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Ashlei > YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction (choose 2)

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Ashlei | 28 comments 1

message 2: by Ashlei (new)

Ashlei | 28 comments Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner

Randall Lord, an eleven year old, comes from a penniless family who face such harsh circumstances from the outside world. Randall, like his siblings, hides behind an invisible wall. This imaginary wall protects them from unkind looks, comments, and prevents him from being hurt. The kids at school want nothing to do with Randall because of his smell and uncleanness. They avoid him at all times and leave when he comes near. Randall stands up for Jean, a classmate, at the bus stop one morning and this starts a new experience for Randall. Jean convinces him to take a bath at her home not only washing his body but also his clothes. After this encounter, Randall’s wall begins to crumble when he is around Jean and he learns to trust and let her in his world. During class, Randall often escapes into his drawings and when they become public, a completely new world begins again for Randall. Not only is Randall seen as a brilliant artist bit he is accepted in a class at a museum and his family is given money by an organization which Jean’s mother is involved with. His family moves to a better environment and the doors for Randall Lord begin to open.

Highly recommend this book! After reading the first two pages, I was skeptical about finishing it. They were full of harsh comments that others were saying about Randall and describing how the poor boy felt. This bothered me, I like books with a happy story  I think we need more people like the character Jean in the world. She took a scarred, outcast classmate and broke down his wall simply be being nice and talking to him. In my years teaching I can recall a few “Randalls” not just needing some walls broken down.

message 3: by Ashlei (new)

Ashlei | 28 comments Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

I had never heard of this book until my mom stumbled across it in her school’s library and recommended it. It’s a touching story about two young boys and their “freakishness.” Max had been called countless names growing up because others had coined him as slow, dumb, stupid, etc. Max’s body was growing abnormally faster than children his age resulting in others being afraid of him and being cruel. Freak, was another child who appeared “freakish” to others because he had a little body. This book is a great story about how two very different, yet very similar, children form a unique bond and triumphs over what others consider imperfection. Highly recommend!

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