Book Review: 7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar

I just love using picture books for my middle school classroom! This book will help both math and reading teachers spread the book love. This is 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story, by Tara Lazar, and illustrated by Ross MacDonald, and it is comic genius in picture book form. 

Private I tells the story of his newest case: 6 banged on the detective’s door, scared that 7 is coming to get him. Private I took the odd case and started looking for the root of the problem. But 7 cannot be found for questioning. There are a number of suspects, and quite a few witnesses to interview, too. Private I’s work seems to multiply as the case moves forward. Can he solve the case in time, or will the numbers be subtracted, one by one?

If you’re looking for a twisted mystery, Tara Lazar provides the narrative. If you’re looking for some math vocabulary to add to your lesson plans, this book is a positive addition to your library. If you want to read a beautifully-illustrated picture book during your child’s bedtime routine, Ross MacDonald serves up the cake — I mean, pi.

Have fun reading 7 Ate 9 soon!

IMWAYR: Roll With It — Rolling Towards Winter Break

Continuing the push to winter break, I read…

ROLL WITH IT by Jamie Sumner

This is the story of Ellie (Lily, actually), the girl with cerebral palsy who won’t let her wheelchair slow her down. She’s got some attitude and mad baking skills for her age, and wants everything in her family to be okay, even though they need her now more than ever. Mom is overworked and has taken a leave of absence to travel to Oklahoma and take care of her ailing dad (Grandpa has dementia), without telling her mother she’s coming to stay for more than a visit. When grandma finds out, she’s upset (of course), but wants to make the best of things — she DOES get to see her granddaughter more.

Grandma’s neighbor, a girl Ellie’s age, is happy to have a new friend, but Ellie isn’t too sure about the friendship at first. Ellie’s motives change when she finds out about the baking competition in town and she just knows she can make it as a professional baker IF things go just right. She’s doing better with her medical needs (she even got to throw away the seizure medicine!) and with her new life in Oklahoma. New friends make all the hardships at school and home a little easier to handle, but Ellie’s got to keep it together to meet her goals.

This story is full of heart — a struggling family with characters as real as my own family. “Rolling with it” comes with the territory, literally and figuratively. Read this one as soon as possible; you might even be left hungry for more.

 

More Bruce books! We love Ryan T. Higgins and Bruce, the grumpy bear.

 

 

 

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Various Titles Until Winter Break

This is a busy week at school with concerts, doctor’s appointments, and programs leading up to winter break. I’m trying to read as much as I can of the titles on my TBR list (To Be Read) so I can get through until vacation. This week I read…

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell

I love this progressive tale of a family who waits for a loved one to come back from war. Based on true accounts of WWII pilot Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexroat and other female Cherokee pilots who risked their lives far from home. Fabulous read!

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes (due March, 2020. Cover not revealed.)

Donte is Trey’s black brother. Confused. Multiracial. Bullied. Arrested. When Donte is arrested at his mostly white prep school, he tries to tell his story (he didn’t do anything!), but no one is listening. Even Trey, his lighter-skinned older brother asked, “What did you do?” Donte knows who the real culprit is…and needs to find a way to get revenge.

But revenge isn’t the easiest thing for Donte. He’ll have to train, become an athlete, and keep his cool. Good thing there’s someone in town who can help – a former Olympian fencer who works at the Boys and Girls Club. Learning to fence could be the way Donte gets back at everyone…and finds himself.

This is a perfect middle grade novel and a needed voice for all of us.

Up Next…

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead (due April, 2020)

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Book PREview: All of a Sudden and Forever by Chris Barton

I was reading some new Net Galley titles tonight, and I came across Chris Barton’s upcoming, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing (due February 2020). I felt compelled to write, since the Oklahoma City bombing happened while I was in labor with my second daughter. I remember watching the news story unfold between ice chips and contractions almost 25 years ago; now this book captures the day to be remembered in a creative picture book.

This book is a lovely way to honor those affected by the events of April 19,1995. These words by Barton are perfect (especially repeating “not all at once,” to reinforce that healing takes time) and Nicole Xu’s faceless-and-yet-totally-descriptive characters add so much to the story of the Survivor Tree. I hope every child gets a chance to read this book and learn more about how to take care of each other in this world, especially after tragedy.

Add this book to your preorder list now. Share the story. Feel the love.

IMWAYR: Post-NCTE Reading

I’ve been reading articles and posts from the attendees of #NCTE19 and my mind is full of thoughts, reflections, and joy. I’ve also read…

Clean Getaway, by Nic Stone (due to publish January 7, 2020).

I just love Scoob and his G’ma! This duo take off in G’ma’s Winnebago (she sold her house!) and travel to places in G’Pop’s old Green Book that G’ma was never allowed to go to. Scoob’s on punishment for a school “issue” and left his phone on the table when he left home (on purpose?) so Dad won’t be able to ask questions, and G’ma’s got some secrets of her own. You’re going to want to read this adventure story with a purpose. Preorder it now.

I’m currently reading…

Jackpot, by Nic Stone.

I haven’t actually started this one yet, but I love Nic Stone’s books, and I’m sure this one will be fabulous, too. I was going to start it tonight, but I got sidetracked by…

the loss of Andrew Clements. RIP, Mr. Clements. Thank you for keeping me reading as a child and as an adult teacher. Frindle and Lunch Money were read-aloud favorites in 5th grade. I’m so sad. I’ll be rereading these two titles this week to remember a great writer.

 

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Gifts

I’m spending this week with books I received as gifts and giveaways. Thank you to Kathy at The Brain Lair Bookstore and Jennifer LaGarde, librarian extraordinarie. I appreciate your generosity!

I finished Stargazing by Jen Wang (see my review from yesterday) and Thirteen Doorways: Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby (audio on Libro.fm).

This week I have The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King and Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill by Heather L. Montgomery. The title is the best, don’t you think? It’s my nonfiction fix — I haven’t read nonfiction for a while.

Next week I travel to NCTE’s Annual Conference, so I’m not sure what I’ll read next. I look forward to seeing many of my literacy friends again.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

Book Review: Stargazing by Jen Wang

“Moon is everything Christine isn’t.” The back cover describes this new middle grade graphic novel to a tee. When you’re young, you naturally compare yourself to the people around you, and that’s exactly what happens in this book. Christine is reluctant to meet Moon, the new girl across the street. Their parents get along and want the kids to be friends, but Moon is sort of…different…okay, weird. At school, Moon is known as “the girl who fights” – a rumor started after people ask where she came from, what is she doing here?

Soon enough, though, Christine becomes friends with Moon. As neighbors, they start with the convenience of being the same age and sharing Chinese food and culture. Moon’s interesting and fun; she loves dancing to K-Pop music and is a talented artist. The girls spend lots of time together and Christine feels like a new person around Moon – not the stuffy “do-your-homework-and-get-all-As” student of the past. But hanging around with Moon also leads to other observations, starting with stargazing. Moon says she belongs among the stars, and sees celestial beings telling her that she isn’t from Earth. (Well, that’s…interesting.)

Christine also notices that Moon sometimes “spaces out,” and this leads to events at school and at a birthday party that may be dangerous for the friendship, and for Moon’s well-being. When Moon gets into another fight, her world changes drastically. Now the fun-loving, dancing, happy Moon is not. Can Christine be the friend that Moon needs, or will the friendship end in disaster?

Why I Loved This Book: I loved Stargazing because this story is parallel to any young person’s life in school and with friends. Feeling (and being) weird, insecure, and out of this world are issues everyone faces at one point or another, and Christine and Moon’s stories are not unlike our own.

Why You Should Read Stargazing: This is an important book about friendships, families, and life issues. It’s also an easy-to-share graphic novel that friends and families can read together. Christine and Moon will help you to understand life better and hope for more dancing days to come.

My rating: ****

Recommended for ages 8 and up. Published by First Second, 2019.