Friday, October 11, 2013

Recent Reads

The Demon of River Heights - My students are flying through Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels and I wanted to have more books to recommend to girls who are just diving into this genre. I wasn't that optimistic reading this first entry in the Nancy Drew: Girl Detective graphic novel series, but wanted to find out if this could be next in line for those readers. It won't be. The story was flimsy and the illustrations didn't grab me. While they updated the characters to be more modern, it didn't work for me as a series reboot. Pass.

Because I am Furniture - I've been trying to find Thalia Chaltas' novel in verse since last summer. While trying to hype up poetry reading in my classes, I found it in our school's library. It's definitely not for sixth graders, but I'm glad I finally read it. The main character, Anke, lives in a family paralyzed by her abusive father. He is physically abusive with her brother, sexually abusive with her sister, but Anke is ignored, leaving her to feel like she doesn't matter enough to mistreat. It was a really strange and interesting look at how the only member of a family that is not abused feels. A heavy read, but satisfying.

Peanut - This was another graphic novel I hoped to be able to pass along to my students. It skews just slightly too old for them, but will be perfect for some of my former students who still come back for recommendations. Imagine moving to a new school and deciding that the best way to distinguish yourself is faking a peanut allergy. A strange choice, but one that Sadie makes and has to continue to roll with, even when she learns that she doesn't need that crutch anymore. When the truth comes out, Sadie learns that something as small as a peanut can have huge consequences.

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