A Few More

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian             by Sherman Alexie

Grades 7-12

Junior (Arnold) has an opportunity to leave his reservation to attend a better school.  While he does so, he faces the challenges of being a minority, anger from old friends who feel abandoned, and family issues.  With a mix of humor, and excellent artwork (by Ellen Fornay), Junior deals with issues common to any teen coming-of-age, and issues significant to Native Americans on a reservation.

My Rating:  5 Stars

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Grades 5 to 8

In this historical fiction piece, set in the 1930s, Bud moves through some foster homes, not asking for trouble, yet finding it.  Finally, he decides to “go on the lam” (run away) to find his dad.  Believing that his dad is Herman E. Calloway, Bud travels from Flint, MI to Grand Rapids to find Calloway and his band.  All Bud has are some “Rules and Things to Have  a Funner Life”,  a suitcase with some belongings, and his name, Bud, not Buddy.

My Rating:  4 Stars

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

Grade 9-12+

Holly (14) and Giselle (22) take turns telling the story chapter by chapter.  Giselle is struggling with a co-dependent relationship with her boyfriend Sol, anorexia, and being a grown-up.  Holly is trying to be a teenager, while holding up her emotionally broken sister, and emotionally absent mother.  Both girls grieve the loss of their father, and cling to each other to get through life.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

Grades 8 through 12+

Eric and Sarah have a friendship that goes back for years, and was originally based on being two misfits.  Eric was obese and Sarah’s face is scarred from a burn that happened when she was 3.  When Eric joins the swim team, he loses weight, and his social life changes.  At first, because he cares about Sarah, Eric tried to keep the weight on, to prove that he wouldn’t bail  on her.  Sarah’s circumstances become so severe that Eric goes out of his way to show Sarah that he cares for her regardless of his weight.  Eric would do anything to keep Sarah safe, even if it means risking his own life.

My Rating:  5 Stars

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