Book Club – Book of the Month – April

A Long Walk To Water

One of our teens suggested A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park as our tweens-teens’ book club selection for April. Having read this book several times, I was a little hesitant about this choice; not because it isn’t a great book, but rather because I was uncertain about how our tweens and teens would handle some of what I would consider heart-rending, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking scenes and an overall melancholic theme. 

Almost immediately, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by A. B. Curtiss, author of The Little Chapel That Stood (which, by the way, is an awesome read for 4-8 year-olds).

Quote: “A children’s book about 9-11 presents a difficult task. We want to shield children from violence and fear, but we don’t want to shield them from courage and heroism. We want to protect them, but we also want them to grow up brave and strong.”

Well, let’s just say we’ve chosen A Long Walk to Water as our April book selection. I believe our young readers will handle the story quite well once they connect the life struggles with the life lessons, the gloom with the glory, the trials and tribulations with the triumphs. I think the hardship has a purpose and place in this book just as much as the victory does. The problems are there to teach the lessons and the lessons are there to explain the problems. They both are essential to the overall telling of the story.

That leads to this question: Do you find yourself second-guessing book choices for your kids due to unsettling themes or do you consider such themes essential to the overall telling of the story? As always, we love to hear your thoughts on books. Please leave a comment or two about this book or other books you are reading.

Book Synopsis: The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day.

The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Malala

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”  -Malala Yousafzai

We’ve been glued to Malala’s story even before the publication of her book, I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition). We’ve followed her story from her tragic near-death experience, to her remarkable recovery, to her heroic efforts and stance for education, to her notable honor as the youngest ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. We’ve been greatly inspired by her story of bravery, courage, and compassion, so much so that we’ve decided to select her book as our tweens/ teens’ book club pick for March. Our selection of this book was also influenced by the fact that March is Women’s History Month.

While most of our book kids and adults have read it, some haven’t. In any case, we are looking forward to having you join us in reading or rereading the story of and by a little girl with a BIG vision to change the world. As always, we love to hear your thoughts on books. Please leave a comment or two about this book or other books you are currently reading. Happy Reading!

About This Book: Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for her cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.

No one expected her to survive

Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world — and did.

Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond.

About Malala: Malala Yousafzai was born in 1997 in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. In her short lifetime, she has already experienced devastating changes in her country, which has been transformed from a once peaceful land to a hotbed of terrorism. Malala, who now lives in Birmingham, England, says she has been given a second life, which she intends to devote to the good of the people and her belief that all girls everywhere deserve an education. The fund she started can be found at http://www.MalalaFund.org.

About Malala’s Fund: visit >> http://www.MalalaFund.org.

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

Book Club – Book of the Month – February

Brown Girl Dreaming2

Our February tween/ teen book club selection should come as little to no surprise. We’ve highlighted this book in the past and hinted that it would be a future book club selection. The future is now, and we’ve selected the award-winning Brown Girl Dreaming (ages 10 and up) by Jacqueline Woodson as our February book club book of the month. 

We’ve chosen this book because it ties in well with our Black History Month theme . . . with an added bonus. The book does an excellent job delivering a very descriptive view of Woodson’s life experiences, growing up in the South and the North during the 1960’s and 1970’s, through a very unique, childlike perspective; one that has the tendency to grip young readers. 

Additionally, there’s an underlying, added dose of inspiration depicted through Woodson’s zeal for writing and storytelling, despite the fact that she has struggled in and through school. We find that particularly uplifting and empowering to young aspiring and/or struggling readers and writers (as well as adults). Hope you’ll enjoy reading this brilliant piece of children’s literature as much as we have.

As always, we’d love to hear from you. Be sure to share your thoughts about this book or other books you are currently reading. Happy Reading!

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

 

Book Club – Book of the Month – January

Esperanza Rising1

 

During the Great Depression, Esperanza is compelled to abandon her comfortable lifestyle in Mexico and enter into one filled with physical, emotional, social, and financial hardships and challenges in America. How does she cope and overcome?

In case you haven’t already guessed, our January tween/ teen book club selection is Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. We’ve highlighted this book in the past, during National Hispanic American Heritage Month as a “highly recommended read.” Moreover, due to positive responses, we’ve decided to select it as our book club pick.

This book is a fitting selection for January because it ties in so well with the general themes of a new year; themes that reflect new beginnings, fresh start, triumphs over trials, victory over obstacles, overcoming challenges, rising above, moving forward, leaving the past behind, etc. -themes of inspiration and aspiration you’re bound to find throughout the book.   

Hope you’ll enjoy reading this book with your tweens and teens. Let me leave you with a very profound proverb, reflecting one of the many great messages found in Esperanza Rising, “The rich person is richer when he becomes poor, than the poor person when he becomes rich.”  Marinate on it as you dive into this inspiring read. Happy Reading!

We would love to hear from you. What books are you reading this New Year? Please leave a comment or two below.

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

Book Club – Book of the Month – December

Chicken Soup - Christmas1

Deciding on our book pick for December was a bit of a challenge because there were so many great titles from which to choose. One of our teens recommended Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol (a book he is currently reading as part of a class requirement), because it fits so well with the December-Christmas theme.  Another teen suggested we shift our focus to a more contemporary title. She recommended a family favorite, Grandma’s Christmas Legacy, the Testimony of the Tree by Casey Schutrop. Many other great titles were tossed around. However, after careful and thorough consideration, the team decided on Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas Treasury for Kids by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen, and Irene Dunlap.

I must say, “there is more treasure in this book than in all the Pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.” It is jam-packed with heartwarming, true stories (twenty-five to be exact, one for each day in December through Christmas Day) that will truly melt the heart and warm the soul. Through these stories, “kids will learn about the ‘angels among us’ who give selflessly to those in need; they’ll learn that sometimes the best gifts aren’t bought at a store; they’ll discover that giving to others can be more joyous than getting everything on their list; and both kids and adults will find these stories wonderful reminders of the true meaning of Christmas and make this book a cherished reading tradition for generations to come.” This book is truly a Christmas treasure, one you can either keep, give as a gift, or both. 

We’d love to hear about books that have become a part of your family’s holiday reading tradition. What would be your holiday pick? Please leave a comment or two below. For more on holiday reading traditions, see our previous blog post, Thanks & Giving: All Year Long . Happy Reading!   

 By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

Book Club – Book of the Month – November

Spirit's Key - Book

Book Kids’ book of the month is Spirit’s Key by Edith Cohn. Recommended for ages 9-12.

By now, twelve-year-old Spirit Holden should have inherited the family gift: the ability to see the future. But when she holds a house key in her hand like her dad does to read its owner’s destiny, she can’t see anything. Maybe it’s because she can’t get over the loss of her beloved dog, Sky, who died mysteriously. Read More

Our tween-teen book club books are chosen by our book tweens and teens. Some books they read prior to selecting; others they select prior to reading. Spirit’s Key is one they haven’t read but find fascinating based on reviews and recommendations. We are all excited to dive into this book for the first time, along with you. We’d love you to share your thoughts and views about this book. Please leave a comment or two below. Coming soon is our “Book Club Kid Review” segment at www.bookkids.com. Stay tuned! Happy Reading!

* Children, please seek parental permission and guidance before commenting on all book club books. All our book picks are found on amazon. You may also check your local bookstores or libraries.

Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

Wonder2

“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.” ~R. J. Palacio (Wonder)

It is no wonder that we are choosing Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Recommended for ages 9-12) as our tween/teens’ book pick for October, in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month.

“August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.” Or can they? This book is a must-read that will leave you in awe and wonder!  Get you a copy and dive in!

Feel free to leave a comment or two below, and you could win a free copy. Share your views and thoughts about this book for a chance to win your free copy. A winner will be randomly selected from the comment section at the end of October. Let’s dive into some books!

* Children, please seek parental permission and guidance before commenting on all book club books. All our book picks are found on amazon. You may also check your local bookstores or libraries.

Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

Book Club- Book of the Month- September

gabriel finley

Book Kids’ book of the month is Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen. Recommended for ages 9-12.

How can twelve-year-old Gabriel find his missing father, who seems to have vanished without a trace? With the help of Paladin–a young raven with whom he has a magical bond that enables them to become one creature–he flies to the foreboding land of Aviopolis, where he must face a series of difficult challenges and unanswerable riddles that could lead to his father… or to his death.

Please leave a comment or two below, and you could win a free copy of this book. Share your views and thoughts about this book for a chance to win your free copy. A winner will be randomly selected from the comment section at the end of September. Let’s dive into some books!

* Children, please seek parental permission and guidance before commenting on all book club books. All our book picks are found on amazon. You may also check your local bookstores or libraries.

Dawn Hoff, Book Kids