In an effort to keep track of what I read, I will attempt to produce a weekly book report.
In the past week or so, I have read:
Mac B., Kid Spy #2 The Impossible Crime. by Mac Barnett. We, adult readers of mysteries of all sorts, will figure out the culprit pretty darn early. But keep reading because these books are hilarious. The Queen calls on Mac B. to stand guard over the Crown Jewels yet again, along with a grumpy Beefeater. (Tower of London guard - but you knew that, right?)
Maximillian Fly by Angie Sage. Shades of The Metamophosis by Kafka here. Well, not really. Maximillian Fly is a human. He explains that in the first few pages. But, he looks and acts like a six foot tall roach. The reason for this is explained much later in this book about a tyrannical future earth where people are "protected" by a dome from the sickness that has killed so many humans. Listen to an audio excerpt here.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart. Coyote and her father, Rodeo, live in a big yellow school bus. They go where they want and they stay as long - or as short - as they like. They didn't always live like this. Coyote makes no secret of the fact that they belonged to a larger family once. When change threatens Coyote's hometown and her most precious memories, she has to find a way to trick Rodeo into returning to a place where they once had - and then lost - everything. They pick up other travelers on their journey who help Coyote as she tries to go home. Freedom, outliers, fun and lots of sadness.
Roll With It by Jamie Summer. When Ellie's grandfather starts acting erratically, she and her mom move into her grandparents' trailer. It's a bit tight for Ellie's wheelchair but they manage. Ellie has all the "new kid" anxieties doubled by the "kid in the wheelchair" anxieties. Her cerebral palsy make it hard for her to walk - though she can, but not very well or for very long - but inside Ellie is any middle grade girl dealing with granpa troubles. Thank goodness she can bake. This is a lifter-upper of a book.
Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee. Mila is perplexed. A "group hug" feels more like a grope. Then, more boys are paying attention to her and she can't understand it. A playground game called Command, that Mila refuses to play, feeds into a round of harrassments. And no one, not even Mila's best friends, are taking her complaints seriously. #MeToo hits middle school. This book is a necessary read because sometimes grown-ups need to know what's going on and so do kids.
A Good Kind of Trouble Lisa Moore Ramée. Shayla truly believes that nothing will change her or her friendships, even in middle school. When a police officer is exonerated in the shooting of an unarmed black man who was running away, Shayla is forced to pay attention to the undercurrents of racism all around her. Shayla's own assumptions about other students based on their looks opens her eyes and Shayla decides to stand up for what is right. Lots of good stuff in this #BlackLivesMatter book. Friendships bend but don't break. Shayla navigates a boy's crush on her and she learns about what it means to be on a team.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. Jude and her mother have to move from war torn Syria leaving behind Baba and big brother, Issa. Life in Cincinnati is so different and luxurious from their small home on the seashore. Adjusting to a new language and trying to fit in with her cousin and classmates takes courage. Again, changes in her life and dealing with middle school judgey-ness, make Jude's trials approachable and real. Hopefully, this book will be shared with kids who need to adjust to changes like this - either their own or someone else's.
And I expect to finish Max and the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce tonight - with the stuffies. This book is so much fun! I thought of the classic Adam of the Road when I started it. But this is no historically correct adventure of a young bard. This is a romp through all the medieval tropes with Bad Kings and witches and giants and wizards and dragons and - well, you name it, it's in here.