Happy holidays StorySnoops friends! Now that the presents are unwrapped, the relatives have gone home and refrigerator is mostly back to normal, it’s time to think about 2011 being right around the corner, and as is customary, ‘tis the season for the “Best Of” lists. It was VERY hard to narrow it down, but here are the books I liked best this year:
Out of My Mind, but Sharon Draper. I was bowled over by eleven year-old Melody, who is a spitfire personality trapped in a disabled body. It was an eye-opener for me to be reminded that in spite of her physical issues, Melody wants the same things that other kids her age want: to be understood, to have friends and to be one of the crowd. A great read for the middle-grade crowd, both for entertainment’s sake and for the lessons it teaches.
Somebody Everybody Listens To, by Suzanne Supplee. For anyone who has ever had a dream of escaping a small town to try their hand at the greatness they feel destined for! Retta has dreams of being the next big country music star, and finds her way to Nashville to try to make it happen. Once she gets there, she finds the music industry harsher than she expected, and learns that in order to stand out she must imbue her music with her own style and personality. A pretty wholesome read for the teen or mature tween set, in spite of the eighteen year old main character.
Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman. I loved this fast-paced book with its fascinating premise about the ultimate form of empathy. One of the teen characters literally takes on the physical and emotional pain of those he cares about. There is some great thought-provoking material about how our behavior changes when there are no physical or emotional consequences to our actions.
Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials, by Rosalind Wiseman. Okay, I loved this book! There seemed to be sometimes subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle, teaching moments everywhere! Rosalind Wiseman is known for her favorite topics: mean girls, bullies and their enablers, and the teen social hierarchy, and this book is loaded with that material. I can’t wait for my daughter to read this one to see if she absorbs any of the material I, as a parent, liked. I’m guessing she’ll probably just enjoy the story!
Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea. I thought this was a lovely and inspirational story for the tween set. Mr. Terupt is a new teacher, tasked with a group of children who are struggling for a variety of reasons. He is able to connect with each of them in a different way before a tragic accident takes him away from the classroom. His students are forced to carry on without him for several months, while they work to conquer their personal demons with the tools he has given them. Big sigh. Happy ending.
I hope you too have had a good reading year in 2010. What did you like a lot? Or not so much? Let me know.