Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Rhyme Schemer

rhyme schemeRhyme Schemer (Chronicle, 2014) by K.A. Holt is a novel written in verse that will appeal to kids looking for a quick and interesting read. It is also an Amazon Best Book for Kids and Teens, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year.
Kevin is in seventh grade and he keeps getting in trouble and sent to the principal–sometimes he deserves it, but other times not. He writes in a notebook about his classmates and teachers, and his real trouble starts when his notebook is lost and another student finds it. Now only is Kevin being blackmailed but he’s also being called Poetry Boy. As he says, however, “I’m not a poet.”
Even though the main character, Kevin, is a troublemaker, I found myself sympathizing with him.
I love how author Kari Anne Holt introduces herself in a short poem on the main page of her website. It’s also interesting seeing the variety of books she writes. Plus on her website for this book there’s a Common Core Discussion Guide.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

May B.

may-b-3001.jpgMG Adventure in Verse

May B. (Schwartz and Wade, 2012) by Caroline Starr Rose is written in sparse verse which is perfect for showing the lack of choice that May has when her parents tell her she has to live with another family, and the solitariness of the prairie and a soddy fifteen miles away from anyone. May’s parents tell her it will just be till Christmas. But, of course, it means an end to her schooling. May’s life takes a turn for the worse when she’s left all alone in the soddy and no way to communicate with anyone.
Growing up, Caroline Starr Rose fell in love with the Little House books. When she became a teacher, Caroline wondered what life must have been like for children who found school challenging. She set the story in Western Kansas and gave her main character what we now know of as dyslexia. Read more at her website, not only about this book and all it’s recognition, but about Caroline and her other books.