I'm participating in a meme created by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts. I'll be reviewing both children's literature and adult literature.
MIDDLE GRADE NOVELS:
This was the tale of a pair of scout raccoons, a boy of 12 years of age, a swamp man (related to the Yeti) and a rich, young swamp owner. Young Chap (the boy) is learning to deal with the loss of his grandfather, swamp lover Audie. Chap and his mom can't afford to keep their pie business and house upon his grandfather's death and they know Sunny-Boy Beaucoup will take over the swamp unless they can show him proof of the Sugar Man, the local legend who has lived in the swamp since the beginning of time. The two raccoons, Bingo and J'Miah are involved in keeping the Sugar Man safe, especially from the pack of feral pigs that are after the sugar in the swamp. All of the tales come together in a moving climax that not only demonstrates coming-of-age, but also has undercurrents of ecological soundness.
YOUNG ADULT NOVELS:
"You don't have to ignore a lesser suffering because there's a great one out there--that's a sure route to paralysis," so says author Eliot Schrefer. Endangered is the story of Sophie, the daughter of a Congolese woman and American man, and her bonobo Otto. Sophie travels to Congo one summer from America (her parents are now separated) to visit her mother at the Bonobo Sanctuary she runs. On her way to the sanctuary, Sophie encounters an infant bonobo being paraded on a Congo street. She pays the "owner" American money and takes the bonobo to her mother. Shortly thereafter her mother leaves to release bonobos in a remote part of Congo. Sophie is left to care for Otto (the young bonobo she saved from the streets) while her mother is gone. However, war strikes and Sophie must choose between being rescued by the UN or keeping the young bonobo safe. This is a story of love, hope, and perseverance. Sophie is a character of strong-will, wittiness, and courage. She takes on the roll of parent, when her own parent is gone. You'll root for her and Otto throughout the book! This is a great story to introduce the topics of empathy and human and animal rights, and whose rights are more important.
"Knowing you still have possibilities is a luxury." Will Traynor, financial-whiz, risk-taker, traveler, was injured in an accident in which he was hit by a motorcycle. His spinal injuries resulted in paralysis from the neck down, with limited use of one arm. He became a quadriplegic. Louisa Clark, a 27 year old woman, lost her job at a local bakery and went through the unemployment agency, only to find a job taking care of someone that was unable to assist himself. So begins the six month journey of Lou and Will. They change each others' lives immeasurably. They experience anger, frustration, cattiness, fondness, and love. Lou and Will are perfect for each other, but are they enough for each other? A startling look at what it means to live life to the fullest, this book is a reminder to do something you love each day. 4.5 stars!
Hope you've read something good this week, too! Here's what I'm currently reading and what's on deck:
The Illuminated Adventures of Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
A Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner