Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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message 1: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Time is racing on! My reserved copy of Love That Dog just arrived at my library branch, but it's already time for February nominations! Remember that all BOTM threads are left up for six months, so there's plenty of time for all of us to chime in on the discussions.

Good literature serves many purposes. Some stories are meant to entertain; some give us insight into human character; some stories explore the world at large. I personally have a soft-spot for more light-hearted fare. But well-written children's books can give kids a safe vantage point to process some of the more difficult issues they see in the world.

This month let's nominate middle grade books whose characters deal with some kind of conflict in the larger world around them -- this could be historical (like the Civil or Revolutionary War) or social (like Civil Rights issues) or could even be fantasy (but looking for books that grapple with the deeper issues, not just two dimensional, swashbuckling sword fights). Ready, set, nominate!


message 2: by M.G. (last edited Jan 22, 2015 04:04AM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments I have a couple of books in mind, so I'll go ahead and mention them.

Just started reading The Pushcart War which is a completely made-up story about a war that develops between truck drivers and push cart owners in New York, starting with the Daffodil Massacre. It shows how conflict develops, and hopefully (I haven't finished yet!) will show how it can be resolved. Would be appropriate for the spectrum of middle grade readers, from younger to older.

For older kids, there is Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, which deals with economic and racial segregation.


message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
There are so many good titles in this area, I'll have to think about about what I might want to nominate.


message 4: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 24, 2015 08:29PM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, for sexism and the theme of keeping traditional culture vibrant in a modern world.

The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera


message 5: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Bumping the thread since I will set up the poll tomorrow. Would love some more nominations!

Guess this was a difficult "theme." Members are welcome to suggest BOTM themes!


message 6: by Brenna (new)

Brenna (brenna_pappert) has anyone heard of Breaking Stalin's Nose or
Dragon's Gate?


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) BSN was a book of the month in the Children's Books group a while back. We admired it, some even enjoyed it, all were moved by it. We also agree that, even though it's short, it's not for the youngest readers without family discussion - very intense.

Never heard of DG.


message 8: by Brenna (new)

Brenna (brenna_pappert) Beth Sniffs Books wrote: "Brenna wrote: "has anyone heard of Breaking Stalin's Nose or
Dragon's Gate?"

I have not, but I noticed that DRAGON'S GATE is book #3 in a series, can it be read as a ..."


not sure if it can be read as a stand alone...I didn't notice it was part of a series.


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
I think I read Dragon's Gate on it's own. I think the series is more spread out over history--so each book is complete in itself. That's a decent choice.

Also Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Numbering All the Bones is about the Andersonville Prison. Definitely a hard look at war.


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