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Archive for October, 2017

Salt to the Sea

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

51p7+rEf+TL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_by Ruta Sepetys, 391 pages, Grades 8 and up


Joana, Emilia and Florian are all escaping the Russian invasion of east Prussia toward the end of World War 2. Each refugee narrates their own story and the stories weave together as their lives intertwine on their journey toward the sea. They are all hoping to secure passage on the ship, the Wilhelm Gustloff, which will take them away from the Russians, but the ship is not the safe refuge they thought it would be.


If you like reading sad stories or stories about war you might also like Sepetys’ book Between Shades of Gray, or Private Peaceful, by Michael Morpurgo, or Invasion, by Walter Dean Myers.  This book also reminds me of another written for adults and told in multiple points of view called All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

25817074by Leslie Connor, 381 pages, Grades 5-8


Perry has always lived at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility; he does attend the local public school, but the rest of the day he lives with the inmates at Blue River. This might seem like an unusual arrangement, and it is, but Perry has never known anything different. He was born while his mother was in prison, and the warden made special arrangements to allow Perry to stay with his mother. Some things about this life are not easy for Perry; he can’t invite friends over to play, he gets teased at school because his mother is a convicted inmate, but mostly Perry loves Blue River. His friends are other inmates and no one in the correctional facility teases him; they are the most supportive family he can imagine. Of course, he and his mom can’t wait until they can live on the outside; they have all kinds of plans and dreams for what that will look like one day. They are counting the days until his mom’s parole hearing, and everything seems on track, but, as Perry has learned growing up in a prison, some things are not as easy or straight-forward as they might seem.

If you enjoy realistic fiction, you might also like another book by this author called: Waiting for Normal, or if you are interested in books about unusual family situations you might also like Wild Things, by Clay Carmichael, or The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron.

The Reader

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

readerby Traci Chee, 442 pages, Grades 8 and up

Sefia and her aunt Nin have just escaped into the wilderness because her father was murdered. Aunt Nin teaches Sefia survival skills while Sefia tries to understand the object her father left in her care. It is a book, but no one in Sefia’s world knows what books are because, for the most part, they no longer exist, and neither does the art of reading. Sefia and her aunt are running from her father’s murderers, trying to stay clear of pirates and ninja assassins all while Sefia tries to teach herself to read so she can uncover the mystery of her father’s murder.


If you enjoy adventures set in fantastical locations, you might also like: Graceling, by Kristin Cashore, or Sabriel, by Garth Nix.