Sunday, June 25, 2017

When Jackson was in first grade, his father got sick and lost his job and his mother got laid off. The family struggled and eventually had no choice but to live in their car. For fourteen weeks the family did laundry at rest stops, ate from vending machines, and played music in the streets for money. What helped Jackson through it all was Crenshaw, his imaginary friend who happens to be a cat.

Somewhere Among
Somewhere Among, by Allie Donwerth-Chicamatsu, follows the story of Ema, a young girl who is half American and half Japanese.  Ema’s mother is struggling with a difficult pregnancy, so Ema and her parents move to Japan to live with her father’s parents.  Being in a Japanese school is very difficult for Ema, not to mention the fact that her father has to work many hours away from home and doesn’t live with them.  When the school bully sets his sights on Ema, and her mother starts having complications with her pregnancy, Ema is overwhelmed with fear and worry.  To make matters worse, it’s September 11 and terrorists have attacked America, leaving Ema feeling even more out of place by the pity given to her by her teacher and classmates.  

This novel in verse was a captivating read.  I was on the edge of my seat with the daily obstacles in Ema’s life in Japan.  It was interesting to read the Japanese words and about the Japanese culture during the story.  Overall, this was a very good book.

The Seventh Wish
Kate Messner’s The Seventh Wish is about Charlie.  Charlie is an Irish dancer, and is trying to save money for a fancy competition dress. After spending several afternoons ice fishing with her neighbor and selling her catch to the local restaurant, Charlie has saved almost $600.  When Charlie’s older sister ends up in a rehabilitation center for drug addiction, Charlie’s dress purchase is put on hold.  Will Charlie get to attend her Irish dance competition?