"My father gave me free run of his library. When I think of my boyhood, I think in terms of the books I read."

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Soar . Realistic fiction. Baseball

Joan Bauer writes books that are easy to read and enjoyable and Soar follows this trend. With its unusual opening,

"I'm probably twelve years old; that's what the doctors think. I could have been born anywhere...I was found at Computer Partners, Ltd. in the snack room, right by the coffee pot."

How can you resist finding out about Jeremiah's life story after reading that?  As a computer geek, living in a small town that is baseball crazy, it is important to adapt and fit it.  This does not come easy, nor do dealing with the crises that grip any rural town - abandonment, steroid use, and making ends meet.Again, Bauer takes the pedestrian life and exposes all that is heroic, from Walt, his adoptive father to the young protagonist, himself. I encourage you to give this a read during the season that we love in Washington, D.C. ( Go Nats!)  Recommended for all ages and families.

Other titles in our library are:
  • Squashed
  • Standing Tall
  • Sticks
  • Thwonked
  • Peeled
  • Hope Was Here (Newbery Honor)
  • Rules for the Road and Best Foot Forward
  • Close To Famous

Monday, April 4, 2016

Adam & Thomas.Award title

Adam & Thomas written by Aharon Appelfeld, translated from Hebrew to English by Jeffrey M. Green, and illustrated by Philippe Dumas.

This Batchelder Honor book is a gentle story about two Jewish boys who are hiding in the nearby forest while each awaits the return of their mothers. As days and nights pass, they begin to value the strengths of the other, while struggling with their own fears. Semi-autobiographical, Appelfeld, at age 8, escaped from a concentration camp and hid in a forest. He takes his experience, and infuses the characters, major and minor, with kindness and wisdom. This seemingly easy read holds metaphors for any reader who is astute enough to recognize the underlying truths.

The soft watercolor illustrations bring a sense of calm and peace to complement the text. A sublime short story recommended as a family read for younger students, and a counterpoint to Elie Wiesel's Night, for older ones.