Every Monday, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want to share with others. Come discover new books!
Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.
Perry T. Cook, eleven, has grown up in a minimum-security prison. His mother is incarcerated; she’s a resident, in for manslaughter. But we also learn that she’s worked to attain a degree in social work while there. Perry has been allowed to stay in his own little room near the warden’s office. He’s close to many of the residents, has some rules (doesn’t every kid?), and is happy. He’s looking forward to his mom being released on parole. He’s a good kid with a great friend at school, Zoey, a young girl who sticks with Perry through everything, and he sticks with her too. The wrench thrown in the story comes from Zoey’s father, a new DA who’s recently discovered about Perry and believes it’s a terrible situation. He manages to get custody as a foster parent, and all of a sudden Perry and Zoey are together, all the time, and Perry is no longer in the only home he's ever known. This is the stepfather that Zoey has been complaining about!
Through the entire story, Perry’s voice stands out clear and steady, which happens to be an important trait honored in this book. I was interested to read the story and discover that so many seemed to hold their emotions in check. Some very tough things happened, and there were no things thrown across the rooms, no screams, anger and sadness only in thoughts. There were some private sobs. I felt sympathy for those in the book, that underlying tension that couldn’t seem to be shown. Also, I felt admiration for those who were trying hard to make something good in their lives. Maybe after years of holding things in, some really struggle to show feelings. And so did Perry, although we knew his thoughts through the strong voice given by Leslie Connor. Most of the time, Connor tells the story from Perry’s point of view, and occasionally, his mother, Jessica’s. What a good boy he is, and how well he handles condescension and bullying, and how loyal and loving he is to all his friends. I enjoyed the story very much, wonder about it being a read aloud, calling for a great discussion to the questions: Is this character too good to be true? Could we all strive to be a little more like Perry?
A lovely and fun story about a little fox who’s looking for a friend, first thinking that his friends will be dogs, and mistakenly thinks they are “debbies”, from hearing a warning from a mom for her “Debbie” to watch out for the fox. The adventure continues until finally, and happily, a true friend appears. The story will entertain and help start a talk with young ones about friendships. Full page illustrations are filled with the colors of the outdoors as little Ooko moves along in his search for a friend.
Just Started: Elizabeth Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton
Next: Many to choose from, and the titles keep coming! I need to read a few more from my MustReadIn2016 list posted above, will choose from those titles.