This weekend I finished an amazing book by Leslye Walton - The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I will confess that when I first started it I was not sure I wanted to read it because I felt it was too "creepy." Now be sure I like odd and magical books, but this seemed to be hitting some nerves in me, but I pressed through and I am SO glad I did. The book was beautiful and tragic, but Ava took something horrible and she allowed it to become something beautiful, thus creating the strange and beautiful sorrows. I give this book five out of five stars and I cannot wait to meet Leslye Walton at Teen Book Con!
Teen Book Con is coming up this spring! It will be at Alief Taylor High School on April 11, 2015! Check out the website by clicking HERE. The first book I read in preparation for this great visit was In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. This is a great graphic novel of a young girl who makes a connection between the real world and the gaming world. It brought ideas and things to my mind that I would not have considered before reading. I definitely recommend this book!
Blue Willow Bookshop is a local favorite! You can find out more about their shop at their website: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/. They bring in great authors for the community and schools. We have the opportunity to see author Matt de la Pena on January 22, 2015 with some of our SBMS book lovers! We are very excited and thankful to have this amazing bookshop in our community. Also Blue Willow has a middle school girls book club: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/node/76505. Please visit their website, their store and thank them for pouring into the SBISD schools. They will also be a HUGE sponsor for Teen Book Con which will be help April 11, 2015.
Over the Christmas break, I started this book by Meg Medina. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass won the Pura Belpre award for 2014. This award honors the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Piddy is a young student who moves to a new school in New York and on her first day there she finds out that a girl named Yaqui Delgado wants to beat her up because of the way she walks in the hall. Being a middle school teacher for 14 years, I have seen many conflicts and sometimes fights that start with something as small as this. I can think of many students who would enjoy this book because they can relate to it from personal experience or have a friend who has gone through something similar. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
The other YA book I read over the break was Towering by Alex Flinn. This is a spin on Rapunzel - there's a bit of mystery, magic and adventure. I was surprised at the characters and plot, but I enjoyed it. My favorite Alex Flinn book is still Beastly!
The next book I have started is The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier. I have heard amazing things and have really enjoyed the first few chapters. I'll keep you posted on how this one goes!
Ms. Smith, SBMS