Well, I am going to make an effort to keep updating what I am currently reading and what I think of it along the way.
I run a 6th grade book club, The SpineCrackers, for my students (which is optional) and we commit to reading the 10 Virginia Reader's Choice books for middle school - you can find more information about them and other level's choices here. The ten books we are reading this year are:
1. After Tupac and D Foster. Jacqueline Woodson,
Putnam Young Adult, 2008.
2. All of the Above. Shelly Pearsall, Little Brown, 2008.
3. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had. Kristin Levine, Putnam, 2009.
4. Breathe: A Ghost Story. Cliff McNish, First Avenue Editions, 2009.
5. The Girl Who Could Fly. Victoria Forester, Feiwel & Friends, 2008.
6. Little Audrey. Ruth White, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2008.
7. The London Eye Mystery. Siobhan Dowd, Random House, 2008.
8. Shooting the Moon. Frances O’Roark Dowell, Atheneum, 2008.
9. T4 a novel. Ann Clare Lezotte, Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
10. The Underneath. Kathi Appelt, Simon & Schuster Children’s, 2008.
I am currently reading The Underneath, which is a tale about a young kitten, Puck, who finds himself in a unique situation where he has to rely on the skills his mother was able to teach him to get back to his sister Sabine and adopted father, Ranger (a hounddog). There are many obstacles in his way, nature, predators, and the mean Gar Face, who lives above the Underneath in the tilted house who has no tolerance for animals and spends his days hunting the mammouth alligator, who also has his own storyline in this novel.
Interwoven is another storyline about Grandmother Moccasin, and I must admit that this story is a bit strange and hard to follow - and to be even more honest, it isn't even that interesting. The Grandmother is in a jar far below the earth where her daughter's husband (Night Hawk) put her (why he did this is a story all in itself.)
There is too much going on in the book at once, the story of Ranger and Sabine, the story of Puck, the story of Gar Face, Grandmother Moccasin, her daughter and Night Hawk, and the story of the Alligator. Whew...it's amazing that the author could even keep up with all those storylines herself.
What keeps me reading this book? My committment to the students, and the story of Puck, the kitten. I was always a sucker for a good story about an animal!
Okay, so I finished the book last night and I have to give kudos to the author - she really turned this story around for me! I LOVED the ending, and everything came full circle for the main characters. There were some touch-and-go moments where I literally sighed out loud, or gasped (my husband thinking something was wrong, rushed in to see what was up..."no, I am just really into this book!")
Ranger, Puck, and Sabine...one happy family, the way it should have been all along. And Grandmother Moccasin redeemed herself, YES! Now if only "momma" cat had been there to see it...