many "issues" covered in Izzy's story. She's biracial, her parents are divorcing, and then the normal pre-teen things every kid worries about. There is also a strong theme of race, obviously, and a scene where Izzy is stopped by the police.
But they were handled reasonably well and could provide food for thought and discussion.
I can't sign off without strongly recommending a book that's NOT middle-grade. GRADLE BIRD is really an adult book, but the narrator is a teen so I can see this one having readership among "new adults," if that's even a thing anymore.
The writing is beautiful, the characters beyond quirky, the story so
unusual and funny and sad at the same time-- a must-read for many of my
friends. Especially my southern friends, or those who love books set in
the deep south, with all the hilarious and unique trappings of our
heart-homes. I bought this book because it wasn't in my local public library. I'm recommending they buy it. So good.
Can't wait to hear what my #IMWAYR friends are up to today. Do tell!