A huge thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers for hosting us for the kidlit version of #IMWAYR!!
With a huge apology to my favorite independent bookstores, recently, my favorite place to look at books for a first read is the public library. The new book shelves for chapter book fiction, picture book fiction, and nonfiction are some of my first stops when walking in the door, and they are always brimming with titles I want to read.
Two of my favorite children's books in the last few weeks are incredibly different in the audience they would have, but I loved them both.
Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban is a wonderful story that has Japanese internment camps as its historical backdrop. It's the story of Manami, a ten year old girl, and her family. Like Japanese families in many places, Manami and her family are uprooted from their beloved home on Bainbridge Island and sent to an internment camp during WWII in an arid desert area of California.
When Manami tries to sneak her dog into the camp with her and fails, she becomes "mute". This is a story of the strength of human nature, and it will tug at your heartstrings.
It would be wonderful to pair Paper Wishes with a book like Baseball Saved Us.
The Last Boy at St. Edith's by Lee Gjertsen Malone has an entirely different feel to it.
St. Edith's is an all-girls' private school that tried to increase enrollment by expanding their student population to include boys. However, for multiple reasons, over the past few years, the boys have been dropping out of St. Edith's like flies. Every boy hoped he would not be the last boy left on his own, but that wasn't going to be the case for Jeremy Miner. He has become the "last man standing", and he is now on a campaign to get himself kicked out of the school.
On the flap, it says this book is about "fitting in, standing out, and finding the place where you belong." I couldn't have said it better. One of the threads of this book I enjoyed the most is noticing the natural friendships that can occur with boys and girls before the hormones get in the way.
I hope you have a great week of reading!