Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Times Lucky, Turtle in Paradise, Anna and the French Kiss

Three Times Lucky
by: Sheila Turnage

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Middle Grade

This was another of the books I read for class. It's about a little 6th grade girl who is an orphan in Tupelo Landing, NC. She lives with the 2 people who found her floating up the river as a baby. The first is the Colonel, who named her Moses because of how they found her, and the second is Miss Lana. The book features really colorful and interesting characters, a small town with lots of gossip and relationships, and then a murder mystery! It's great for kids 10 and up. I've recommended it to students in my class. It does have the murder mystery aspect, but very kid-appropriate. It's really adorable and I loved the characters! The second book has come out called The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing and I've ordered it on my Scholastic Book Order to have in my classroom! I definitely recommend this one to anyone with kids about that age!

Things I liked
I love the murder mystery and the fact that it is totally appropriate and works for the younger aged students! I bought a couple copies of this for my 4th grade classroom library and several of my students have read it and loved it!!

Mo is just a great, strong female lead character. I love having strong female characters for my 4th graders to read about!

Things I didn't
This is another one where my only wish is for a sequel! And thankfully Ghosts of Tupelo Landing just came out!!

Overall: Great (and appropriate) murder mystery for middle grades!

Book 15 of 50

Turtle in Paradise
by: Jennifer L. Holm

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like fiction or strong female characters.
Category: Middle Grade

This is also a great book for kids about 9-12 years old. It's about a little girl named Turtle who has to move and live with her aunt in Key West, FL during the Great Depression. It's a historical fiction piece and it definitely captures the feel of the Great Depression at that time. It also features the hurricane in Key West about that time. Turtle is a feisty kind of girl who speaks her mind and I like that a lot. In both Three Times Lucky and Turtle in Paradise, you find strong female characters in the lead who struggle through things and figure things out on their own and they're great little models for other girls reading the books. I enjoyed this one a lot as well!

Things I liked
Another strong, female lead character for middle grade girls!

This book was really funny. I loved Turtle's cousins.

I also enjoyed the action of this. The hurricane in the end was fun to read about, especially for the younger students! My 4th graders have come running up to me asking if they get saved when they've had to stop reading when we needed to move on to a different subject.

Things I didn't
I would've loved a little more wrap up with the ending. I felt like everything wrapped up and ended really quickly.

Overall: Fun historical fiction for students.

Book 16 of 50

Anna and the French Kiss
by: Stephanie Perkins

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you are looking for a cute young adult romance.
Category: Young Adult

This is the last book I've had to read for my Young Adult and Children's Literature class, although there are several more I will be reading anyway that I've put on my list for the rest of the year! But this is the last one I'll be writing about in class. This book is about a girl named Anna, whose dad is a sort of Nicholas Sparks type of writer who sends her to an American boarding school in Paris to help her and himself look more "cultured." This book is aimed toward high school students and is more grown up that the other 2 mentioned in this post. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to high school girls because it's very different than the normal young adult books you find that are focused on relationships. I just thought it was a great, sweet story that adults as well as high school students would enjoy!

Things I liked
I love the friendship that develops between Anna and St. Clair. They stay friends for the majority of the book and their relationship grows and changes as they get to know each other - not that there isn't sexual tension, but it definitely wasn't one of those "we met and immediately we're in love" kind of things. I enjoyed that aspect of it.

I also like that both the girl and guy in the story aren't the typical dreamy types. The guy is pretty short and the girl has a gap between her 2 front teeth. It's just an adorable, really real view of a high school relationship. Nothing really unrealistic or silly or far-fetched.

I love the way Stephanie Perkins makes her setting almost like its own character in the book. I desperately want to visit Paris after reading this. Everywhere they visit, everything they do, I just want to recreate a trip to everywhere they talk about.

Things I didn't
The one thing I didn't like was the name. I hate when great books have silly names that make me feel stupid when I tell people what I'm reading...but oh well.

Overall:  Stupid name, but super cute book!

Book 17 of 50

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