Beagles and Books is excited to share another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.
Our Reads This Week:
Focused by Alyson Gerber
Focused is a honest and authentic story about seventh grader Clea and her experience being diagnosed with ADHD. From the very first page, it is clear that Clea struggling to keep up with her schoolwork. She can’t concentrate when taking a quiz and leaves answers blank. When completing homework, she finds it hard to manage her time which results in incomplete assignments. Chess is Clea’s passion and if her grades slip, her opportunity to be on the chess team is in jeopardy. Adding more fuel to the fire, her best friend Red dealing with his own family issues is tired of all of Clea’s impulsive outbursts.
Drawing on her own experience having ADHD, Alyson Gerber wrote Focused from Clea’s point of view. I love that readers get a first hand account of Clea’s thoughts and feelings. Initially, Clea puts all the blame on herself and thinks if she just works harder, things will improve. After testing and an official diagnosis, Clea learns that she is capable and intelligent and having ADHD has actually made her more persistent and willing to get back up when she does have a set back. With her new found knowledge and a plan to treat and manage her ADHD, Clea can be in control and begins advocating for herself.
As a teacher, I work with students who have ADHD, but Focused really opened my eyes to the symptoms, effects, and the challenges they face daily. I highly recommend this amazing novel to students, teachers, and parents, for Clea’s story can be a both a mirror and a window to readers of all ages. A very special thanks to Alyson Gerber for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group. Focused releases in March 2019.
Robot in Love by T.L, McBeth
Walking down Electric Avenue, Robot experiences love at first sight and he can’t get her out of his mind. But once he sees her again, his nerves overload his system which renders him speechless. When Robot finally returns with a gift in hand, she is gone and he is beside himself. Where is she?
Fortunately, Robot decides to return to their original meeting spot where he is reunited with his one and only love. While the reader is provided some clues about the identity of Robot’s true love, it is still a surprise for the reader (or at least me). And don’t overlook the endpapers which provide subtle hints.
Robot in Love is a humorous and heartwarming story that will make you laugh and smile. I am a big fan of McBeth’s artwork having the opportunity to read and review his debut illustrating Stegothesaurus. Using a simple palette of black, grey, white, pink and red, McBeth’s warm illustrations bring life to Robot, for his eyes and body language convey his emotions. I have no doubt that readers will easily fall in love with Robot.
A very special thanks to Christian Trimmer and Mark Podesta of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillian Books for sending Robot in Love to my #bookexcursion group. It releases on December 24, 2018.
Made By Maxine by Ruth Spiro Illustrated by Holly Hatem
Made By Maxine is an inspiring story of a young girl who is inventive, resourceful, and most importantly persistent. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here.
Etta & Bella’s Dog Pick of the Week:
Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.
Found by Jeff Newman and Larry Day
There are books that tug at my heartstrings more than others and Found is one of those books. A wordless picture book with beautiful ink and water color illustrations, Found is a story about a missing dog, a found dog, loss, love, and hope.
Before the title page, a young girl peers out of her window and sees a little dog lost in the rain. She rescues the scruffy brown dog and brings him into her home. Once the girl opens the door to her bedroom, readers spy a missing poster of the girl’s own dog, Prudence, a photo of them together, and a pet bed hidden under the girl’s bed. Apprehensive, the girl slowly allows the found dog to use Prudence’s things and sleep in bed with her.
By the next day, the girl is clearly smitten with the dog playing with him, taking him for a walk to the local pet store for treats, and hugging him as if he is her very own. On her walk home, she discovers the found dog is actually missing when she sees a lost flyer for a small golden colored dog named Roscoe. While it is not an easy decision, the girl knows what she has to do. And her good deed is rewarded when she learns that although our hearts break for those we lose, our hearts are big enough to love again.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Have a great week!