Posted tagged ‘Middle Grade Novel’

A Great Middle-Grade Summer Read

July 6, 2017

warden 2

The year is 1959. It’s a time when American Bandstand, 45 RPM records, saddle shoes, and transistor radios are popular. The Warden’s Daughter written by the talented Jerry Spinelli takes place during this era. The story is about Cammie O’Reilly nicknamed Cannonball because of her unpredictable personality. She lives in an apartment above the county jail with her father, the warden. Her mother died in a tragic accident after saving Cammie when she was a baby — an accident that is well-known by everyone in town. The summer Cammie turns thirteen she aches more than ever to have a mother like everyone else. Cammie decides that Eloda Pupko, an inmate at the prison who takes care of her and keeps the apartment clean and running smoothly, should be that mother, but things are not as easy as Cammie thinks. Consumed with unhappiness and anger, Cammie lashes out when an unexpected event occurs, and her life begins to spiral out of control. It’s Eloda who steps in and provides the elusive motherly love and support that Cammie needs to face her inner turmoil. Jerry Spinelli weaves a story of an unhappy young girl that tugs at your emotions and keeps you turning the pages to a satisfying ending. If you have someone looking for a good book to read this summer, I recommend The Warden’s Daughter.

 

Luck

July 21, 2016

Who says I’m not lucky?

I was contemplating on what to blog about this week when I suddenly realized I had the answer in my hands all the while. I’m talking about the book I just finished reading. The Thing About Luck is a National Book Award winner written by Cynthia Kadohata, who is also a Newbery Medal winner. This middle-grade novel has diversity, a youthful crush, an intergenerational relationship, and moral dilemmas.

9781442474659

Summer, the main character in the story, is convinced that her family is stuck with bad luck. An unusual case of malaria, parents who must return to Japan to take care of relatives who are dying, worry about a mortgage that must be paid, a younger brother with challenges, and a harvest season spent with very traditional Japanese grandparents, are some of the difficult situations in which Summer finds herself. Through all this, Summer begins to understand her complicated relationship with her demanding grandmother, and she manages to find the strength she needs to help her family. Cynthia Kadohata has done a superb job of creating believable characters who are funny and endearing. Make this book your lucky pick!


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