Friday, July 17, 2015

Fiction Friday: Rain Reign, The Crossover, and Circus Mirandus

Happy Friday! This week I'm joining up with Amanda from The Teaching Thief to share my reading from the past week and highlight some of my favorite fiction books from my #bookaday challenge.

1. Rain Reign (Ann M. Martin)  4 1/2 stars
When ALL your librarian friends are recommending a book to you - you KNOW it's going to be great...  Rain Reign is narrated by a 5th grader named Rose who loves homonyms, rules, and prime numbers - in that order. As one of her conversation starters, she says "My official diagnosis is high-functioning autism, which  some people call Asperger's syndrome. (Do you have a diagnosis?)"  I just couldn't helped but fall in love with Rose, her dog Rain, and her Uncle Weldon.  Her dad though.... well, not so much. And there is the major conflict of this novel with her father accidentally (maybe?) letting her dog out during a hurricane and Rose having to develop a plan to get him back.

2. The Crossover (Kwame Alexander)  5 stars
I'll admit right now that I am not a big poetry fan. And when I found out this Newbery Award winner was a novel told all in verse - it languished in my "to read" pile until it was almost due back at the library. But once I let myself simply enjoy the rhythm of each page without worrying about stanzas or rhyme schemes - I just couldn't keep it out of my hands. This sweet (and sometimes sad) story is told from the point of view of middle schooler Josh Bell (aka Filthy McNasty) and delves deep into basketball, his relationship with his twin brother JB, and his rough spots with his parents.  Last weekend, this book had me grinning at old-school basketball references, sighing with understanding at sibling squabbles , and yes, eventually sobbing in my cereal last Sunday morning while reading that last chapter.

3. Circus Mirandus (Cassie Beasley)   4 stars
This novel reminded me so much of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  Both are fantasies featuring a young boy with a special bond with his dying grandfather who keeps magical secrets. Both have peculiar people with strange abilities who should have been dead decades ago and yet have not aged a bit. Both have odd bird people....   And yet, I found this book to be much more enjoyable and likely more suited to a middle grade audience. The jacket quote "You have to believe it to see it." could lead to a fantastic discussion about that topic. And while I am a person who would far rather know the truth about something than believe a comforting lie, I was willing to enjoy this novel despite the questions it raises.

Next week look for posts on Roller Girl and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Want to join me on my #bookaday progress or share your fiction recommendations?  Connect with me on Twitter, leave a comment, or link up with Amanda at The Teaching Thief!


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3 comments:

  1. All of these books sound fabulous, especially Rain Reign. I loved A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin too! I'm adding all to my TBR pile immediately. Thank you so much for linking up and your great recommendations. I'm not on Twitter, but do you Instagram?

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    1. Hi Amanda! Ann M. Martin IS awesome! I'm on Instagram but don't post there as consistently lately. (I can only handle so many social media accounts at a time - ha!) You can find me here: https://instagram.com/corrinaaallen

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