Join an Online Summer Book Discussion Now—Not Just for Students!
By Darla Magaña
Director of the Library and Media Center
It’s not too soon to start your summer reading! Join readers online at http://tartanbookblog.wordpress.com to discuss any (or all) of the Middle School and Upper School California Young Reader Medal nominees.
To participate, go to the TartanBookBlog and locate the title that you want to discuss from the front page. Then use the comment links to share your general comments about the book or respond to someone else’s comments or pose your own questions. It is simple and fun! Participate as much or as little as you’d like, but take advantage of this opportunity to participate!
Parents: Encouraging students to read might be difficult over the summer, so point them toward the TartanBookBlog. All the books are high interest, and chatting with others online can help motivate them and even bring about deeper understanding.
The discussion will be monitored by SMES Library staff regularly throughout the summer, and it is open to the whole St. Margaret’s community.
The titles we are talking about this summer are:
Upper School Titles
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By Sherman Alexie
Amazon.com description: Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live. (Contains mature content).
By R. L. Going
Amazon.com description: When Iggy Corso gets kicked out of high school, there’s no one for him to tell. His mother has gone off, his father is stoned on the couch, and the phone’s been disconnected, so even the social worker can’t get through. Leaving his public housing behind, Iggy ventures into the world to make something of his life. It’s not easy when you’re 16, have no skills, and your only friend is mixed up with the dealer who got your mom hooked. But Iggy is . . . Iggy, and he has the kind of wisdom that lets him see what no one else can. (Contains mature content.)
Story of a Girl
By Sara Zarr
Amazon.com description: When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother’s best friend, Deanna Lambert’s teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions, she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption. (Contains mature content.)
Middle School Titles
Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607
By Elisa Carbone
Amazon.com description: Twelve-year-old Samuel Collier is a lowly commoner on the streets of London. So when he becomes the page of Captain John Smith and boards the Susan Constant, bound for the New World, he can’t believe his good fortune. He’s heard that gold washes ashore with every tide. But beginning with the stormy journey and his first contact with the native people, he realizes that the New World is nothing like he imagined. The lush Virginia shore where they establish the colony of James Town is both beautiful and forbidding, and it’s hard to know who’s a friend or foe. As he learns the language of the Algonquian Indians and observes Captain Smith’s wise diplomacy, Samuel begins to see that he can be whomever he wants to be in this new land.
By Watt Key
Amazon.com description: For as long as 10-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived out in the forest in a shelter with his father. They keep to themselves, and their only contact with other human beings is an occasional trip to the nearest general store. When Moon’s father dies, Moon follows his father’s last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world he doesn’t know or understand; he’s become property of the government he has been avoiding all his life. As the spirited and resourceful Moon encounters constables, jails, institutions, lawyers, true friends, and true enemies, he adapts his wilderness survival skills and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there.
The Wednesday Wars
By Gary D. Schmidt
Amazon.com description: Holling Hoodhood is really in for it. He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare . . . outside of class? The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things than homework to worry about. There’s Vietnam for one thing, and then there’s the family business. As far as Holling’s father is concerned, nothing is more important than the family business. In fact, all of the Hoodhoods must be on their best behavior at all times. The success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has Mrs. Baker to contend with?
Contact Darla Magana (email@example.com) with questions.