Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Be sure and stop by to participate or see what others are reading and recommending this week.
What I Read This Week
The Missing Pieces of Me by Jean Van Leeuwen
Weezie is a ten year old who just cannot please her momma. No matter what she does, it is not right or it is not good enough. Her momma has kept the identity of Weezie's father from her, and Weezie thinks that if she could just find him, things would be better. Or would it?
I can see middle grade readers connecting with Weezie through her sense of adventure, her desire to be loved, and her need to find all of the pieces which make up who she really is.
Honey by Sarah Weeks
Secrets are a terrible thing to live with, especially when you live in a small town and everyone knows the secret but you. Melody's life has always been just her and her dad, and it has been a good life. One day she hears her dad on the phone call someone "Honey," and it appears that everyone in town knows about Honey - except Melody. Melody becomes determined to find out just who Honey is and in the end, finds a sweet surprise.
This was the first novel I had read by Sarah Weeks, and I see why she is so well-liked. With only 160 pages, I can see this being one of those books I book talk in the beginning of the year to jumpstart my students' reading.
How to Speak Dolphin by Ginny Rorby
This book was my favorite of the week. The author has woven autism and animal rights into a beautiful story which I think many of my students will enjoy.
Lily is the main caretaker of her little brother, Adam, who has autism. Because of this, she has few friends and little time for herself. To try and find Adam the help he needs, their dad enrolls Adam in a dolphin-assisted therapy program. While Adam participates in the program, Lily begins to see the downfall of keeping dolphins in captivity and eventually becomes pulled between finding help for her brother and giving Nori, the dolphin, her freedom.
If You're Reading This by Trent Reedy
As I was reading this book, I could hear the country songs The Boys of Fall and If You're Reading This being played at the same time. Mike is a high school student who wants to play football (against his mother's wishes) while coming to grips with the death of his father who was a soldier in Afghanistan, Through a series of letters and videos, Mike's dad gives him "life" missions and helps him understand that his own dreams are important. I really want to recommend this to my 6th graders, but I feel it is more for grades 8-10.
On My Reading Radar