The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty
Random House Children’s Books, 2018
Bluebonnet nomination for 2019 – 2020
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning, and this gave her genius-level math skills. Aged 12, she is technically ready for college, but she has to spend a year in middle school before that. It may sound improbable, but actually this is a very compelling and believable read. Middle school is tough to figure out, especially if you are hiding a massive secret, and your life is complicated with OCD. If you love dogs, right there is another great reason to pick up the book. The book just got better and better, and the end will blow you away.
6th through MS, 280 pgs., published by Random House, 2017.
“a gorgeous summer tale” for those who enjoy books like THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall or DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos.
This book has a great home feel about it.
When a tornado rips through the neighborhood, Maddie not only loses her dog and her house, along with the other devastating losses, but her friends go pear-shaped on her, a newcomer comes between her and her “boyfriend” and on top of that, other complications surface with her new living arrangements.
Things are hopeful if one can circle back to one’s family. If one can circle back..
Too many books and too little time, so I am shamelessly posting a Kirkus Review of this book. Ready to Fall is worth checking out. Marcella Pixley is a true and masterful tale teller and writes what she understands. It comes as no surprise that she teaches eighth-grade English.
Kirkus Review, August 2017:
Desperate to cling to something of his mother’s after her death, 16-year-old Max believes he has invited her tumor into his brain and that it is slowly killing him.
Max is increasingly withdrawn, lost, and strange. His father, desperate to help him with his grief, enrolls him in an exclusive school filled with eccentric artists. There, Max meets Fish, a bubbly girl with pink hair, and her band of misfit friends. Max also meets the curmudgeonly creative-writing teacher, who uses unorthodox methods to force Max to talk about his pain. He has a breakthrough during a staging of Hamlet, in which each cast member is forced to confront his or her own ghosts. Max’s tightrope walk between sanity and insanity will resonate with anyone suffering from a loss. While he must find a way to live again, it takes the combined efforts of his wild friends, his devoted family, and a few dedicated and eccentric teachers. Lyrical prose, fresh and compelling images and unforgettable characters create an experience that will stay with readers far past the last page. The principals are white and Jewish, but the school boasts students of many races, religions, and sexual orientations.
Newbery Honor Award Winner for Afternoon of the Elves
Great read for MS!
Two friends, Ruben and Jeddy find a dead body washed up on the shore of Rhode Island. It is 1929, and Prohibition is in place. However, laws banning liquor have the inevitable and adverse effect of promoting its vibrant and illicit trade. The stakes are getting higher, and times are dangerous. Hijacking, war between the bootlegging gangs, betrayal, and other subterfuge make for an exciting story. Complex relationships and a complex topic will leave readers thinking about the wider implications of war on contraband. After the repeal of the laws banning liquor, “It had begun to sink in that the violence that came from keeping liquor out of people’s hands was a lot worse than the violence of people drinking to their heart’s content.”
This tale is masterfully told and has a great twist at the end. I highly recommend it for MS and up.