Thursday, December 19, 2019

Middle Grade Reading

As the holiday busy-ness kicks in, I've kind of been reading a bit more YA.  Again, that's not a hardship since I love YA literature.  These three have all been winners.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee- is set in the South during the turn of the 19th century. Jo works as a lady's maid for the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in Atlanta, but at night she writes the Dear Sweetie advice column, using a pseudonym so no one knows her identity.  Her column is hugely popular and angers a few when she takes on heavy issues like race and gender.  This novel has a few surprises and twists in it that I wasn't entirely expecting and I thoroughly enjoyed the setting and time period which in which it was set.

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin - I loved Benjamin's firs book The Thing About Jellyfish and Paulie Fink proved to be a fantastic sophomore novel. When Caitlyn moves to rural Mitchell, Vermont, her new class is small and a little unique.  And they can't stop talking about Paulie Fink, a student who had been with them for just a few brief years, but who left a permanent mark. Caitlyn hears about the many hijinks attributed to Paulie and sets about investigating what happened to him, and who he was to the class.  This story is told in multiple formats: interviews, various narrators, and documents which all help readers (and Caitlyn) understand Paulie a bit better.

Good Enough by Jen Petro-Roy - I've read YA books about eating disorders, but I don't think I've read anything geared toward a middle grade audience.  Petro-Roy's book is somewhat autobiographical, something she shares in the author's note at the book's end. Riley is suffering from anorexia, an eating disorder, which she is receiving treatment for in a facility.  While there she learns some excellent coping skills and realizes she has a lot to look forward to.
I loved this story- the advice shared is good for readers of any age- and I couldn't help but root for Riley.  I'm thinking there will be many middle school girls who will enjoy this book a lot.

I'm not in danger of running out of books any time soon, and there is a huge stack I am planning on taking home from school during break.  We don't have big plans for the holidays so there should be a little time to read.  

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