Book Review: Disappeared

22 Sep

IMG_20170906_085444021

I received this book as an ARC with the white cover. I didn’t read what the story was about but looking at the cover, assumed it was a dystopian science fiction book. Boy, was I wrong – it’s not dystopian or science fiction, but it was really well written. I have enjoyed other books by Francisco X. Stork and I wasn’t disappointed.

This story is set over four days as Sara and her Brother Emiliano have to make the most difficult choices there are – between saving their own lives and serving justice to those who deserve it, between friends and family and holding onto the truth when it doesn’t seem possible. Sara and Emiliano live in Juarez, Mexico, striving to make ends meet and trying to be careful as young woman all around them are disappearing. Sara, a journalist for the local paper receives a threat against herself and her family after researching the missing woman, one of whom is her best friend. Meanwhile, Emiliano is offered a job transporting drugs through some of the handicrafts he sells near the border – the money is more than they ever thought possible and would do wonders in getting him into a position where he could be with his love, Perla Rubi who comes from a well-to-do family.

When the wrong people find out where they live, it’s a split second decision that could mean separating the family, crossing the border and possibly seeking asylum in the United States, but nothing is without consequences as the decisions this sibling pair make will change their lives forever.

This story opened a world to me that I don’t experience or often see. Growing up and living in the Northeastern part of our country separates me from much of the talk of Border Patrol, undocumented immigrants, although now more than ever this is an issue that you not only need to be aware of, but also be educated about. Everyone has their own reality and by reading this book, a window was open for me to see someone else’s experience and isn’t that the point?

1.jpg

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): “In the next four days, Sara and Emiliano will each face impossible choices, between life and justice, friends and family, truth and love.”

Title: Disappeared
Author: Francisco X. Stork
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Page Number: 336 pgs.

Advertisements

#ClassroomBookaDay

21 Sep

jillian1.jpgI just recently heard a podcast on Books Between about Classroom Book a Day with it’s creator, Jillian Heise. I love the idea of reading a book every day kids are in school and not only that, but reading picture books to middle grade students. Jillian was inspired by Donalyn Miller and her summer vacation Book a Day challenge – and up-ed the ante to include her students.

I love the idea of teaching about a global perspective, theme, character development and so much more in a very short amount of time and then getting the chance to compare these ideas across a wide array of texts. This idea also promotes visual literacy which is becoming more and more integrated into students’ lives.

As I was listening to the podcast, I thought of a really interesting blog project – Blog Book a Day, if teacher’s can find five minutes to read a picture book during the school day, I should be able to do the same during my day. And it’s perfect in that I have access to a TON of picture books at the library, so I’ll never really have an excuse. So, I’m thinking about hashing out these details to start in January. It sounds like a great project!

Book Review: Sparrow

20 Sep

34358905.jpg
The story opens in a white hospital room after Sparrow’s apparent suicide attempt. The custodian found Sarah on the edge of the school’s roof, but no one will believe that she wasn’t up there to jump. She was up there to fly. When the world on the ground gets to be too much Sparrow checks out and pictures herself turning into a bird and flying away.

Sparrow keeps to herself, gets good grades, doesn’t cause trouble for her mom, but is lonely and searching for something. And she finds it when she “flies away” with the birds in the neighborhood. With the help of a therapist, Sparrow begins to see that life on the ground isn’t all bad and with help and she can feel like flying through the power of music.

I was hesitant to read this story because I expected it to be about suicide and I read middle grade books for a reason (I need that underlying hope). But, in the end I am so glad I got a chance to read this book and enter into Sparrow’s world. Sparrow sees a therapist once a week and this story brings the stigma of mental illness to the forefront. The story works through Sparrow’s thought that she is crazy and the idea her therapist will through her in a padded cell when she hears about Sparrow’s crazy. It works through Sparrow’s idea of what her mom thinks of her and how she can’t be the perfect daughter she thinks her mom wants and needs. It’s a story of receiving help and taking chances to make your own life better and I think it’s a story that so many people need to read.

There’s a stigma in this country that makes people believe that receiving medication, seeing a therapist or doing something about your mental health should be hidden away, but I think that if more people accepted mental health in the way they see staying fit and active, eating healthy and getting a physical, we’d be a lot healthier overall. Definitely take the time to pick this book up, it’s a must read.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Sparrow can’t seem to convince her mom that she isn’t crazy, but with the help of a therapist and rock’n’roll, Sparrow finds a way to fly.

Title: Sparrow
Author: Sarah Moon
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Page Number: 272 pgs.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

19 Sep

fall tbr 2017.png

New fall releases from picture books to young adult titles!

  1. La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated Jaime Kim (Release Date: October 3, 2017)
  2. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Release Date: September 26, 2017)
  3. The Princess in Black: Mysterious Play Date by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Release Date: September 5, 2017)
  4. Just Dance by Patricia MacLachlan (Release Date: September 12, 2017)
  5. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  6. Patina by Jason Reynolds (Release Date: August 29, 2017)
  7. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (Release Date: September 26, 2017)
  8. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (Release Date: October 3, 2017)
  9. Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart (Release Date: September 5, 2017)
  10. Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen (Release Date: September 5, 2017)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/18/17

18 Sep

I’m coming home today, so in the next few days I’ll be updating my reading list and next week’s blog post will update you on the great titles I read while on vacation! Stay posted!

  • Anne of Green Gables by Mariah Marsden (graphic novel!)
  • Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone
  • Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
  • The List by Patricia Forde
  • Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
  • More Girls Who Rocked the World by Michelle Roehm McCann
  • Her Book Boyfriend by KR Grace
  • Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  • All the Wind In the World by Samantha Mabry
  • Just Friends by Dyan Sheldon
  • Tell Me That You’re My Mine by Victoria De La O

IMWAYR

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR

%d bloggers like this: