I have actually gotten in some good reading time lately, which is amazing considering how crazy my life has been of late. There is a mix of middle grade, picture books, YA and adult titles, something for everyone!
Henry Aaron’s Dream by Matt Tavares
I have known about this book for sometime (Matt is going to be my guest author in May) and it was worth the wait. It is not only a beautifully illustrated book, but the story about Aaron’s journey to the major leagues (it ends with Hank’s first major league at bat) is inspirational and something that my baseball fanatic students will love. For elementary schools in Georgia, this will be a must purchase for the study of famous Georgians (2nd grade). Check out Matt’s website for a REALLY cool story that he uncovered while doing the research for this book. Also, if you are local, Matt will be at Little Shop of Stories on May 2nd and he will be doing a signing at the Gwinnet Braves game on May 4th (against the Pawtucket Red Sox!!) I will be at both!!
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner
I bought this book for my media center and read it over the weekend. It is a great story of a middle school girl who is grappling with passing science (by finishing a MONSTER leaf project), going to the sectionals for cross country, the aging of her grandmother who lives with her family, her feelings for her best friend , who happens to be a guy and dealing with your typical middle school group of mean girls. With a 6th grade daughter of my own, I thought this book was so true about many of the things that girls this age are dealing with. I think it is a great title for fifth graders (and middle schoolers) who will be dealing with all these issues all too soon!
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
As luck would have it, I had this book checked out from the public library when the announcement was made that it had WON the Newberry! I LOVED this book! There have been LOTS of reviews, and you can read one here and here, but I will say this, I wonder how much kids who read this book will understand the 25,000 Pyramid storyline – or even, for that matter the talk about Dick Clark. Monica at Educating Alice is reading this to her fourth grade class and I think it would make a great read aloud, and in that case, you could explain (and maybe even show a clip) of the show. And I just LOVE how the book ends (you willhave to read it to find out!)
My Life the Musical by Maryrose Wood
I gave this book to my daughter, the budding Radio City Rockette, for Christmas. If you have a middle school age girl (or her mom) who loves musicals and Broadway, they will LOVE this book. It is about two teenagers ( Phillip and Emily) who live on Long Island and they are in LOVE with the musical Aurora. When they find out that the musical is closing, they are on a quest to find tickets for the last performance and also the identity of the elusive author of the musical. The book is peppered with lots of musical trivia and lyrics and sub story lines of family, identity and usual teenage issues of fitting in. This made me want to go out and see a musical!
The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir by Elna Baker
This book was HYSTERICAL! This is a memoir of Elna Baker trying to grip with the fact that she lives in NYC, is young, an aspiring actress and Mormon. She tells of how she deals with dating or rather trying to date in NYC and keep her Mormon values. Her one tale of meeting a famous older actor is hysterical and I have spent WAY too much time trying to figure out WHO it is (she does not reveal his identity, but tells us he is as famous as Newman, Redford, Beaty). It was a quick read, but one worth the laughs!