Choosing read alouds…

I am looking for new chapter read alouds for the beginning of the year.  I am searching for a book we can read in a week.  I am looking for a book that will remind my newly minted third graders of the joys of reading and of what they can do.  I know some of them have read off and on over the summer and some of them have not.

I grew up in a lake town.  All winter long we skated and went sledding.  When May came, we waited for the ice to go out.  We waited for the first few warm days and then we’d ride to the town wharf for the first icy plunge.  I remember standing there toes curled over the edge, arm arched above my head readying myself for the first deep dive – a little question niggling at the back of my mind, “after all the days, all these months, will I remember how…” Push.  Splash.  Gasp.  Yes!  I am looking for the perfect book to dive in together.  We’ll go deep and swim back to the surface with the exhilarated feeling of our new reading year begun.

The books should be fun, full adventure, conjure questions and beg us to explore. They should be new to most, if not all, of the readers in our class. And they should open the door to the world of reading for all.

8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel [Divided By] 1 Dog = ChaosSo far I am considering 8 Class Pets +1 Squirrel÷1Dog=CHAOS by Vivian Vande Velde.  In it Twitch, the squirrel, lives outside a school.  He begins the story by explaining how much fun he has on the jungle gyms people leave in their yards for him often centered around a snack bar.  While he’s telling about this new “spinney disc” he loses track of time.  He stays out too late and gets chased away by a swooping owl.  To escape the owl, Twitch unfortunately scampers across a dog’s nose.  The dog takes up the chase.  Twitch is desperate to escape he runs into the first place he finds – the open door of the neighboring school.  The dog runs in too, just as the custodian puts the ladder away, shuts the door and leaves for the night.  Twitch and the dog are locked in and the chase is still on.  The classroom pets of the schoolrooms where the action is taking place, tells how the chase is progressing in each chapter – there are eight.  It’s really great fun – and both nothing you and imagine, and everything you can predict at the same time.  The class will be laughing and shaking their heads in surprise as we reach the end.  That’s why I think that might be a good choice.

 

Emily's FortuneEmily’s Fortune by Phyllis Naylor Reynolds might also be a good choice.  In it Emily, age eight, suddenly finds herself alone save for her turtle Rufus.  Emily’s mother had worked for wealthy, Miss Luella Nash.  Unfortunately, an untimely carriage accident had left her an orphan.  Her neighbors, Mrs. Ready, Mrs. Aim and Mrs. Fire had tried to help.   Emily had an aunt by marriage – her father’s sister in-law and she had an uncle – her mother’s brother.  Emily didn’t know either of them well, but her memory of Aunt Hilda’ was warm and kind, while her memory of Uncle Victor frightful and fearsome.   The neighbor ladies had asked questions, offered advice and in the end had suggested that she go to live with her Aunt Hilda in Redbud.  To get there Emily would have to go on a train to Trumpet Junction and from there catch a stage coach the rest of the way.  She would be alone – could she do it?  Just that would be hard enough, but that is not all Emily has to deal with.  She has to keep out of the clutches of Catchum Child- Catching Services.  She has to hide from those who would like to kidnap her and from her fierce uncle who has recently become interested in what she can do for him.  This book is suspenseful with just the right amount of surprising twists to keep the story moving.  The characters are interesting – the kind of people you’d like to spend time with and the writing is fun.  You’ll read right up to the end before you discover “what in blinkin’ bloomers Emily is going to do.”

Marty McGuire

White Fur FlyingFrom there I could choose Marty McGuire or White Fur Flying and then I bet we’ll be ready to sink our teeth into a more complex read aloud that really gets us thinking – The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop, The Vengekeep Prophecies, The Golden Door…  What would you suggest?  What read aloud do you remember most?

Chained

Chainedby Lynne Kelly

242 pages of exploring many different ideas of what it means to be imprisoned and then freed

I had a hard time getting into Chained – people taking advantage of others, people being cruel to others and to animals twined around Hastin, the teller of the story.  Hastin is kind, dedicated, honorable and true and so I struggled to keep reading when is seemed as though everything in his world was conspiring against him.  I am exceptionally glad I did keep reading.  I can name Chained as the best book I have read this summer.

Why, because at the beginning of the story Hastin was kind, dedicated, honorable and true, as well as being innocent and inexperienced.  At the end of the book Hastin had managed to stay true to himself though no one would ever claim him to be innocent or inexperienced again.  “Baba (Hastin’s father) said that a story is no good if you hear one the ending.  You have to know how you got there.  I still cannot say I will ever be thankful for much of what has happened to me, but everything I’ve ever done has brought me here.”  The truth of that statement strikes me.  Chained is full of richly diverse characters who give readers a remarkable opportunity to examine choices and consequences and the power of relationships as they lead you to “here”.

Hastin, Chandra and Amma are poor.  They are able to get by until Chandra is bitten by a mosquito that gives her a disease that can only be treated by medicine and a hospital.  To receive this treatment the family must borrow money.  Desperate to save her daughter, Amma, Hastin’s mother makes an arrangement with a wealthy merchant.  He will pay for Chandra’s care, if Amma will come a work for him as housekeeper and cook.  When Hastin visits her in the town he sees she has been beaten and is kept in a shack.  Hastin begins to look for work to find a way to free his mother from this place and he meets Timir.  Looking to restart his circus, Timir promises Hastin adventure if he is not afraid of work.  Of course he is not and when Timir agrees to settle Amma’s debt in exchange for one year of work caring for the elephant.  Arrangements are made, and before Hastin knows whether Chandra has survived, he is whisked off into the forest and the circus.  Hastin quickly learns that Timir is not the benevolent soul he appeared to be – he is cruel, vicious and dishonest.  He has no intention of ever releasing Hastin from his service. No matter what agreement had been made, Hastin has no hope of returning home.

It is through this hardship that Hastin learns more of who he is and how he want to be.  Nandita, the elephant, and NeMin, the ancient cook, become Hastin’s new family.  It is from their wisdom and example that he learns to avoid the pitfalls of desperation and despair.  Their examples allow him to stay committed to living an honorable life, never making choices leading to regret.  Hastin remains as strong as a stone, as steadfast as an elephant and as bight as a candle.  If we could all be a bit like Hastin, what an amazing world we would find ourselves in.

I can’t wait to share this book with a group of students.  I can’t wait to find out how they feel and what they will react to.  So many favorite images and characters that will stay with me always.  A powerfully thoughtful book!

 

Destiny Rewritten

Destiny, Rewrittenby Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Des-tin-y: (noun) The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.

Who do you think has control of your destiny?  Does it depend on your choices or is it already set?  Should you wait for it to happen, or should you help it along?

If you are Emily Elizabeth Davis you believe that you make what happens in your life.  If your Emily’s mother you believe that what happens is supposed to happen in its own time, unfolding when it is ready.  She says you can’t rush your destiny but Emily has other ideas.  She has some things she’s been waiting to discover for a long time – like who her dad is – and she thinks the time is now.

The day before Emily was born, her mom discovered a first edition Complete Works of Emily Dickinson in a book store followed by a gleam of light.  Emily’s mom chose her name in that moment and wrote then and there: Emily Dickinson is one of the great poets.  The same will be said of you one day.  From that day on, Emily’s mom has marked down all of her important life events by the poem that seems most fitting.  Next to “Angels, in the early morning”Emily’s birth is recorded.  Beside “We should not mind so small a flower” the celebration of her first word.  “I’ll tell you how the Sun rose” commemorates her first steps.  Her book with that first inscription has been with her all her life, but Emily doesn’t really like poetry.  Emily wonders how a person who is destined to be a poet can not understand them so completely.  By accident Emily’s book is given to Goodwill.  An upsetting turn of events.  Her mother says it was for a reason, but, rather than accept that fate, Emily takes action.  Through that action she realizes how much she has and does, shares and desires.  There is something to be said for organized predictability AND there is something to be said for mysterious unfoldings.  Can a life be guided by both?

I love Emily, her family and friends.  Emily is a collector of happy endings.  She loves romance novels because of this and writes frequently to Danielle Steel asking her advice in all things.  (Emily is sure Danielle Steel has some of the best endings) Mortie, Emily’s 8-year old cousin, knows he is destined for a life in the military. He only has 3,752 days until he turns eighteen and can join the Army.  He’s an expert on recon and spy stuff.  Wavey, Emily’s best friend is an excellent student.  She takes pride in doing her best and achieving all she can.  She is committed to making our world a better place – she is the secretary of the Berkeley Middle School Pick Up Trash in Your Neighborhood CLub and is working to write a 32-page paper on the many reuses of packing peanuts.  Celia Ann, another classmate, is a poet and everything she does and sees calls a poem to mind.  Quirky? – maybe, but deliciously so.  The characters blend and weave together creating a story that is happy, sad, thoughtful and surprising.  Sometimes it is good to just let life happen, but sometimes it is better to make a choice and set a new path in motion.

Destiny Rewritten is a book to be read, reread, and pondered. Words like: ‘You can only do what you can do.  You’re one person, but you make a difference by doing these small things.’

and passages  like:

” The only way the army would approve that kind of strategy is if the clouds didn’t rain every once in a while and instead did something unexpected to confuse the ocean.  That would be an excellent strategy because the ocean would be expecting the clouds to rain, so this would throw everything off.”

“I never though of it like that.”

“That’s because you’re not the one joining the army.

I studied the post, trying to see if like he did.  “You think this strategy could work for other things too, like maybe – I don’t know – people?”

Mortie squinted at the ceiling and nodded.  “Affirmative.”

are worth considering.  Destiny Rewritten is a flash and a sparkle – a gem to be savored.

 

 

Fly Away

Flyawayby Lucy Christopher

a great middle grade read – you won’t be sorry you read it!

The special thing between Isla and her dad is birds.  Isla feels free in the wind and the wild.  She feels unsettled and shy at school – especially now that her only friend has moved away.  Seeing the birds soar free is like a balm to her.

Isla and her dad rise early in the morning to watch the swans return to the nearby wetlands preserve, marking the start of winter. Her dad began this tradition with him mom when the swans landed at their farm.  Too many people and houses have changed where the swans winter.  But their awesome beauty and strength is a wonder to see.  As far back as she can remember Isla and her dad have looked for the swans every year.  This one is different though.  Tragedy.  As they watch, the newly constructed power lines injure the front swans.  The lines haven’t been marked properly and the birds can’t see them.   Some plummet to the ground, others are driven away flying in chaos and confusion.  Isla and her dad try to follow them to see where the flock goes.  Isla notices that one young female seems disoriented.  Does she get left behind by those swans able to change direction and avoid the wires?  Isla and her dad lose the birds before their questions can be answered.

The next weekend, they go out again and try to find the swans.  Running across the fields to the preserve Isla’s dad has a heart attack. Instantly the swans are forgotten.  Isla, frightened beyond belief, manages to call for help and get her dad to the hospital. His heart is weak and it is touch-and-go for him as he waits for an operation.

While at the hospital, Isla meets Harry.  About her age, Harry has leukemia, and is waiting for a bone marrow transplant. From his window they can see a small lake and it looks like there’s a swan on it.  Swans don’t fly alone and Isla thinks she might be the one that got separated from the flock the day the whoopers arrived at the preserve. She goes out to see.  Amazingly the swan is not afraid of Isla. While Harry watches, the swan imitate Isla’s behavior, running as she runs, wings outstretched as Isla reaches out with her arms.  The swan doesn’t seem to know how to fly back to her flock.

Here’s where it all comes together – saving a swan, saving a dad, saving a friend – each in dire circumstances.  Because of an art project, Isla works with her grandfather to construct a set of swan wings large enough to wear.  They intricately simulate the movement of wing and feather.  Isla determines to use them to guide her swan back to her flock.  She believes that if she can help the swan then her much adored father will live and Harry, her friend – perhaps even more – will finally beat cancer.  So much rests on her wings – and Isla’s ability to make it all happen fast enough, before the unthinkable happens.

Fly Away is a complex, beautifully written story full of the questions and anxieties of life.  The way each piece of the story is woven together creates a respectful view of life, while offering a glimmer of magic and hope.  Isla’s interests, dedication, family and friends soar through the pages of this book.  When you finish it you’ll feel light and full at the same time.

 

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

A Crooked Kind of Perfectby Linda Urban

211 pages for intermediate and middle grade readers hoping to discover what “perfect” means with family and friends

Four years ago Lyndsey and Josie said I should read A Crooked Kind of Perfect.  Their recommendation is what kept this book on my mind and finally it came to the top of my pile.  I am so glad it did.  A Crooked Kind of Perfect is a soft reminder that marvelous things happen if you stop to take notice.  Nothing is perfect.  Everything has its own unique quirks that can be seen as gifts or embarrassments – each one of us has to decide how to view them.

Zoe Elias is meant for great things.  She dreams of playing like Horowitz at Carnegie Hall.  In her mind’s eye everything it elegant and beautiful – long gowns, tiaras, clapping and smooth flowing music as she makes the piano sing for her adoring audience.  Zoe Elias is meant for great things, but sometimes things don’t work out quite as planned.

Zoe’s dad was supposed to buy her a piano, but instead he came home with Prefectone D-60.  It’s an organ – nothing like the graceful piano she should be playing – but it does come with six month of free lessons from Mabelline Person (pronounced Per-saaahn).  So while Zoe’s mom is working and Zoe’s dad is completing, yet another, correspondence course, Zoe moves through the lessons in the Prefectone D-60 lesson book.  She plays tv show jingles and hits of the seventies.  She learns that socks aren’t cool and that Wheeler Diggs isn’t exactly the kid she thinks he is at school.  Zoe gets pretty good and Mabelline Person suggests that she compete in the Perform-O-Rama organ competition.

Sometimes life is what we expect. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes the unexpected is better. Sometimes it’s not.   Zoe is on a crooked path discovering perfect.  Read A Crooked Kind of Perfect to find out how it works out.  It’s not what you expect and you’ll be glad.

Take Me to the River

Take Me to the Riverby Will Hobbs

184 pages of suspenseful whitewater adventure, fast paced and flowing with excitement for intermediate and middle readers

Dylan has packed his bag.  At fourteen he’s flying from to Asheville, North Carolina to Alpine, Texas and then taking a bus to Terlingua Ghost Town.  His long lost uncle and cousin live there. Dylan’s never met them before and he’s looking forward to his first chance.  His uncle leads wilderness adventure trips.  Dylan’s been to camp and learned about canoeing, rafting and white water, but this is his first trip out west to give some serious rapids a try.

After hours of grueling travel Dylan arrived at the hotel where he is supposed to meet his cousin and uncle.  They’re not there, but they’ve left a message to hitchhike 80 miles to meet at a ghost town restaurant.  Dylan has to decide:  call home and bring the trip to an end or take a chance – a big chance. He takes the chance.  Fortunately he arrives without harm but again the unexpected happens.  His uncle isn’t there.  He has suddenly been called away to Alaska.  His fifteen-year-old cousin Rio still wants to do a rafting trip.  Again Dylan has to decide:  call home and end he trip, let his mom and dad know no adult is around, or agree to a smaller canyon trip.  He agrees and sticks with his decision even after they are warned about Hurricane Dolly and even after they see suspicious Black Hawk helicopters flying up and down the river.

The first part of their trip is uneventful.  The water is calm and low.  The boys have fun getting to know each other. It kind of cool to know you know what to do in the wilderness.  It’s clear Rio has had a lot of experience, but Dylan can hold his own as well.  One night, while were setting up camp, two figures appear – man and seven-year-old boy.   Both of them are in bad shape.  The boy has red marks on his hands as if his wrists had been tied, his head is cut and his hands are scatter with cactus needles.  They claim one story, but Dylan and Rio don’t believe it is true.  They’d like to help, but something tells them to be wary.  They end up sharing some supplies and even give the strangers their tent before heading off along the river toward the Mexican border.

The predicted bad weather arrives.  Torrential rain comes, filling the river and turning their placid trip into a harrowing challenge for survival.  On top of that they come upon the strangers again.  The man is bad news – but the boy must be helped.   Only Dylan and Rio can help him, but how?  Dylan and Rio are engaged in a suspenseful struggle you’ll be racing to the end to see who comes off the river alive?  Take Me to the River is an exciting ride to the very end.  It’s full of details and description that make you want to raft the Big Bend River and explore the canyons – just not in a hurricane.  Read Take Me to the River.  You’ll be glad you did.

PIE

Pieby Sarah Weeks

This is a book that makes you smile inside when you discover the secret ingredient.

It matters – I hope you’ll read to find out why.

PIE is a fabulous story.  No matter what your favorite slice might be, you’ll find it in this book. Polly Portman has a gift for making pies.  Making pies brings her such joy that she makes them to give away.  Walk into her pie shop, simply called PIE, and you’ll be handed the most glorious treat you can imagine – flakey light crust, perfectly sweetened filling, every slice – pure happiness.

Polly Portman is nice to everyone.  Everything she does seems just right.  Known for her humble kindness and her ability to remember each person’s likes and needs, Polly she takes pleasure in making others happy.  She loves to share her gift and in return Polly is given all she needs to make the very best pies from the very best ingredients as they come into season. Alice Anderson has been helping her aunt for as long as she can remember.  Her Aunt Polly has become her best friend and that’s why her untimely death hits with such a shockwave of grief.

PIE is closed.  Aunt Polly is gone.  Nothing is right.  The will that Aunt Polly left is strange – the pie shop has been left to Reverend Flowers to do with as he pleases.  The crust recipe has been left Lardo, the cat; and the cat had been left to Alice.  This announcement launches a whole series of peculiar events through which readers get glimpses of the past and better understanding of the present.  We discover why Blueberry Awards are so important. We learn why Alice’s mother, Polly’s sister is so bitter and spiteful.   We come to understand why pies would be stolen and cats catnapped.  We are reminded of what is truly important in making pies… and in life.

PIE is a story that will make you happy – you’ll smile over and over again when you think about it even well after the book is finished.  You’ll probably find yourself opening it later to give a recipe a try.  I think my favorite might be found with Charlie Erdling’s on page 114, but I have to say I have never heard of, nor tried, Aunt Polly’s favorite on page 128.  I might have to in late summer to see what I think.  After you’ve read PIE, we’d love to know what your favorite pie is?  Is it a Portman pie, or an original.  Be sure to share your recipe if it is.

Like Bug Juice on a Burger

Like Bug Juice on a Burgerby Julie Sternberg

Try something new along with Eleanor – it’s not always easy or fun.  In fact life can be pretty disappointing at times, but you get through it.

Eleanor is off to summer camp.  Grandma Sadie has given it to her as a present.  She is going to the same camp her mom went to and loved. Eleanor was excited at first.  Her friend, Katie, had gone to a summer camp the year before.  She’d had a blast riding horses, jumping on the floating trampoline, diving, eating M&M’s… it seemed great.  Grandma Sadie even sent Eleanor a picture of her mom standing in front of a cabin with a fluffy soft sleeping bag rolled in her arms.  It was clear she was happy, and Eleanor thought she would be too.  Camp Wallumwahpuck would be an adventure.

While Eleanor gets a little nervous – who wouldn’t.  She wonders what it will be like to be so far from home.  She wonders what it will be like to miss her parents too much.  The next day when they drive to the pick up spot Eleanor watches as the seasoned campers meet each other and find out if they are bunking together.  They are happy and hugging while Eleanor is alone.  First Eleanor finds out she is in cabin “Gypsy Moth.”  Gypsy Moth?  Aren’t they ugly?  Next she meets very tall, very thin Joplin.  She’d been to camp before so that was helpful, but she has an odd way about her.

“Do you eat chocolate?”

“Sure,” I said.

I waited for her to offer me some.

Because why else would she have asked?

But instead she said,

“Good.

A girl in my cabin last year said it gave her a rash.

I never liked her.”

“Oh,” I said.

We were quiet for a second.

I wondered what the girl’s rash looked like.

Each beginning after that starts badly – falling over a tree root while on the way to the cabin and scraping her hands and knees, having to make up a top bunk, being in a cabin with five other girls who are already friends, not passing the swimming test and discovering that the only thing she likes at the dining hall is salad (minus the tomatoes) and rolls (two’s the limit).  Every new thing is not quite what Eleanor expects even the fruit punch has a disgusting name that makes it undrinkable.  Bug Juice?  Who’d want to drink that?  All Eleanor wants it have one of her dad’s juicy burgers with ketchup, but nothing at Camp Wallumwahpuck is like that.

Everything is like Bug Juice on a burger and Eleanor just wishes to go home.  She sticks it out and you’ll be glad she did.  She makes it all way until pick up day when she can show her parents all the places she has been and the things she has done.  There’s not a reader who won’t related to Eleanor’s struggles and disappointments.  Her concerns and fears are eloquently real – she puts words to thing most of us only think.  Her accomplishments from large to small will be celebrated and cheered.

C.S. Lewis said, “We read to find ourselves.”  Like Bug Juice on a Burger is a great example of that.  Eleanor is a wonderful book friend to have.  This is a perfect companion to Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie.  I hope to read more about Eleanor soon.

Never Say Die

Never Say Dieby Will Hobbs

for middle grade readers with a love for adventure and the outdoors – Alaska in particular

Never Say Die opens with a grolar bear attack.  Neither you nor I would have made it, but the savvy hunter, aware of the ways of bears in the tundra does.  Nick Trasher is Inuit – in his blood he’s only half; in his outlook he’s full.  Nick’s grandfather, Jonah, is the most important influence in Nick’s life.  They have spent fifteen years in the wilderness together.  Jonah has taught him the old ways, as well as the new adapted ways using up-to-date tools for hunting and fishing and gathering.  That is the only way to maintain family in the Arctic – and Nick means to stay.  Nick understands the balance that must exist between the hunter and his environment in order for all to survive.  That way of life is changing, however.  The environment is changing.  The effects of global warming are evident all around them – ice is less, herds are smaller and animals that would never be sited are frequently.  Jonah, and Nick through him, isn’t totally sure he approves of the work of the environmental biologists and scientists as they track animals to understand changes.  Nick thinks, “Just ask the hunters – ask the old hunters – they know all there is to know.”   Life is changing one way or another in Inuvik and Nick wonders what his future will bring.

Right now Jonah is struggling with a cancer that will soon claim his life.  That change is sure for Nick and he is making the most of every moment. Then comes the second change. Nick is invited by his older half-brother Ryan to take a raft trip up the Firth River in search of the caribou herds. Ryan is a professional photographer.  He is working with many scientists and wants to write an article on the effects of climate change on caribou, their migration and numbers. It is the brothers’ first opportunity to get to know each other.  They’ve been raised by their moms and know little of their dad.

Nick hesitates to leave, but Jonah urges him on. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity- one that Jonah wishes he had been able to share with Nick himself.  He tells Nick to go and says he will surely wait to hear Nick’s stories of the trip before he “lets the bear and wolf enter the town.” Nick decides to join his brother and promises to bring back all the stories he can of his trip, the land and especially, the caribou.

Full of uncertainty at his leaving, Nick draws hope from the school motto, “Never Say Die.”  – meaning:  always think, always survive.  It is a motto he will think of often over the coming days because on the first day of the trip the raft flips over and Nick and Ryan are separated on opposite shores. Now they must find each other and survive in a brutal environment with limited supplies. Never Say Die is a survival story to say the least, but it is also the story of brothers who learn from each other, come to understand their differences and grow in respect of each other. They form a bridge between old way and new way through understanding and respect.

Never Say Die is an amazing journey both for what you learn about the land, and for what you learn about the ways people of different backgrounds and outlooks can come together for a common good.  Having finished this, I am off to read all the Will Hobbs’ books I can find.  If I enjoy them half as much, I’ll be pleased.  I appreciate having another author to recommend to realistic fiction, with a fast pace readers.

The Thing About Georgie

The Thing About Georgieby Lisa Graff

A while ago I wrote a post about a collection of books that shared what I thought of as “typical” kids.  At that time I lamented that it was challenging to find boys portrayed as they are – rather than super goofy or foolish or afraid.  I know that it’s great to be able to laugh at yourself, but sometimes it would be nice to just be.  A comment on that post led me to A Thing about Georgie.

The thing about Georgie Bishop is that he is a dwarf.  He’s in fourth grade.  His best friend, might not be his best friend anymore and because of that he has to partner up with his worst enemy for the president project.  Not only does he have to work with Jeanie the Meanie, his mom is going to have a baby – one that will grow up to be taller than Georgie and be able to do all the things it is impossible for Georgie to do.

Georgie’s mom and dad play in the symphony.  Before Georgie was born they had painted his room with a poem they had composed ending with:  “Everyone is waiting for you –  Only you complete our song.”  Until now Georgie had read that poem as a sign of their love.  With the new baby coming Georgie began to see what a disappointment he was – he couldn’t play an instrument – he could reach and he never would, but the new baby would.  With this sad and angry thought Georgie can’t seem to do anything right – ordinarily he’d ask for help, and share his concerns.  But how can he share your darkest thoughts and secrets.  Georgie doesn’t and so he becomes sadder, angrier and more alone until he finds himself lost with his ex-best friend’s grandmother and his enemy partner – and he so short he can’t reach the coin slot of the pay phone has to be the one to undo the mess.

You’ll learn about yourself as you read about Georgie.  He’s different, but he’s also exactly the same.   We all have some good and some bad and some in between.  Yes, Georgie Bishop is a dwarf, but that’s not the only thing!

This is another Lisa Graff (her first) book that you’ll be glad you read!  Click here to find out about Lisa, her books and the recipes that come from them.  I love how this book talks to you and shares information along with the story so you can better understand some of the things Georgie has to deal with.  Things we don’t even think about that he has to all the time.  So what is the thing about you?