My stack of new middle grade novels never seems to get any smaller. These two new books have come my way these past few weeks and are too good not to share.
Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston - I loved Carol Weston's Melanie Martin series and I loved Ava and Pip, the first book about Ava written by Weston.
Now, Ava is back. This time she's the owner of a cat that she and her family rescued from a shelter. Just as Ava and Pip are palindromes, the new pet must also have a palindromic name. Taco Cat is the newest member of the household and although Ava loves her new pet, he doesn't want to have anything to do with his new owners.
Adding to Ava's worries are some friendship problems. Her best friend has been hanging out with a different girl in their class and Ava is feeling a little lonely. And the story she writes about her new pet end up creating more problems than anyone could imagine.
Weston's book is full of palindromes along with other wordplay, something I thoroughly enjoy. I'm excited to see where Ava's next adventure takes her.
Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith is a middle grade novel featuring two boys, Zavion and Henry who have both endured tragedy. Zavion is a black boy from New Orleans who has lost his home to Hurricane Katrina. He and his father are forced to flee when flood waters become too high, and are homeless as the city begins to rebuild after the devastation.
Henry, from Vermont, is ten years old and has recently lost his best friend Wayne in an accident.
When Henry loses the good luck marble he and Wayne passed back and forth between themselves and fears it may be in a pair of jeans that has been sent to New Orleans to help the homeless, he jumps at the chance to go to help there with Wayne's dad.
Henry and Zavion are brought together due to unfortunate circumstances, but their connection is powerful and shows the way in which life unfolds seemingly randomly, yet with real purpose.
Smith's writing is beautiful, poetic. And this middle grade novel is a great story to add to the growing collection of books centering around Hurricane Katrina.
If you're looking for something that tween students will enjoy these are both great choices.