We were very excited to welcome Trudi Trueit and explorer Zolton Zakacs to my school on Friday to share their new book, Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret. Our students sat on edge to listen to Trudi talk about the book and Zolton talk about his life as an explorer. When Cruz is accepted to The Explorer Academy in Washington D.C., all he wants is to prove he deserves to be there and hasn't been chosen because his mother had been killed in an accident in the school's lab and his aunt is a professor. But right away he learns that his mother's accident may not have been an accident at all and the people that killed her may be after him too. The book is Spy Kids meets science geek.
Growing up there were three other Stacy's in my class, but at least we all spelled our name differently. When Naomi and Naomi are introduced by their dating parents, having the same exact name with the same exact spelling is not a happy coincidence. Both Naomi want their lives to stay the same, having their single parent to themselves, but their parents are determined to force them to get to know each other, even if it means changing everything. Told from the two Naomi's points of view, this book is about dealing with change as your family move forward after divorce. I really loved how the authors let the reader root for both girls, even during the conflicts between them.
If you read Inside Out and Back Again, you should read All The Broken Pieces. Matt Pin's living in America with his new American family. He wants to forget the war torn Vietnam he escaped from and the mother and brother he left behind because the memories and guilt are too painful. But when he realizes he is not the only one dealing with the consequences of the Vietnam war, he finds a way to help himself while helping others. A powerful novel in verse.