When school ended in June I packed up a crate (or two) full of books and had such good intentions. This was the year I was going to read books I took home from school and have a new group of books to book talk.
And how did that go for me? Well, about like every other summer. I have read book after book - until my eyelids had to be propped open late at night a time or two - but I didn't get many read from the stash I brought home.
Yes, I had good intentions. And every single book I selected is still one I think I would enjoy reading. What gets in the way are all the adult books I want to read. All the great beach books just calling my name.
So, since school is starting up soon, I figured I should at least make a half-hearted attempt to get a few of the books read that I brought home.
Yesterday I started with Ava and Pip by Carol Weston. And I loved it. It is a good book. I don't love the cover which I feel will appeal to younger kids and doesn't really take into account that Ava is in fifth grade and her sister is in seventh.
The content of the book is not too adult, but the plays on words would still be something that younger students might struggle with. Sure they could read it, but I'm not sure they would think it was funny.
Ava keeps a diary where she writes. While her sister, Pip, is quiet, an artist, Ava is a writer and talkative.
Pip struggles with making friends and has always needed more care and attention from their parents. Because of this Ava feels neglected and a bit left out. Yet, when Pip's birthday party is ruined because new student Bea throws a party on the same day Pip's party was scheduled for, Ava takes up for her sister. She even writes a story about Queen Bea that she enters into a writing contest.
Can you see where this is going? Ava's story is read by a lot of other people, and it doesn't take Bea long to realize that she is the Queen Bea that Ava has written about.
Weston does a great job with this story and making it a real learning experience for all the girls.
I can see this being a great read aloud, and in fact I've marked a few pages to spark some interest when I book talk this to my library students. Weston's Melanie Martin series is one I enjoyed a few years ago, and I hope to read more about Ava and Pip as well.