the BEST BOOK!
(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!