This week I had a snow day and attended the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators NY Conference so there were many great opportunities to read and discover new books. Here are the books I read this week:
This book is a beautiful story about what it is like to experience the loss of a person, for any reason. Look to the illustrations as you tell it to your kids. There are visual story lines in the illustrations that aren't in the text. To quote illustrator Bryan Collier from the #NY17SCBWI conference, "If you are a teacher or a librarian there is a Knock Knock in your room all the time." Reading this book will help you reach them.
Take a step back into Egyptian time and right into a mystery. 1177 BCE - Seshta, a temple dancer, wants to win a dance contest so she can be recognized by the kingdom, but when her friend Reya goes missing, she and her other friend Horus must search the kingdom to find him. But what they find is bigger than a missing friend and could mean the end of ancient Egypt as they know it. The Eyes of Pharaoh releases from Spellbound River Press on February 24.
Tess and her brother Max discover a magical castle hidden in the countryside near their aunt's home in England and have an adventure with their new neighbors. I would have liked for the tension to stay high longer, but overall it was a fun fantasy story middle graders will enjoy.
When Jonathan Grisby arrives at Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys he is looking to be punished for a past mistake. But when all the adults on the island are killed in a freak accident, he finds himself in a Lord of the Flies reality and instead of finding punishment, finds redemption. I can understand why this book is getting so much attention.
Ghost learned to run fast when his alcoholic father threatened him and his mother with a gun and was sent to prison. Since then, Ghost has had trouble holding his temper and relating to others. In his pride and temper, he accidentally tries out for a track team to prove to another boy that he is faster. But when the coach offers him a spot on the team, Ghost finds more than a place to run fast. He finds a way to connect with others. I absolutely loved this book.
Krakow in 1939 - Anna is seven years old when her father, her only care giver, is taken away and she is left on the street. To survive, she follows a stranger who will only let her call him the Swallow Man. The life they live on the streets is strange, but at least together, they are not alone. A disturbing but interesting read about an unusual relationship during a troubling time period.
Everyone in Rsiran's world has an ability and most are accepted in his society. His ability, sliding from place to place, is considered dark and his father won't let him forget it. He sends him to work in the mines, one of the most dangerous jobs in the land. But a new group of friends helps Rsitan see that his ability is more than what he has been told and helps him find purpose. An enjoyable fantasy that could be read by an older middle grader as well as a teen.
If you like my reading choices, you can check out all the books I've read on Goodreads and please leave a comment below. It's Monday, what have you been reading?