Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Orbiting Jupiter

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Need a good middle grade read? Easy. Read a book by Gary D. Schmidt (two-time Newbery Honor winner). Orbiting Jupiter (Clarion Books, 2015) was no exception. It’s labeled young adult, but the main character is in sixth grade. I think if it was published now, it probably would be labeled middle grade, although there are definitely tough topics.

Sixth-grader Jack and his family are taking in an eight-grader. They’ve been warned, Joseph tried to kill his teacher, and he has a 3-month old daughter he’s never met. But when Joseph comes, Rosie, the cow loves him. According to Jack, “You can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him.” Does that mean having Joseph in their lives is easy? No. But you’ll have to read it to see what happens.

This is such a heartfelt heart-breaking book–a mixtures of sadness and joy.

Read about Gary and his books here.

Posted in Award Winners, So Many Good Books

One for the Murphys

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
one-for-the-murphys-335x512.jpegIf you like me missed One for the Murphys (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012) by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, run get the book. It is so good.
It’s pretty scary for twelve-year-old Carley Connors to be placed in a foster home with the Murphy family–total strangers. It’s always been her and her mom until just over a year ago when Mom married Dennis. And now because of physical abuse by her step-father, she’s here and her mother is in the hospital. Her mom has taught her not to cry, not to be afraid, but she can’t help shaking.
Living with the Murphys, Carley finds out that her old life had a lot wrong in it. Of course, she misses her mother and is sure she won’t be staying long. But life is full of surprises for Carley and she grows to like her foster family. So what will happen when it’s time to leave?
Author Lynda Mullaly Hunt has created such a believable sympathetic character–she had me aching for Carley and her situation. The book has won awards and been put on many lists. Go here to see all.
Because foster kids often don’t have any books, Lynda has started Book Train to get books into their hands.
I’ve already recommend Lynda’s book Fish in a Tree here.