I’ve recently read a batch of novels for middle years and beyond which I gladly recommend in this posting.
REBOUND by Kwame Alexander.
A companion free-verse novel to The Crossover, going back in time where we learn about Charles/ Chuck Bell’s (father of Jordan and Josh Bell) life as a troubled teenager and his growing talent as a basketball hero. Mr. Alexander you are a hero, too!
THE BOY WHO PAINTED THE WORLD by Melody J. Bremen
A young boy named Indigo is left to be homeless and his artistic talents and his dreams of finding somewhere and someone to share his life with, carry Indigo through the trials and tribulations of surviving on his own.
THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES by Peter Brown
Really, really admired the novel The Wild Robotand in this sequel we are re-introduced to the robot character who is desperate to escape from farm life and return to the remote island to reunite with animal friends – and her son Brightbill. Though filled with many adventures, this Sophomore book wasn’t as appealing for me as Brown’s first novel.
WED WABBIT by Lissa Evans
Gave up reading this book after 60 pages because I really wasn’t interested in reading about the escapades of storybook characters called the Wimbley Woos. We are told on the book jacket that this book is ‘funny, seriously funny’. But I didn’t feel like going into a strange fantasy adventure with a character named Fidge. Yes, Daniel Pennac (readers bill of rights), I have the right not to defend my tastes
ONE TRUE WAY by Shannon Hitchock
The year is 1977. Two twelve year old girls, Allie and Sam, discover that they have feelings for each other and each must deal with her feelings, and family approval/disapproval before they coming out and living a life that is truthful. An honest story about the challenges that many LGBT kids dealt with decades ago – and today!
ROOSTER SUMMER by Robert Heidbreder; Illus. Madeline Kloepper
A little gem of a novel (Canadian) told in free verse format, about a brother and sister who spend summer days on their grandparents’ farm. Drawn from the author’s childhood, these poems recollect adventures with Rexter the rooster, Seed-Sack the mule and Ginger-Tea the farm dog.
THE NIGHT DIARY by Veera Hiranandani
Twelve year old Nisha receives a diary for her birthday and uses the journal to write letters to her deceased mother recording the tribulations her father and brother face as refugees. The story takes place in 1947, when India, freed from British rule, is being divided into two countries, Pakistan and India. Nisha’s Mama was Muslim and her father Papa was Hindu so it is no longer safe for the family to stay in Pakistan.
SUNNY by Jason Reynolds
Sunny is one of the best runners in the 1600 but one day he decides that running is boring and he gives up his passion and talent for track, replacing it with the boom-bap-bap of dance. Thoughts of his dead mother and confessions about his life choices are written as Sunny’s diary entries. This novel, is the third book in Reynolds’ terrific Track series (Ghost, Patina), which, for me, seem to be getting better and better.
BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell
Everything you wanted to know (and more) about horses can be found in this iconic novel, first published in 1877. On a recent trip to NY, I went to see a wonderful 2 character production of Black Beauty (Red Bridge Theatre Company, Scotland) which lured me into reading this book. Other than
Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, can’t say that I’ve read many novels about horses.
EBB & FLOW by Heather Smith
This Canadian novel is certain to be on my top five list at year’s end. I am a strong fan of free verse style and this poetic narrative, set in Newfoundland, unfolds like ocean waves that ebb and flow. The story describes the relationship between a boy named Jett (who is dealing with a secret and the guilt of his past ill-behaviour), and his wise, accepting and compassionate Grandma. Thanks to Maria Martella (Tinlids) for passing this fine book on to me. Anyone who enjoyed Pamela Porter’s The Crazy Man is sure to be enamored with this novel. I think I will re-read it again tonight!