My reading time has been really short since I posted on Monday 2 weeks ago. And, since I’m new to the Monday gig, I’m sharing my favorites from when I had time earlier this summer. I’m a big cheat :) (Failure IS what this blog is all about!) To see what other readers are posting about in the Picture Book, Childrens’ Book and YA world, skip over to Teach Mentor Texts to see what’s hot this week. I know I am excited to see what gems are out there!
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
I absolutely love love love this book! If the same book had been written skewed to a more young adult audience it would be my perfect book to read personally. I bought it for our elementary library in my last order at the end of the year. I’m hoping I can make some connections to students who will love it as the year starts.
Tuesdays at the Castle is the story of four siblings and their royal parents who live in a castle that is always adding and changing rooms depending on its mood. In a tragic (i.e. deliberately malicious) accident Celie’s parents are presumed dead along with her oldest brother. Advisers after their own means are intent to advise Celie and her two remaining siblings. As the conflict escalates, the castle joins in the fight to help Celie rescue her family.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea is the story of a fifth grade class with a new teacher, Mr. Terupt. Each of the students in his class recognize that in some way Mr. Terupt is an amazing teacher. He makes connections with his students even when they are resistant. As the class works to get along and survive fifth grade each student tells his or her story in chapters, moving through the months of the year. The class doesn’t realize quite all of the lessons Mr. Terupt has taught them (and they’ve taught themselves) until a tragic accident changes their fifth grade year completely.
Sometimes I find it hard to stick with a book that changes points of view at every chapter. Buyea makes a success of it in the same way that is seen in those such as the recent Wonder and classic View from Saturday. I think that the student profiles will resonate with a variety of students. The points of view allow students to be ‘in other shoes’ a chapter at a time.
Finally, I read Scumble this summer! I don’t know why I put it off so long. I think I forgot that it was available until it jumped off the shelf one day when I was shopping. The sequel to Savvy by Ingrid Law is the story of Ledge’s 13th birthday when he gets his savvy (special ability). The family heads out to the family ranch where Ledge’s savvy isn’t quite so destructive. On the way Ledge meets Sarah Jane Cabot, teen reporter and general pesty snoopy who threatens to expose the family secrets. Ledge has a lot to deal with. By the end of summer he has learned more about himself, his family, and friendship.
Scumble has a less desperate tone than Savvy. There’s conflict, but also a leisurely summer pace that I enjoyed. For some reason, the library I am in now doesn’t have a copy of Savvy so I’ll be adding both of these to our shopping list as long as my budget holds out!