Archive for February, 2015|Monthly archive page

Fish in a Tree

In YA Book Reviews on February 19, 2015 at 11:29 pm


 by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Middle Grade Realistic Fiction/©2015/ 276 Pages/Recommended for 5th Grade-Adult

Publisher’s Synopsis (Courtesy of Goodreads):

The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

My Thoughts:

Fish in a Tree is just a beautifully written, full of life lessons, perfect middle school read. The characters (Ally, Keisha, Albert, Mr. Daniels, and all the others) are truly unique and memorable. The story is heart warming and falls in the category of life-changing, makes you want to be a better person kind of book. To top it off, the letter from the author on the very last page just melted my heart.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars


Brown Girl Dreaming

In YA Book Reviews on February 18, 2015 at 6:37 am


byJacqueline Woodson

Memoir/©2014/ 328 Pages/Recommended for 5th Grade-Adult

Newbery Honor Book and National Book Award Winner

Publisher’s Synopsis (Amazon):

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

My Thoughts:

Jacqueline Woodson is a masterful writer. Her memoir is eloquent, compelling, and inspiring, and so very relevant to the times we live in today. This is a book that will surely stand the test of time. The target audience may be middle school, but this is a book that teens and adults will treasure as well. All in all, an incredible book.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars