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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Monday, June 10, 2019

It's Monday and I'm Reading


(Full disclosure: I've met the author at two terrific Maryland SCBWI conferences over the years, where I connected with two great agents and was signed by Linda Pratt so naturally I've always had a soft spot in my heart for those events' organizers, and Naomi was there. And speaking of events, if you're in NYC or MA or MD, CLICK HERE TO SEE where you can actually meet Naomi Milliner and ask her about this fun, important, beautifully-written story.)

But #IMWAYR is all about reading and sharing. 
And people, you do not want to miss this one:

There are so many reasons to buy this book. I bought it because I have a reader in the family who's into magic. He's a little young for middle-grade novels, but give him another year and I predict this will be a favorite. 

So there's magic and Jake's a magician, obviously (great cover image!). And he's funny. Perfect, right?
BUT this book is so much more. 
The brothers' connection is perfectly written. Big brother Ethan is a narrator to love. He's funny. He's mad. He's caring. He's a normal kid. 

There are three boys in the family. One is Jake, the baby brother with special needs. Jake is special in many ways, and this is another reason to own this book. 

Parents are important to the story, but they don't rule the world. I can vouch for the difficulty of having adults in the room, so to speak. It's a tricky balance. Of course, kids have parents and teachers (Jake has a really good one, striking the right balance between listening with a chocolate bar and letting a kid find his own way). But I think kids love reading the parts of a story where kids interact with their friends (and enemies!), where school scenes ring true, where birthday parties don't always turn out exactly as planned. Yep, that's Jake and his brothers and their friends. Ethan's difficult decisions feel authentic. Oh how well the author understands her characters!

There is a whole lot of truth inside these pages. You know those reviews that say "I laughed, I cried"? Well, I truly did while reading SUPER JAKE & THE KING OF CHAOS.
Well done, Naomi Milliner.

I'm sharing another book today: LEAVING GEE'S BEND

Okay, today I re-read parts of it. I've read it more than once. 
I was inspired to dip into this story by Kirby Larson's FRIEND FRIDAY blogpost with Irene
Irene shares some very powerful, very personal remarks about writing outside your own culture. She has a new picture book about an African American boy, MEET MISS FANCY. Check out Kirby's blog to find out more about this book. 

I've been traveling and reading a whole bunch of grown-up books on my Kindle, via my wonderful public library, but I finished one middle-grade novel and reread parts of another, and I call that a top ten day!

Happy summer to my librarian and teacher friends. Here's to joyful, lazy, feet-up, sweet tea reading days!


Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for the book recommendations. I think my grandson will like the first and I'll like Irene's. Thanks for directing me to Kirby's blog!

Linda B said...

I've loved Irene's books, important ones as you wrote! Thanks for sharing about this book new to me. I've put it on the list!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

I'm definitely adding Super Jake & the King of Chaos to my list. It's new to me and one of my children's closest friends (who's in college) is a real life magician who performs all over our area. So I imagine they'll enjoy this one -- maybe as a read aloud. Have a wonderful reading week, Augusta!

Rosi said...

These books both look good. I will have to check these out. I am actually reading an adult book now, which I seldom get to do, and enjoying it. It's News of the World by Paulette Jiles. It's awfully good, but I sure do miss quotation marks. I hope that is a style that won't last long. (sigh) Enjoy your summer!

Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) said...

I've seen the Gee's Bend quilts. They are AMAZING! I love that they are being shared with more through picture books.

Happy reading this week :)

Cheriee Weichel said...

I'm so sad that my library doesn't have a copy of Leaving Gee's Bend. I am infatuated by the quilts from there and since the book is all about a young girl who quilts, I really really want this book!
I've also added Jake & the King of Chaos to my want to read list.

Myra (GatheringBooks) said...

Oooh, Super Jake looks like a lot of fun! Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great reading week!

Eddie said...

Great post.thank you so much.Love this blog.

Augusta Scattergood said...

Thanks for all the comments. We were traveling (and I was trying to stay off my phone!), but I loved returning and reading all of your messages and blogs about your reading.