So this week I read:
I never read the other books in this series. Reviews say that THIS book, which is supposed to be the last, is darker than the others in the series. Joey just about makes himself unfixable in his attempts to put his family back together. Gantos draws a picture of hope springing eternal and the ending has the reader crossing her fingers that everything hangs together.
Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt
Books about children who cannot read make me wonder who the audience is supposed to be. This book is available as an audiobook and I am grateful for that. How a child could get to 6th grade without anyone knowing that they cannot read is a puzzle to me, even though it happened to at least one of my siblings.
But Hunt's heroine hides her disability so well that everyone thinks she just has a bad attitude. Enter thoughtful teacher!!! And he understands that when a child "refuses" to learn there is something else going on. Good book to share with a class, a teacher and a struggling reader - on audio, probably.
Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
Stella's brother wakes her up one night to show her the white hooded figures burning a cross on the other side of the river. The year is 1932. Times are hard everywhere. And now, the black community is threatened. On Sunday, the Pastor exhorts his flock to register to vote. Stella's Dad is one of the three black man who choose to register. He takes Stella along to be his "standing stone". Based on family stories shared with the author, this book paints a credible picture of a black community in the south and the trials and joys they experience. So good!
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
I could not help draw parallels between the 1.5% of the Russion population who controlled 90% of the wealth in the beginning of the 20th century to our own rich and privileged few. They were clueless about the sufferings of most Russians, choosing to believe that the poor were clean, happy and well-fed. Nicholas andAlexandra would have made great suburbanites, raising their brood and tending their graden and gossiping with the neighbors. But as leaders, they were ostriches - downright cruel in their insistent ignorance. Awesome book! Eye-opening and astounding.
ALSO The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett, and Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell.
Niles is a prankster extraordinaire but at his new school an unknown nemesis outpranks him at every turn. When he meets this mastermind face to face, Niles declares a prank war. Oh, Niles, you FOOL!! Please, if you do try these ideas at home, do NOT mention where you read this review.
Now, I will go to bed.