If You’re A Parent And…You Want Reliable Book Recommendations, Part 2

Posted by on August 29, 2019.

Here is the second of our two-part blog post where my eleven-year-old daughter and I read and review the same books. We agreed to answer four questions about each book without showing the other person. In this first installation, we reviewed four books from the New Hampshire State Library’s recommended books.

Two picture books from New Hampshire’s Ladybug Nominees (for kids grades K-3)

 

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson – Reviewed by Zoey, age 11

More ideas for teaching this book are here.

What was my favorite part about the book? My favorite part of the book is when the kids who are different make friends.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? The book’s meaning is we can speak different languages and have different traditions but we are all human.

Who is your favorite character and why? My favorite character is the girl who spent all summer with her little sister.

Do you recommend this book and why? I recommend this book because it tells a good message about us all being human.

 

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson – Reviewed by Meredith, mom

What was my favorite part about the book? I should probably say that the best part is how she travels the world in a book. But in truth is it that this book made me cry – mostly because it is such a wonderful reminder of how we can welcome and learn from our differences. The impact of a picture book delivering such a meaningful and powerful message is inspiring and overwhelming.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? We all need to make room for others’ differences so the world will make space for all of us.

Who is your favorite character and why? I liked the little boy who wanted to hear the music in his name.

Do you recommend this book and why? Adults need to remember too that we can find similarities and common ground and places to learn from each other.

 

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery – Reviewed by Zoey, age 11

More ideas for teaching this book are here.

What was my favorite part about the book? The pictures – I liked the collage and layering.

What do you th

ink the book’s meaning is? Octopuses are curious; they are people too.

Who is your favorite character and why? Inky because he is curious like me.

Do you recommend this book and why? Yes because not a lot of people know about octopuses.

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy MontgomeryReviewed by Meredith, mom

What was my favorite part about the book? I liked that this mostly non fiction book told a story – I learned a lot about octopuses while reading the story about his escape.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? Never stop exploring, just like an octopus!

Who is your favorite character and why? Hard not to root for Inky, but the lobsterman did the right thing by bringing Inky to the aquarium!

Do you recommend this book and why? Zoey and I also read How to Be a Good Creature, also by Sy Montgomery, this summer. We enjoyed the lessons Sy learned from her animals met during her adventures, but we also liked talking about how creatures and humans share some characteristics.

 

Chapter Book from the Great Stone Face List (grades 4-6)

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandanin- Reviewed by Zoey, 11

What was my favorite part about the book? When they find their housekeeper Kazi again because it is sweet and made me happy.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? Accepting people into your family because you love them not because you are related to them.

Who is your favorite character and why? Kazi because he likes to cook and he made the journey to find them.

Do you recommend this book and why? Yes because it is different view of the history and I didn’t know anything about that.

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani- Reviewed by Meredith, mom

What was my favorite part about the book? I enjoyed reading about a period in history about which I didn’t know much. It was really interesting to read about the partitioning of India and Pakistan from a kid’s perspective – I liked how she asked a lot of questions about religion, family, and governance. She didn’t always get the answers but it was such an intriguing way to learn more about the characters and the time.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? The questions she asks about why religion causes such difference in space and understanding, and how change can happen so quickly, are very applicable to our world today.

Who is your favorite character and why? Kazi is my favorite – he would do anything for Nisha and her family – and they love him like a family member despite status and religion.

Do you recommend this book and why? Yes, across the board, we should be listening to kids’ questions more. If we can’t explain what is happening and why, maybe we shouldn’t do it!

 

Chapter Book from the Isinglass Award (grades 7-8)

We read Brave instead of The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman – I loved The Book of Dust, a must read!

Brave by Svetlana Chmakova, Reviewed by Zoey, 11

What was my favorite part about the book? When the bullies finally got exposed because that is what all bullies should have happen to them.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? It is not nice to bullied and bullies should be stopped and middle school life is hard.

Who is your favorite character and why? Alikah from the newspaper because she is nice and she helps people being bullied. she learned from her own experiences how hard it is to be bullied.

Do you recommend this book and why? Yes because you should always know people have your back and if they don’t, they aren’t really friends.

Brave by Svetlana Chmakova, Reviewed by Meredith, mom

What was my favorite part about the book? The best part is when the girl invites Jensen to join her and her friends. Unlike some of the other characters, she did it with genuine kindness.

What do you think the book’s meaning is? Middle school is hard! I think we can all relate to the kids in the book, and we should as adults should take every opportunity to show our kids how to be respectful and kind to others.

Who is your favorite character and why? My favorite character is Akilah from the newspaper because she stands up to the bullies but also to her best friend when she does not treat her as she should.

Do you recommend this book and why? Sort of painful to have such a reminder of middle school (even though my child is living it!), and the graphic novel format did make it seem more real somehow.

 

 

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