Happy book birthday to these middle grade books making their rounds through our reviewers!
Thank you to @kidlitexchange for providing the review copies of these books. All opinions are our own.
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Debbie Levy
(January 8th 2019 ~ Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Photo and Review by Laura G. ~ originally on Instagram @librarianmsg
This is one of the very best nonfiction books in verse I have ever read. The combination of Jo Ann Allen Boyce’s searing first person account of her experience integrating Clinton High School in TN with @debbielevybooks skill as a poet is just phenomenal. Interspersed in the text are quotes from news articles and TV reports from the time period (1956). End notes explain the many different types of poems included in the text—I can definitely see this book as a mentor text in a poetry unit. I will also be purchasing and recommending this book for use by our 8th grade SS teachers during their civil rights unit. Students read Warriors Don’t Cry; this will be an excellent accompanying text.
The Clinton 12 integrated a year before the Little Rock 9, but their story has faded from the collective memory. Levy explains that is likely because the Clinton 12 event was more nuanced with a principal and mayor who were following the law (Brown v Board), albeit reluctantly. An extensive bibliography, sources for quotes and extensive notes about each of the Clinton 12 are included at the end. This is a first-rate nonfiction book about an important event in American history that shouldn’t be forgotten! I’m so glad I got a chance to read it. Jo Ann’s story is inspirational and important. Her courage in the face of outright racism and injustice is incredible.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
(January 8th 2019 ~ Henry Holt)
Photo and Review by Kim O. ~ originally on Instagram @whatkreads
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise will release 1.8.19 and needs to be at the very top of your must read list at the start of the new year!!! 🔸
This middle grade story follows Coyote and Rodeo, a daughter / father duo who drive and live in an old school bus better known as Yager. Upon first impressions, people might be leery of their hippie vibes, but those opinions change the moment someone sees the honesty in Rodeo’s eyes and the overall kindness that surrounds the two. You’d never imagine that both are broken and struggling with deep grief. It’s been five years since the accident that took the lives of a mom/wife and two sisters/daughters. From that moment on they’ve been running from reality, traveling the country and never speaking of the past. All of that changes when Coyote finds out that a park is being demolished in her old hometown. A park where she buried a memory box with her loved ones just days before their accident. A box full of memories and a promise to return for it. 🔸
Oh this book!!!! The story, the lessons and the characters will stick with me for a very long time. I laughed, I cried, I laughed harder and I was absolutely crushed. First off, Gemeinhart’s writing style is so warm and realistic. The descriptions are perfect, making it easy to picture every little detail. I will forever grin when I see a watermelon slurpee from now on! The characters are so special and just a well rounded group. Along their journey, they unexpectedly pick up a cat, five extra people and the best goat in the world!!! All need help in one way or another and all play a significant part as the story progresses. This book teaches you about grief, depression, never being too quick to judge a person and most importantly how important it is to speak up for yourself. It contains so many wonderful quotes and helpful insights.🔸 This is a five star read, a must buy and a book that will be highly talked about this year. Definitely don’t miss this one. It’s simply middle grade fiction at its best!!
1919: A Year that Changed America by Martin W. Sandler
(January 8th 2019 ~ Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Photo and Review by Julie O. ~ originally on Instagram @mrsoslibrary
History enthusiasts will enjoy this book. Author Martin W. Sandler explains how multiple events in the year 1919 changed the course of the United States. Immigration, Prohibition, Women’s Suffrage, the Red Summer, the first Red Scare, labor strikes, and the repeal of Prohibition are all described, alongside stories of the Molasses Flood, the Black Sox Scandal, and other interesting stories. There is a timeline at the end of each chapter and a couple of related stories or background information included in each chapter. Includes sources and further reading suggestions and the final copy will include an index. It can be used as a reference or read cover to cover. I will be purchasing this for my library.
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