Every year I take home a crate of books from my school library that I plan on reading during the summer. And each summer as I head back to school I have barely read a single one. My intentions are good, but with so many beach reads coming out for the summer months, it is hard to work everything in.
I finally looked at my shelf full of school library books that is sitting at home and have decided that I am going to read one of these each week. There are lots of great books there that I am missing out on - and so are my students.
I started Week #1 of school by reading Leo and the Lesser Lion by Sandra Forrester. What a great selection to kick off my school year with!
Leo is Bayliss's older brother, much adored by everyone in their family. When Leo dies in a tragic drowning accident that Bayliss miraculously survives, she decides there must be a reason she is being given a second chance. At first, Bayliss throws herself into learning about saints and working with the nuns, thinking that this will be her calling. But, when her parents take in two young girls orphaned during the Depression, she is forced to stay home and help out there.
Bayliss is still grieving the loss of her brother and isn't any too happy about the new additions to her family. Yet, when the girls are going to be sent away to homes her father has found, Bayliss must admit her true feelings.
Forrester's novel made me wanted to cry a few times as Bayliss and her family tried to deal with Leo's death. And it also made me want to laugh a few times. This is a tween novel that I absolutely loved and want to pass on to many of my readers.