Floaty (Henry Holt and Co., 2018) by John Himmelman is a fun book. I missed it when it came out and am glad a friend brought it to my attention. I think kids and adults will appreciate the humor in words and illustrations.
Mr. Raisin only likes sewing. One day a basket is left at his door and inside is a troublesome puppy who floats. The old man can’t quite just let him go and eventually Mr. Raisin becomes fond of the dog he names, Floaty. But what is he to do when one day the leash breaks and Floaty floats away?
Author/Illustrator John Himmelman has done over 80 books! He’s on Facebook where it looks like he posts book news regularly and has his own website. Many of his books are nature related.
Reading and writing like everything else, improve with practice.
Other Words For Home (Balzer + Bray, 2019) by Jasmine Warga is a Newbery Honor book and a New York Times bestseller. It’s written in verse and is a story of bravery. I wish everyone could read it to help their understanding of refugees and immigrants.
Jude and her mother have to leave Syria because of the violence and come to America to live with Uncle Mazin in Cincinnati. It’s so hard to leave behind Baba and her older brother. She quickly learns that her English isn’t good as she thought. As her brother told her, she must “be brave.” At first she dreads her ESL class until she learns the others there understand how difficult it is to find the right words. But her cousin doesn’t want to associate with her at school. Finding a few friends helps Jude have the courage to follow her dreams and she tries out for the school play. Will being in the spotlight make her life better or worse? And what about the dangers her brother is in?
Jasmine has written another middle grade novel called The Shape of Thunder and has published three young adult novels. Read more about her here.
Let the secrets and the silence have their weight. Let them pull on the characters, on the plot, on everything, with their own gravity, and watch what happens.