Category Archives: strong characters

Waiting for Normal

When Addie and Mommers move into a lonely trailer across from a parking lot filled with potholes and a minimart gas station, Mommers is less than thrilled, but Addie makes the best of it. In fact, Addie does almost everything, … Continue reading

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The Nest

The Nest is a haunting and surreal book about a boy named Steve whose newborn brother is born with a host of medical problems that require surgeries and hospitalizations. Through Steve’s dreams and his conversations with the knife man, we see … Continue reading

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Rain Reign

Rose lives with her dad and her dog, Rain, and goes to a school where no one is as interested in homonyms as she is. She also likes rules and prime numbers and Uncle Weldon, who drives her to school … Continue reading

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The Birchbark House

When I was a child, I read The Little House books, mostly because many raved about how good they were. My sister’s read them. I got through them all. Louise Erdrich has outdone them, though, with The Birchbark House, the story of Omakayas, an Ojibwa girl, as … Continue reading

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Slog’s Dad

Slog’s Dad, written by David Almond and illustrated by Dave McKean, is a fascinating story about a boy, Slog, who believes the man on the bench is his dad. Nevermind that his dad died. Or that the man looks nothing … Continue reading

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Counting By 7s

What makes a home? Is it a sister? Parents? A brother? A backyard filled with plants, plants you love? This is what I thought about as I read Holly Goldberg Sloan‘s Counting By 7s, a beautifully, thoughtfully written book about twelve-year-old … Continue reading

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Home of the Brave

Home of the Brave, a novel-in-verse by Katherine Applegate, is a moving story about Kek, who as a refugee from Sudan who as seen atrocities never loses hope of seeing his mother again. This story has an authentic and perceptive voice, beautiful language and … Continue reading

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A Corner of the Universe

Set in the 1960s, A Corner of the Universe is a favourite of my eleven-year-old daughter, so of course, I had to read it (ordered to, actually). I love the 1960s, and if you do too, be aware that this isn’t about Civil … Continue reading

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The Thing About Luck

The National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature in 2013 was The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. She also wrote the 2005 Newbery winner Kira, Kira. Summer is in the midst of her unluckiest year ever when her parents have … Continue reading

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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

There is a soft spot in my heart for squirrels and their stories. Kate DiCamillo has created  an important book about a superhero squirrel whose best weapon is poetry. As Dr. Meecham says, “Take this squirrel, for instance. Ulysses. Do … Continue reading

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