This week I have so many reviews! Again no book cover pictures, sorry!
YA Lit Books
If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
A romance in which a young Jewish girl and a black boy fall in love after literally bumping into each other in their high school’s hallway. I kept waiting for the story to start, only to reach the desperate end. A good read if you like thinking, “What? No! Really? No!” at the end of books.
Lena by Jacqueline Woodson
Though easily read, this is not what I would call an easy read. The story of two young girls running away from their abusive father is not lightly told. Woodson draws the attention of readers of varying ages by making the reader feel for the girls in the story. So that my heart would only break a little at a time, rather than all at once, I had to take breaks while reading. Every pain was worth it because I got to be a part of these girls lives and feel their pain, longing and appreciation for bubble baths.
Children’s Lit Books
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (poetry)
Beautifully written, this enchanting book puts the reader in the shoes of a young girl of 10 leaving the country that she knows and loves for a new one with a new language. Everything happens over the course of one year; from being home in Vietnam and fleeing to the United States to the beginnings of building a life there. The reader doesn’t only travel with Ha, they become one with her heart.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier (graphic novel)
There is so much going on around the preparation for the big musical. Meet Callie, a middle school girl with a love for theatre, and be a part of her life as she navigates set-building, friendships, and possible romances.
El Deafo by Cece Bell (graphic novel)
Feeling alone stinks, feeling alone and different is even worse. At her new school Cece is the only deaf student in her class and she has to wear her super giant Phonic Ear hearing aid strapped to her chest. She soon realizes that her Phonic Ear may actually be like super power and she could be El Deafo! Follow along through the ups and downs of Cece’s life as herself and as El Deafo while she tries to find the perfect sidekick.
Old Bear and His Cub written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea (picture book) Join Old Bear and Little Cub on their day together and feel the love that they share. This story is best read-aloud to someone you love very much.
this Orq. (he cave boy.) written by David Elliott illustrated by Lori Nichols (picture book)
Orq loves Woma, but his mother… not so much. What can be done to make Mother see how amazing Woma can be? Find out in this fun and wildly entertaining read-aloud that will leave kids of different ages smiling.
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann (picture book)
This book is on the short list of my favorite read-aloud’s this year. Engaging from start to finish; this book shows that everyone has their talents, they just aren’t all the same.
Show Way written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Hudson Talbott (picture book)
In this masterfully told story, the reader is brought along on a journey through history by way a family tree beginning with a many times great-grandmother. Quilting is not a hobby in this book, it’s a means of knowing one’s history as well as comfort on the path that lies ahead.
Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis (picture book)
A thoughtful book that would be a great read-aloud addition to many lessons. Maya is different from the other kids, everything she has is obviously secondhand and everyone takes notice. The reader is made to watch as Chloe and her friends bully Maya. Maya’s desperation for a friend is palpable as is Chloe’s regret when Maya stops coming to school. Sometimes amends can not be made, but one can change for the sake of tomorrow. This book will touch anyone’s heart and reminds the reader that “Each kindness…. makes the world a little bit better”.