The Exact Location of Home
By Kate Messner
Grades 4 to 8 Realistic Fiction`
I was looking for a new book for a poverty class and I think I found it! I love Messner’s books and this one is no exception another book with a timely issue! Kirby Zigonski, Jr. —Zig for short is in eighth grade, is science nerd, gets picked on at school, has an absent father who makes a lot of promises that he doesn’t keep and a mom who is tries to keep it all together.
Zig’s closest friends are Giannna and Ruby—they share everything and do everything together—they love to go to garage sales and their latest find was a GPS that takes them on some wild geocaching adventures. Zig believes the messages are being hidden by his father and will go to great lengths to find messages; especially as they lose their apartment—and as he struggles to hang on to the hope that his dad is going to save them from homelessness. Zig now is ashamed and has a secret that he goes to great lengths to hide from everyone. Travel along and see how homelessness, hunger effect every part of Zig’s life and he finds out the true meaning of home.
Based on the original book by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Press, 2017.
Grade 6 and Up Graphic Novel
This is a story of an eleven year old Afghanistan girl, Parvana who decides to take action when her father is taken to prison for teaching and having “illegal” books in the home. Parvana needs to take action but because she is a girl she has no rights—she must cover herself, cannot be out alone, cannot earn money. So she takes matter into her own hands—she cuts her hair, dresses as a boy and takes on a boy’s name. She brings money home for her family and tries to get her father out of jail but then civil war once again breaks out. This a beautifully illustrated graphic novel of a story that needs to be told so that women everywhere no longer have their human rights violated.
Author website: http://deborahellis.com/
The Breadwinner Trailer: https://youtu.be/yQBQw-Bh1pg
By Jason Reynolds
A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book, 2016.
I enjoyed Ghost—it was a fast paced story about a junior high boy, named Castle Crenshaw who gave himself the nickname, Ghost. His mom is a nurse’s aide who is taking online courses to become an RN is his only true support. His dad, a mean alcoholic, who pulls a gun on him and his mom is now in jail. Ghost is traumatized and angry about his dad—that anger is what often gets him in trouble—big trouble at school. One day he stumbles upon a coach and a group of kids running and knows that he can beat them all—when he challenges them—the coach sees something redeeming in Ghost and encourages him to join the Defenders Track Team; with conditions—keep up grades and no school troubles. Unfortunately, trouble seems to follow Ghost. Can Ghost overcome his past to make something of his future? Don’t miss this great read by Jason Reynolds! Perfect for middle school readers!!
Author Website: http://www.jasonwritesbooks.com/
Greetings from the Witness Protection
By Jake Burt
I loved, loved this book! Spunky Nikki has just been “bounced” from another foster home back to the foster center but she doesn’t let that get her down then she is suddenly called out of art class. Getting called out of class usually means you are heading out to meet a “new perspective” family. Nikki hadn’t even unpacked her bag yet when she gets led into the “visiting” room and notices two uniformed adults. This makes Nikki very squeamish as she has a kind of a “bad habit” when she gets nervous. She is a masterful kleptomaniac—she can pick any pocket thanks to her criminal dad (now in prison) and her late grandmother. These U.S. Marshall’s have a unique opportunity to offer Nikki. A family entering the witness protection program, because of being involved in organized crime, need to change their family structure by adding a family member. Nikki has been chosen because she looks just like the mom, they needed girl who could be strong in the face of adversity. The decision is Nikki’s to make and she declines because she is waiting for her dad to get out of prison and come get her. Nikki’s world is suddenly turned upside down when the U.S. Marshall’s tell Nikki her dad has been out of prison for three years. Nikki is crushed and then quickly decides she is up for a new adventure as the daughter of the Trevor’s. Quickly, the reader discovers that the Trevor’s need a street smart girl as much as Nikki needs a family!
As one might imagine—the mob is very persistent and it is just a matter of time before they figure out the location of the Trevor’s. That’s when the story gets really intense—don’t miss this first great novel by Wyoming (Ohio) High School graduate, Jake Burt!
We had a great impromptu visit with Jake Burt!!
Author Website: http://www.jburtbooks.com/