Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

Maya Says:


This was a really great book. It was really interesting, sometimes sad, but sometimes funny, and it was a really quick read. Orbiting Jupiter is about a boy named Jack, who has a foster brother, Joseph. Jack and his family decide to foster Joseph, on thing they did not know about Joseph, is that he has a daughter. Joseph is desperate to find his daughter, Jupiter. When Joseph comes to live with Jack and his family on their farm, Joseph helps milk the cows, he goes ice skating with Jack, he goes to school, Joseph is starting to feel like he is part of the family. Then one day, he unexpectedly goes missing. Jack knows he is going to find Jupiter. Joseph is missing for a while. Will Jack and his family ever be able to find him?

I recommend this book for grades: 7th-9th


Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Mom Says:

23615709.jpgI really enjoyed this middle grade novel. It was hard to put down and I really got into the characters. There are several threads of story going on, one of which is told in the 2nd person perspective (not my favorite but I somehow loved it here) and is somewhat of a fun mystery not revealed until the very end. The author is great at dialogue and moving the story along. She tackled important issues with a light hand and a lovable way (if that makes sense). I loved the relationship between Bridge and her friends and Bridge and her brother and Sherm and Bridge; it gave me a warm feeling of remembrance. I think I just really loved Bridge:)

Recommended for grades 7-10

Wonder Series By: RJ Palacio

This is a great series! Wonder is about a boy named Auggie who has a face disorder. He does not look like ANYBODY else, and some kids are even scared of him. So when Auggie and his parents decide that it is time to go to a public school after being homeschooled for his whole life, Auggie is more than nervous. The book explains Auggie’s year at his new school called Beacher Prep, his new friends, his new bullies, and new teachers. The rest of the series is Julian, Christopher, and Summer telling their side of the story, with background on each of them.

I recommend this book for grades: 5th-8th

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Words On Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

25695640.jpgAdam has Schizophrenia. He is on a drug trial and is writing about it in a journal. A prescription journal, so the doctors see how it affects him. Adam has changed schools. He now goes to a snobby Catholic school, where he has to put up with Ian, the jerk who is the principal’s son, and also Adam’s welcome buddy for the school. Adam meets some new friends including a girl named Maya, who he is desperate to keep his secret of schizophrenia safe. Adam relies on the new drug to conceal schizophrenia from all his new friends. How long can he keep a secret like that though?

I recommend this book for grades: 7th-9th

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

Mom Read:

272334.jpgI love Jacqueline Woodson. Brown Girl Dreaming was wonderful and she is such a good, genuine person.

Feathers is set in the winter of 1971 and tells a story about Frannie, her deaf brother and her school. I could really relate to Frannie, as she reminds me of myself at that age.

From their window, Frannie can see “the other side of the tracks” and questions the segregation of sorts. One day, a boy from the other side starts at their school. Frannie is not the only person curious about this boy and his sudden appearance. I love how this small book weaves in themes of building bridges (or perhaps just crossing them), putting oneself in another’s shoes, the idea of hope and relationships with family and friends.

The title refers to the poem by Emily Dickinson (one of my favorites):

Hope is the thing with feathers-

that perches in the soul-

and sings the tune-

without the words-

and never stops-at all-

Recommended for: 4th to 8th grades

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

3032314.jpgThis book was pretty good. It reminded me a bit to much of The Giver, which I had just read for school. Otherwise it was a great book, I loved the genre, the plot, and the writing. The Other Side of the Island is about a girl named Honor. Honor and her family do not fit in with the rest of the town and they all know it. One day, Honor knows that they have gone to far and suddenly, her parents disappear. Disappearing is another way of saying that her parents were taken by the corporation because they did not fit in. Honor and her brother are now orphans, but they know their parents are out there somewhere and they have to find them.

I recommend for grades: 5th-7th

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

18656207.jpgThis book was great! I first read it in 5th grade and I just finished rereading it again because I loved it so much. This book is about a girl named Maggie. Maggie is very smart, she loves school and she wants to be the president someday. Maggie’s dad has a disease called multiple sclerosis, his legs are falling asleep and Maggie is worried about him. She loves her dad and his cool hippie music. So Maggie wants to fix it. Her science project is gong to be all about multiple sclerosis and how to cure it. But then Maggie finds out something terrifying: you can’t cure multiple sclerorsis.

I recommend this book for grades: 5th-7th