Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This Side of Home by Renee Watson

Maya and Nikki are identical twins who are identical in every way--well, not exactly.  They may look identical, but there thoughts and reactions to things are anything but identical.  When their best friend Essence moves away, they are both sad, but Nikki becomes fast friends with the girl who moves into Essence's old house.  In fact, Nikki is in favor of many of the things that are moving into their Portland neighborhood with the gentrification plans by the city including trendy restaurants and shops.  Maya wants things to stay the same because she feels like Nikki is forgetting her roots.

In this story, the characters deal with real issues and must figure out the best way to deal with people on both sides of the racial divide that they find in their school and neighborhood.

Watson does an amazing job of defining the characters and the elements of the story so that readers will have the opportunity to explore their own thoughts and feelings about what is happening in their world.  I highly recommend reading this one.

Kalahari by Jessica Khouri

Summary from the publisher:  "Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret. But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own? When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide"

Only one of those teens actually knows what she is doing, and she is very concerned with finding her dad.  He has gone to get rid of poachers and plans to be back by nightfall.  He does not make it back, so of course, these teens must go searching for him.  What they find is disturbing and scary.  It is a great adventure that I highly recommend.  

Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes

Garvey is a bookworm who is not interested in sports. AT. ALL.  Sports is all that his dad wants to talk to him about.  Garvey finds comfort in food which makes the distance between his dad and him even wider.  Garvey's best friend tells him that he needs to stand up for himself.  Garvey has a choice.  He can live his life in the same way, or he can make a difference.  Which way will he go?

Most of us get to a crossroads where we have to decide the life that we will have.  I encourage you to read about Garvey.  This novel in verse is so well done.  I literally felt as though I could quote each page because it was truly meaningful stuff.  Check out the #booksnap I did.