These books are about inner strength, which is something I am also discovering about myself. I have a lot of it. I believe that we all do.
The War that Saved My Life is one that had been on my TBR for a long time. I don’t read a lot of books about wars, and I had thought that this was about an imaginary war, but it isn’t. It is set in England and just like the title tells us, WWII might’ve been the best thing to ever happen to Ada. Ada’s mother is abusive and constantly blames and shames her for having a twisted foot. When Ada and her brother went to live with Susan in another town, her life started. This book reminds me of how much I liked historical fiction and books set in England. I loved the story of resilience and I cheered for Ada.
I’m so glad Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka exists. It’s a graphic memoir about losing and finding his mom, and being raised by his grandparents who are not perfect. As someone going through therapy and is coming to terms with my past, this was so great to see. There’s so much rejection, confusion, and the feeling of being lost in Jarrett’s childhood. I really believe that the creative adult is the child who survived. I’m really grateful for graphic memoirs because as a medium they speak so much to me. I will always be a fan of comic books with a lot of words.
My Name is Venus Black is going on my favorites list. I added it before it was even published because I love bildungsroman and a girl who got herself into jail at age 13 has to have an interesting story, before, during and after imprisonment. I’m actually still reading this and this is definitely a book with a VOICE! I love the perspective taking between Inez, her mom, Tinker, the uncle who kidnapped her stepbrother, and Tony and Tessa, the father-daughter duo who took in Leo, Venus’s stepbrother. This is just a really great book and makes me really happy to read contemporary fiction. I love Venus’s grit and watching her make he own way in life. This book is also, I think, about redemption and reconciling with ourselves and giving others a second chance.
DNF: The Finest Hours and When Friendship Followed Me Home. Non-fiction doesn’t appeal to me as much as fiction. That might change with the rise of picture book biographies and graphic non-fiction. This was my second time trying to read The Finest Hours and I still could not get through it. A side note: I found out about this book when a 6th grader told me about it, and I think it’s a great example of offering variety in classroom libraries. There WILL be a kid who is drawn to historical non-fiction and adventure!
I DNF When Friendship Followed Me Home because two pages in, I did not relate to the MC. Voice is the reason I stick with a lot of books and like I said about On the Come Up, I love the feeling of tagging along with the protagonist. There are times when a fringe character steals the show and I read just for them, but there’s gotta be a connection between the reader and the main character.