After reading Cat Winter's RITBA 16 nominee, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, I decided that I must try her newer book The Cure for Dreaming. It did not disappoint. The time period is about the same, early twentieth century. This time, Winters tackles the building tension in the United States around the issue of women's suffrage. The main character, young Olivia Mead dreams of an education and a writer's life, something that young ladies of 'character' would not have wanted during this era. Her father wants her to pursue domestic arts like cooking and cleaning as a way of preparing her for life as a wife.
2016 RI Teen Book Award nominee
The Story of Owen is exactly what the title says it is, the story of a young man named Owen growing up in Canada with many of the problems of any young adult, trouble with math and with girls. There is one large twist to Owen's world though: he is also the Dragon Slayer of Trondheim because in this alternative universe, dragons are attracted to carbon emissions. In a not-very-thinly-veiled allusion to industrial greed, the author tells the story of a familiar sounding recent history: World War II, the Persian Gulf War, and the Industrial Revolution especially in terms of the automobile industry. Using a young music student as a narrator, Johnston's addition of the dragons to this history makes for a very interesting read. While not my favorite of the RITBA this year as I tended to agree with the NY Times Book Review, I think this book will definitely appeal to students who like fantasy and good story telling.
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!