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Vacation is officially over as I look at the clock and see that I am past my bedtime for a school night! I can't say it was the most restful of vacations, and I can't say I read as much as I had planned to. But that's ok! Tomorrow when I get to school it will be the final stretch of the school year. It is amazing that the conclusion of another school year is upon us.
Books I Read this Week:
Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Katherine Tegen Books, 2013
Recommended for grades 4-6
Emily Elizabeth Davis is named after poet great Emily Dickinson. This story opens in a used bookstore the day before Emily is born. Her mother, Isabella, is inspired by a first edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, and decides to name her daughter Emily. She then pens an inscription to her unborn daughter in the front of the book. I know, gasp! In the front of a first edition Emily Dickinson!
Isabella is a big believer in a person's destiny being something that we don't trifle with, it just happens to us. But Emily isn't so sure. Emily has always wondered who and where her father is, but her mother won't tell her. Isabella claims that when their paths are meant to cross, they will. It isn't until Emily's book of poems is mistakenly sent to Goodwill that her mother admits to writing Emily's father's name somewhere in the book. Emily must set out to find her book, and her father by rewriting her own destiny. Some mom, huh? ;)
The Misadventures of Edgar & Allen Poe: The Tell-Tale Start by Gordon McAlpine
Recommended for grades 4-6
I'm going to be brief here. I was very excited about this little story. I've been a big Poe fan since middle school. This however, is a bit odd. The twins, Edgar and Allen Poe, are interchangeable twin boys. They are identical on the outside, but what's truly odd about them is that what one sees and experiences the other does as well. Thus, making them interchangeable. The real Poe is the boys' great, great, great, great granduncle, and is serving time in an afterlife where he writes menial pieces and is overseen by a man that greatly annoys him, William Shakespeare. I don't know what to make of this part of the book. At first I was amused, but I didn't find it particularly entertaining enough to want to revisit it throughout the book at later points.
So what is this book about...well, the boys lose their cat and their aunt and uncle take them to recover the feline thousands of miles away. The boys don't know it, but they are being targeted for scientific research. Someone wants to know if one Poe boy is killed, if the other will be able to communicate with him in the afterlife. Not a homerun for me.
Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
Recommended for grades 4-8
We are taken back to France, 1800 when a boy is found to be living alone in the wilderness. A huge curiosity to people, the savage boy is taken in to be studied. He is passed around a few times, eventually finding a home, though never learning to speak or read as many had hoped.
The book has a nice layout with plenty of whitespace. The illustrations are fitting, wild and emotional and raw. I was struck by the notions of treatment of people deemed insane, or ill in ways not yet understood, as it was mentioned several times how Victor (as the wild boy came to be called) just barely escaped a fate of an institutionalized young person.
Because of the time the story took place there were large gaps in Victor's life story. To work around this Losure often offers a "perhaps." Perhaps Victor did this, or perhaps Victor did that. I would have liked more fact and detail to sink my teeth into, and found I didn't enjoy the large amount of unknowns. I look forward to seeing students' reactions to this book!
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks
First Second, 2013
Graphic Novel, Realistic Fiction
Recommended for grades 9+
On the surface: a group of high school robotics members pitted against a group of cheerleaders. The robotics team needs money to get to a robotics competition, and the cheerleaders need money for new uniforms. The principal has announced that the class president will decide how to spend the money. pitted against each other for presidency, both sides go down. Forced to work together a plan is devised that can get both groups what they want. Stuck in the middle is a jock dealing with the effects of divorce. I loved the friendships between the kids in this story, as they were developed there was much to be appreciated. This book is certainly for the high schoolers though, as there is a LOT of "language" throughout.
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Thanks for stopping by! As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!