TWEEN TREASURES ON SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS 8/8

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SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS 8/8/2020  THROWBACK EDITION

This was one of my favorite Cybils contenders in 2019 when I acted as a first round reader for the award. Wendy S. Swore has written a sensitive, special book about Sophie, who has a port wine birthmark that she considers “hideous,” and convinces this fairy-tale fan that she is some kind of a marked monster, that some evil fairy or evil stepmother has cast a curse on her and all those she cares for. This obsession becomes a psychological problem that dictates Sophie’s every thought and move. It is a moving, unforgettable book.

35277358  Emma Otheguy brings another 2019 publication, Silver Meadows Summer to tweens, especially artistically “gifted” young girls. Gabriella wants to be like her girlfriends, but her cousin, Carolina, who is a “country bumpkin” is staying the summer. Loyalties to friends and family are at stake.

TWEEN TREASURES

418-JybCiwL    Carolyn Macklin has written about a problem many tweens face in Not if I Can Help It,  remarriage. However, there is a twist–Willa’s father wants to marry Ruby’s (Willa’s best friend’s) mother. Both girls are heading to middle school as sixth graders, and all their friends, teachers, and even the principal think the situation is “cool.” Willa does not agree. How to handle the girls’ mutual friends and Ruby’s excited anticipation of becoming “sisters” is a bitter pill to swallow!9781250166784

All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman presents a boy’s story. Kaeda, a Japanese Canadian is in 8th grade, facing the strong possibility that he will have to repeat 8th grade in the fall, when his mother is unexpectedly killed in a car crash. Facing the unpleasant fact that he may have to live with his surly grandfather, Kaeda travels to Japan to plead with his much-older musician brother, Shoma. Kaeda has a summer to get his life on track in a challenge few boys his age must face.

UnknownMaggie “saves” little things, anchors to keep her Altzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother grounded. She refuses to let her mom or anyone throw her “treasures” away. This is a story of “loss” and “leavings”; it is a story of anxiety and hoarding in children, a real and challenging problem.

 

 

TWEEN TREASURES

41094522._SY475_  This was one of my favorite Cybils contenders in 2019 when I acted as a first round reader for the award. Wendy S. Swore has written a sensitive, special book about Sophie, who has a port wine birthmark that she considers “hideous,” and convinces this fairy-tale fan that she is some kind of a marked monster, that some evil fairy or evil stepmother has cast a curse on her and all those she cares for. This obsession becomes a psychological problem that dictates Sophie’s every thought and move. It is a moving, unforgettable book.

35277358  Emma Otheguy brings another 2019 publication, Silver Meadows Summer to tweens, especially artistically “gifted” young girls. Gabriella wants to be like her girlfriends, but her cousin, Carolina, who is a “country bumpkin” is staying the summer. Loyalties to friends and family are at stake.

TODAY’S TWEEN TREASURES

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The Humiliations of Pippi McGee by Beth Vrabel deals with every humiliation eighth grade has to offer. Several common themes appear in humorous ways: bullying, revenge, forgiveness, taking the “high road,” approaching high school, and finding one’s niche. Pippi is an unforgettable character who makes us cringe, makes us laugh, and makes us sigh, sometimes all in the same chapter.

On a more serious note,41473877  Gail Villanueva’s My Fate According to the Butterfly introduces the reader to Sab who sees a black butterfly and is convinced it is the harbinger of her imminent death. She awaits only her birthday to meet her fate. Set in the Philippines, this story is beautifully, hauntingly written.

MORE TWEEN TREASURES

35431592._SY475_      An unusual book with a tough but important topic is Lisa Bunker’s Zenobia July. It deals with a transgender protagonist, “Zen,” short for Zenobia (Who wouldn’t go by a nickname if she/he had the name Zenobia?) who  teaches others around her (and this reader) to use the pronouns “va” and “vien” rather than “she” and “them.” Zen lives in Maine with her lesbian aunts who are her legal guardians, and va meets many unusual people at her aunts free-thinking home. Va is a computer genius and a very gifted individual. As Zen seeks to find her identity, the reader is led to question the basic question of “Who am I?”  Sharing Zen’s journey is a thought-provoking, often humorous experience most middle graders will enjoy.

9780316521833    For girls whose lives are spelled B-A-S-K-E-T-B-A-L-L, Barbara Carroll Roberts’ Nikki on the Line is a must-read. A humorous look at family and the frequently assigned project of developing/drawing a family tree is the vehicle that carries 13-year-old Nikki to search for her identity, only to learn that the best advice is to “Be yourself.”

Both these books are excellent for reluctant readers as well as bookworms who adore a “darned good read.”

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

This Saturday Morning for Kids I introduce a week-long series, “Tween Treasures.” Each day from Saturday, May 16th until Saturday, May 23rd, I will recommend and write a short review of a book that appeals to ages 10-14. Many of these are books I came across in 2019 as a Cybils Award First Round Reader; others are from donations to or purchases for my Little Free Library.

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The first Tween Treasures recommendation for Saturday, May 16th is The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel. It involves a boarding school secret society where Emmy’s father supposedly disappeared when he was a student at the school and the efforts she and her friends make to solve the mystery.51cGXY5HHlL._SY346_

This was a suspenseful read even for an adult, and when it’s a kid and it’s your father that had gone missing, well, let’s just say there’s a great deal at stake. Emmy’s ingenuity and perseverance even in the face of danger made her one of my favorite protagonists in my Cybils’s Reader assignment.