This edition of the Book Bag has several titles from our Reading Ahead collection that lived up to expectation.
Child Out of Place: A Story of New England by Patricia Q. Wall. In 1802, Matty Warren became a freed slave. Now she is telling her story to her children and grandchildren. She wants them to understand that while they were technicall free, American society was not ready to treat former slaves as equals. In fact, everyday life for black people, free or slave, was very dangerous. “[This is] top drawer. The author knows how to craft a unique and charming story and keep her reader’s attention.”
Destiny, Valor, and a Lizard Named Louie by Michael Ambrosio. This story for pre-teens has a great plot and impressive illustrations. The reader is treated to an exciting story, meets some interesting characters, and is presented with some challenging issues. “It is an excellent reading resource tool that enables the teacher/parent to help the reader develop vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.” (Lionex Publishing, 2003)
Hungry; a Novel by Alethea Eason. The Jones family of Prattsville, California, is a little different. Tey are alien agents sent to prepare for an invasion and attack earth. But Deborah Jones, a sixth grader, doesn’t remember much about her home planet. Except for the tentacles on her head, she relates better to humans. This is a humorous look at life that middle-grade readers will relate to. (HarperCollins, 2007)
Just Call Me Joe Joe by Alicia Jean Elster. Joe Joe Rawlings is ten years old. He has a dilemma: his best friend is starting to hang out more with kids who get in trouble. When he goes to the neighborhood store, the shopkeeper accuses Joe Joe of being part of the gang who trashed his store just minutes before he arrived. He is devastated and very angry. He takes his book about the Negro Baseball League and Cool Papa Bell and decides to read to calm down. The story helps Joe Joe understand his situation and find the courage to stand up for himself. This is the first book in a series about urban life and the choices kids are faced with these days. (Judson Press)
Workboats by Jan Adkins. The weather report suggested that it would be a rough day on Buzzard’s Bay; too dangerous for small boats. Skip Warr went down to the floating dock to check the moorings of the small craft. He took the Yard Boat and headed to the Narrows Café for breakfast. He noticed that Peter Farrel’s boat was missing. Even though his car was in the parking lot, no one had seen Peter. Skip grew concerned and contacted the Coast Guard, fishermen, etc. to search for Peter Farrel. Has something happened to him? Is he safe? The weather is getting worse! Our Teen STAR Reviewer at Be The Star You Are! loved this book. (Wooden Boat Publications, 2004)