Bookshelf Love

Need something new to read? Check out what I’ve been reading and loving…

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai (ages 8-12)

So much deliciousness here. Mia is looking forward to a summer on the beach, gossiping with her BFF, and admiring her crush from afar, but instead finds herself escorting her grandmother to Vietnam in search of Mia’s long lost grandfather (who everyone, except her grandmother it seems, knows is long dead). Mia receives an often hilarious crash course in her family history and Vietnamese culture (and eats a ton of amazing food) and along the way learns who she is, who her real friends are, and the importance of family (and really good food). This book is overflowing with humor and heart and did I mention the food? Seriously, I was hungry the entire time! My only complaint: No recipes.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (ages 14+)

My brain is still chewing on this book and it’s been weeks since I finished it. It’s real and magical all at once with incredible characters and a story that won’t let you go. There is so much here about how women and girls are seen and not seen and how that affects how they see themselves. There’s a glimpse of what it would be like if beauty wasn’t a factor in how we value each other, both male and female. It’s one of those books I want to go back and dissect to see how the author pulls it off. So good!

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (ages 8-12)

So here’s a story about the up side of World War II. I like books that come at an old topic in a new way and this one does just that.  It’s about a girl and her brother who are part of the mass evacuation of London’s children but for them it’s a good thing. So much heart wrenching and sweet goodness too. The author captures perfectly the effects of trauma and grief and the subsequent struggles with giving and receiving love. This is a good book to help a child who has experienced abuse/trauma/grief understand the reason they are acting and feeling the way they are. Despite the grimness of the topic, it is a heartwarming and satisfying read.

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