Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

What are the kids reading this month?

The first of the monthly posts in which I tell you about five of the books the students at my local middle school library are reading. Since in most cases, I haven’t read these books yet myself, I’ll have to rely on Goodreads to tell you what they are about. (Books are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.)

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (Fiction, Animal Stories)

From the book description on Goodreads…

book cover for The Underneath shows a basset hound huddled with a family of cats under a wooden building

“There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.

“A calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the lonely howl of a chained-up hound deep in the backwaters of the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest, and the hound dares to befriend this cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the porch, to raise her kittens there because Gar-Face, the man living inside the house, will surely use them as alligator bait should he find them. But they are safe in the Underneath…as long as they stay in the Underneath.

“Kittens, however, are notoriously curious creatures. And one kitten’s one moment of curiosity sets off a chain of events that is astonishing, remarkable, and enormous in its meaning. For everyone who loves Sounder, Shiloh, and The Yearling, for everyone who loves the haunting beauty of writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Flannery O’Connor, and Carson McCullers, Kathi Appelt spins a harrowing yet keenly sweet tale about the power of love — and its opposite, hate —the fragility of happiness and the importance of making good on your promises.

Sophia’s War by Avi (Historical Fiction)

From the book description on Goodreads…

book cover for Sophia's War shows the profile of a girl against a red and cream striped background

“Lives hang in the balance in this gripping Revolutionary War adventure from a beloved Newbery Medalist.

“In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own.

“Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this ‘nail-biting thriller’ (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.”

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner (Starbound #3) (Fiction)

From the book description on Goodreads…

cover for their fractured light

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

“Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

“Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

“When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.”

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (Fiction)

From the book description on Goodreads…

book cover for we are all made of molecules shows a spray of yellow, orange, and red polka dots against a white background.

“Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless. Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed ‘It’ girl in her class, but her grades stink.”

“Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.

“They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.”

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed (Fiction)

From the book description on Goodreads…

book cover for written in the stars

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
 
“Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.” 

What about you?

Have you read any good books lately?

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