middle grade

All posts in the middle grade category

What a weird time

Published April 5, 2020 by One Page at a Time

So it’s the beginning of April and the whole world is in turmoil. I can’t physically work at either of my jobs so I haven’t been able to connect with kids at all. I am however working in an Emergency Operations Center for my county. It isn’t working with kids, but I’m trying to contribute.
With publishers and authors relaxing the rules for reading their books on video, my goal is to start reading out loud hopefully this week. As it looks like we could possible not to return to school this year, my focus is on the OBOB titles for 20-21 (are you sick of hearing about OBOB yet?). I’ve read a few and so far I don’t hate anything.
I think I’ve written about Front Desk by Kelly Yang previously.  Well it is an OBOB selection for the coming year and I’m super happy about that.  I’m also amazed by Kelly Yang.  She has offered free writing classes on her website (scroll down after you land on the home page) and I hope I can watch the videos soon.

Almost 19 years ago (as of my writing this post), our country, our lives, our view of the world was sent into chaos.  We are all in different spaces as far as how much we know about that event, how it affected us and how we pulled through.  

Nora Raleigh Baskin has ventured into a very hard day in the past.  Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story takes place before and during 9/11.  It is told by 4 different middle schoolers who all have a different story about that time.  Told with language that kids will understand but without the gore and true violence, it was an impactful read.  It does talk about the planes and the crashes but thats about the extent.  I say read it with your kids because they may have questions.  If you aren’t old enough to have been alive for that day, ask your momma or your daddy or your auntie or uncle or any adult who was alive…..I promise they will know exactly where they were and what they were doing.

Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Published October 11, 2019 by One Page at a Time

This book makes me so mad…I mean REALLY mad…..at myself. Let’s be honest…I’m a white woman of privilege and it has absolutely nothing to do with money.  I read this (actually I listened to it which was probably more intense for me) and I realized how truly naive I have been all my life.
This is the story of Mia and her parents who are all immigrants. They have not been in the states for long and mom and dad both try to keep employment but through no fault of their own, they end up getting fired. However Mia’s mom applies for a job at a motel, thinking she would never get it, and guess what??? She gets the job but her husband has to work there too. “Two for the price of one” says the owner. Mia runs the front office…she’s 10….and does her best to make things good for the customers and the weeklies, and safer for her family.
At the end of the audio book, the author notes that the events are based on true life events in her life. Then I was sad because how humans can treat other humans so poorly is beyond what I can understand.
So many more things happen in this book…it would take a very long time to explain it all. Pick the book up or download the audio version. Read it as a family, read it yourself, read it to your class….just read it.

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