Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Summer reading

I didn't get to read as much as I would have liked this summer (perhaps this fall?) but these were my favorites over the past few months:
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, is a middle grade novel about a boy with severe physical deformities who is beginning his first year at public school. Told through multiple perspectives, it follows his year and shows how his life and the lives of those he encounters are changed.

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay, is about a boy whose mother is chronically ill. A monster comes to help the boy, but not in the manner he expects. This is a powerful book that looks truthfully at all the emotions that arise when faced with a loved one's death.

Stupid Fast is a YA novel by Minnesotan Geoff Herbach. With a distinct first-person voice, the book narrates the summer of teenager Felton Reinstein where his mother has a nervous breakdown, he experiences first love, and he suddenly finds himself jock material. I believe this was also one of John's recommendations earlier this year.


Christy said...

David, these all sound very intense, and perhaps ultimately hopeful? Each seems to address pretty big issues. Thanks for the recommendations; all are going on my reserve list at the library.

Lauren said...

Hi David-- I have read all of Siobhan Dowd's books-- they are brilliant, intense, and so honest. When I read that her final unfinished novel was going to be completed by Patrick Ness, I was intrigued. It sounds as if he succeeded. I look forward to reading it!

David LaRochelle said...

Yes, Christy, all of the books are indeed ultimately hopeful (that's one of the things I like about books for young people), although MONSTER also ends on a sad note as well.
And Lauren, the fact that Siobhan Dowd's idea was completed by Patrick Ness after she died makes the story especially poignant.

mark said...

All three of these books sound like they have the potential to serve the true purpose of literature: to inform, enlighten, entertain, and ultimately change the life of a reader. They're going on my list. Thanks!

Stephanie said...

I've been hearing about Wonder all summer. I do want to read it, but thought the whole brouhaha about the author hiding her identity was a little off-putting...Maybe that's why I have been resisting;)