Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Early January Must-Haves! 1.09.18

2018 has just begun and already my reading has been amazing!  Here are a couple of new books that are must-haves!

Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks (Fenway and Hattie #3)
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks
by Victoria Coe
published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary
Fenway's dog's-eye-view of the world is as enthusiastic as ever, but his favorite short human is not acting the way he expects--and he doesn't like it one bit!

Fenway's life is pretty great, except for the strange stripey chipmunks that have suddenly appeared in the Dog Park behind his house. He's determined to catch them, but one of their hiding places contains some stinging insects. Ouch! Fenway thinks he can take care of this injury himself, but his humans don't let him. They take him to the Place of Fear and then Hattie doesn't even help him take off the Cone of Doom!

Fenway never would have expected Hattie to do these things to him. Doesn't she love him anymore? But even though his family is acting weird, Fenway is determined do whatever it takes to make them all happy again.

Why you want to know this book
If you aren't familiar with the Fenway and Hattie series, you'll want to change that right away!  What makes this series so popular with readers is the way Fenway's story is told - through the eyes of the dog.  Fenway thinks like young readers do - he doesn't overthink, he does.  He loves without limits.  He protects because he cares.  Fenway means so much to his readers. 
What I love about the series is the voice of the narrator and how it makes the reader think just a bit harder.  They have to be in the mind of the dog.  They relate to Fenway, but they still have to make new inferences and draw conclusions they might not otherwise because of this fun narrator.  There are so many ways to use this series as mentor texts.  It's definitely a series you want to keep around!
In this book, Fenway has a new enemy - the Cone!  Fenway has been stung by a bee and to help his infection heal, he must wear a cone so it can heal.  Young readers are going to understand what it's like to want to do something but not be able to do it.  Yet again, Coe uses her main character to reach her young readers and give them something relatable.

Give this to kids who

  • are ready for more Fenway stories!
  • love animal books
  • enjoys realistic fantasy

I brought my copy to school this week... I'm pretty sure I won't see it again until the end of the school year!

Hope in the Holler
Hope in the Holler
by Lisa Lewis Tyre
published by Nancy Paulsen books

Goodreads Summary
Right before Wavie's mother died, she gave Wavie a list of instructions to help her find her way in life, including this one: Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it! But little did Wavie's mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind. Now Wavie's back in the Holler--and in the clutches of her Aunt Samantha Rose. Life with the devilish Samantha Rose and her revolting cousin Hoyt is no picnic, but there's real pleasure in sleeping in her own mother's old bed, and making friends with the funny, easygoing kids her aunt calls the "neighborhood-no-accounts." With their help, Wavie just might be able to prevent her aunt from becoming her legal guardian, and find her courage and place in the world.

Why you want to know this book
There are readers who look for books that will touch their heart - I call those books heartprint books.  I even have a shelf for them in my library.  Wavie and her friends are going to fit in just fine on this shelf.  
What I love most is how when I closed this book I had such a feeling of hope in my heart.  Wavie lives in a very undesirable place.  She has just lost her only family member and now lives with someone who wants her for all the wrong reasons.  Wavie moves to a home that hasn't seen a clean floor longer than she has been alive.  But finding friends and support in surprising places gives Wavie, and therefore readers, enough hope to make it to the end of the book!

Give this to kids who

  • love heartprint stories
  • enjoy realistic fiction
  • like reading about characters who have to rise above a situation
  • like unique settings - this one takes place in the Appalachian Mountain foothills
I'm really looking forward to bringing this one to school this week.  I can't wait to book talk it, I imagine Wavie and friends will have a lot of new readers.

Both of these books are must-haves for all middle grade libraries.  If these books are any indication to how the rest of our 2018 reading is going to go, I think it's going to be a great reading year!

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