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When I read the review and book jacket of Corey Ann Haydu's Rules for Stealing Stars, I immediately classified it as realistic fiction. After all, the story seemed to revolve around a family dealing with a mother's alcoholism and grief. After getting a little into the book, I thought, 'no, maybe this is fantasy'. After all, the children have magical adventures in closets (can't help but wonder if the author is making a nod to C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series). At the end of the book, I'm not really sure how to classify it, and that's probably one of the things that I really liked about this book. It was a slow starter for me, but I'm so glad that I persevered and finished it. It was a truly magical book wrapped in realism and is really about the power of family.
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff is a realistic fiction novel about a middle school athlete who, through a terrible accident, causes the death of another hockey player. The novel follows Trent as he learns to deal with the anger of the small town as well as his anger at himself. This is an excellent novel about friendship and learning to deal with the difficulties of life.
This novelization of Malcolm X's boyhood gives the reader a great deal of insight into the Civil Rights leader's childhood challenges and the motivations he had for becoming a great, if controversial, leader. The novel is well written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and must contain family insights that a stranger would not be able to include. An excellent read!
Mrs. Carlino: librarian, technology teacher, intrepid reader, armchair (and real when I can swing it) traveler, vegetable gardener, and outdoor lover!
Some other sites where I have reviewed books:
Other lists of great reads:
A .pdf File from the MA Department of Eduction that outlines suggested reading for grade level. The authors that will help you be "well-read":
I found this nice list of classics for middle schoolers thanks to a teacher in New York. Thanks to Mr. Shapiro wherever you are!