Author Eve Bunting (Smoky Night) and illustrator Lauren Castillo (Nana in the City) have teamed up on this poignant book about family changes. Callie experiences a range of emotions as she watches her parents sell off most of their belongings (hers, too!) and downsize from a house with a yard to a small apartment. Callie doesn't fully understand why her family has to move; she tells her best friend that "It's something to do with money." The resolution is bittersweet. Callie understands that all the things the family sold wouldn't fit into the new apartment anyway; "But we will fit into our new place. And we are taking us." A gentle introduction to financial pressures, Yard Sale is a heartbreaking reminder that families weather storms with love.
In Crenshaw, as she did in her Newbery Award winning The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate gives readers a story of hope when all seems lost. Jackson's family is struggling - unable to pay their rent, sometimes living out of their van, always hungry. When a tall, talking, purple-jelly-bean-loving cat named Crenshaw appears in his life, Jackson doesn't understand why. But Crenshaw knows he's there to help, and his presence brings comfort to a young boy desperately in need of a friend. Readers will fall in love with Jackson, who is so innocent, yet who carries a weight on his shoulders. Readers will also fall in love with Crenshaw, whose upbeat attitude and companionship help Jackson to feel that maybe, just maybe, there's still a little bit of magic in the world.
Morse Pond Student Review
, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, is a really enjoyable book because the characters seem real. The plot and setting is well planned. Ari and her older brother, Gage, leave their guardian's home. They have nowhere to stay, and they keep traveling to friend's houses to stay overnight. Meanwhile, Ari's grades are going down and it gets harder and harder to keep her friends. Ari has two choices, either she can stay with Gage, or she can go back to Janna, their old guardian. Which one should she choose? Paper Things
, is an intriguing book, that I would recommend. ~ Grace, grade 6
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