I am so behind on this! I read these in July and now I am writing about them. Well, this is another great collection! I really love my journey as a reader. I love the number of diverse books we have today. George is the sweetest book. I loved it! Thanks Alex Gino for giving us a glimpse into George becoming Melissa. I’m so glad this book got the attention it did because it is worth it.
I am also glad for Jason Reynold’s books–all of them. All American Boys did not disappoint. (Hey, I am also reading a lot of dual perspective books lately!) It’s a timely book and for me, I don’t normally get into the mind of a male teenager in America. (Basically, I never.) So to be able to see into the lives of *two* teenage boys is really eye-opening. Thank you for showing us that people are people. We aren’t heroes because we mean to be, but because other people make us out to be. Thank you for this book, Jason Reynolds and Brenda Kiely!
Meanwhile, I am also reading The Silver Moon of Summer. It’s wonderful and I loooooove Leila Howland! I love this whole series because of summer and sisterhood, and ocean and beach hijinks. It’s just the best getaway and the story is so engaging. There is a lot of action between 3 sisters and the plot clips right along. More, please!
I read Kimchi & Calamari and Looking for Alaska on a bus on a trip with my friend Sheryl. I loved both but Looking for Alaska made me upset. Sorry, but I would not like people like that in my life. My friend Britney would say They are not meant to be likeable! John Green is undeniably good at capturing teenage lives. To be a teenager again! What torture, drama, and angst.
Kimchi & Calamari, on the other hand, was sweet and a lovely book. I loved the adoption story and what it means to find your own roots. Thank you Rose Kent for showing us what it means to be a part of an Italian family! And what it might feel like to be a Korean kid in New Jersey. This is what I love about middle grade novels.
It took me the longest time to finish these 5 books but I loved every single one of them. I think my favorite here are Save Me a Seat and Lucky Broken Girl. Beautiful covers! I loved the dual perspectives in Save Me a Seat. Both authors captured what it is like to be struggling in school for different reasons– because you are embarassed your mom is the noon duty supervisor, or because you are the new Indian kid with the strangest lunch and you can’t eat meat. You can struggle because you are average, or struggle because you stand out. There really is no winning in middle school! This is what I love about middle grade novels. They capture a weird time in your life, and if we are being honest we are all just bigger middle schoolers!
I loved Lucky Broken Girl because it is a beautiful book about immigrants, and it captures how a girl feels when she is stuck in a cast and can’t live her life. (You’ll notice I use the word “capture” a lot because that is what I think books do. They capture a slice of life or even better, inner thoughts, on paper.) It’s a really inspring book! I love the description of New York too.
Becoming Madeleine was a biography I’d been looking forward to reading because I recently got into A Wrinkle Time quintet. Despite who she may have been, I really admire Madeleine L’Engle for her imagination and strong will. It couldn’t have been easy to be different and to have such a strong conviction on life as a woman back then, and now. I’ll continue reading Madeleine’s work.
I just realized that You Go First also has dual perspectives, like Save Me a Seat! Can I just say I love Isabel Roxas’s covers? When I get rich I’m buying prints of my fav book covers and putting them all over my place. I love the nerdy boy and nerdy girls’ online friendship. I didn’t relate to it quite so much as Kelly’s other books, but as a 12-year-old this would’ve been like my diary.
Last but not least, I finally read All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook! It was amazing/a slow burn/special. It’s one of a kind! I loved all the characters in it-the inmates, Perry, the adoptive family, Perry’s mom. There is so much strength in this book. 💪🏼
From these 5 books I’ve learned to honor each person’s struggles and to believe in our own inner strength. Because we are all much stronger than we appear to be.