This week was PARCC testing in my classroom. I pledged to read a book a day during testing and finished the first three books this week as a result.
This week I'll focus on the middle grade books. Counting Thyme is an amazing middle grade novel that follows the story of Thyme. She and her family have just journeyed across country so that her little brother, Val, can be a part of a special treatment for cancer. Thyme isn't thrilled about leaving California or her best friend behind, but wants the best for her brother.
Wish Girl was a book on my "to read" stack for an entire year. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to it, but I'm thrilled I did. Peter and his family have just moved to the middle of nowhere, Texas. His family has one volume, loud, but in the midst of all that noise, they fail to really see Peter for what he is. He escapes the noise of their house and finds a magical space outdoors where he meets a girl named Annie, a "wish" girl. Their friendship is beautiful, as is this story.
The Girl in the Well is Me follows the story of Kammie. New to town, she has been trying to fit in with the popular girls. Unfortunately, she now finds herself trapped in a well and she cannot get out. The book is told from the moment she falls in and you experience her frustration and panic as she realizes that getting out is not going to be easy. As Kammie begins to lose oxygen, she starts to hallucinate, imagining her dad, coyotes, and more are down in the well keeping her company.
The final book I wanted to talk about today was Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies. This is not necessarily a book I would gravitate towards, but it was an important one for me to read. One of my students read it and LOVED it. She gave it to me, begging me to read it. Sometimes it isn't important if a book is my kind of book. I need to read what my students recommend simply to teach them that I value their recommendations. In this case, I found a fun novel about a girl, Celeste, trying to deal with the pitfalls of middle school when you are overweight and your friend has abandoned you. I can't wait to tell Payton in my class that I finished this one this weekend. What a great reading week!