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Kassidy > Seven more of your choice, but do not use assigned whole class readings

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Kassidy | 24 comments Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick (other) is a book about Alex Gregory who is dealing unsuccessfully with his parents separation. The 16 year old drinks too much one night and takes his mothers car. He hits a garden gnome and is arrested for Driving under the influence. At Court he is sentenced to community service at a nursing home with Sol. Sol is a gouchy old man that has run off many other volunteers. The book follows the growth in both Alex and Sol’s relationship and also the growth and maturity in Alex.
This book was not my favorite that I read, but I understand how it could be appealing to teenagers. It deals with Alex’s frustrations with his parent’s relationship, his anger, and also his feeling of being out of control. It also shows that you can find friends in unlikely places, and that everything happens for a reason.

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Kassidy | 24 comments Found by Margaret Pererson Haddix is a science fiction novel that centers around Jonah, his sister Katherine, and their friend Chip. Jonah has always known he was adopted, but lately things have gotten strange. He has started getting weird letters. Next Chip gets them too, and Chip finds out he was adopted. The letters keep telling him that he is one of the missing. They meet with a secretive FBI agent, and something is wrong. There are new letters that state " they are coming back to get you." Jonah , Katherine, and Chip embark on an adventure to figure out what happened and who is coming.

I loved this book, like Haddix's Among the Hidden series, I could not put this book down. I have already reccommended it to a few students who love this genre. It is full of suspense and mystery.

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Kassidy | 24 comments The Mailbox by Audrey Schafer tells the story of poor 9 year old Gabe. Gabe has been in and out of foster care for years, and has finally been placed with his old hermit of an uncle, Verne. Verne is a gruff and distant Vietnam vet, but begins to build a relationship with Gabe. One day Gabe comes home from school only to find Verne's dead body. Gabe is scared and usure what to do so he acts as if nothing has happened. He goes to school the next day, but when he comes back Verne is gone. Strange and coded messages appear in letters in the mailbox. Gabe struggles with telling what has happened or continuing on alone. Finally the police arrive and take Gabe into custody. What will happen to Gabe and where is Uncle Verne?

I loved this book, it is an emotional rollercoaster as you feel the fear and uncertainty that Gabe is projecting. Gabe begins to learn more about himself, his mothers death, and his uncle while trying to figure out what will happen to him.

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Kassidy | 24 comments Every Soul a star by Wendy Mass is a young adult or childrens literature novel that follows three 13 year olds that are unlikely put together. Jack is an unconfident overweight young man, Aly dreams of becoming an astronaut, and Bree wants to be featured on 17 magazine. The three meet at camp called The Moonshadow, there they view a total eclipse together. At the end of the book the three accept that life is going to change and that there is more important things in life.

This is a good book for young adults that are coming in to who they are and who they want to be. It focuses on how you can't always have what you want, and that that is okay. It also tells what is important in life and what should be focused on.

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Kassidy | 24 comments A Boy at War by Harry Mazer is a novel about Adam Pelko. Adam is the son of a navy commander stationed at Pearl Harbor. Adam is struggling to fit in and misses life back at his old school. He finally makes a friend Davie, who happens to be Japanese. Adam's dad does not want him seeing Davi anymore, but Adam sneaks out to go fishing on Pearl Harbor. While fishing Adam, Davi, and their friend are engulfed in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Adam watches the sinking ships, the bombs, and the bullets. He is mistaken for a young sailor while looking for his father. He finally makes it home, only to find out his dad is Missing in Action.

I loved this book and used it to teach historical fiction to my sixth grade students. My boys ate this book up. It was mesmerizing for them to read the story about Adam and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They are struggling readers, who read this chapter book and all earned A's on their AR test!

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Kassidy | 24 comments Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko is another historical fiction book that I used with my sixth graders. It is about a 12 year old boy named Moose and his "ten" year old sister Natalie. They move to Alcatraz Island because Moose's dad is a new prison guard. Moose is facing many issues from the problem causing Piper, the Warden's daughter to his mom's denial about Natalie. Natalie is 16 and thought to have Autism, but mom pretends she is ten in hopes of getting her into a special school. She has a button collection that she constantly lines up and sorts. Moose is made to take Natalie everywhere and even miss his favorite thing in the world Baseball. The story follows the evolution of Moose's relationship with Natalie, with his mom, and with his friends.

I liked this book, and my reluctant boys read it easily. They loved the references to gangsters and prison and also Moose's inner struggles he faced. This is a great novel to help struggling readers understand historical fiction and also begin to study novels.

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