Beagles and Books is excited to share our current reads in 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 Recent Reads:
Give and Take by Elly Swartz
When dementia causes Maggie’s Nana to not recognize her as her granddaughter, Maggie becomes anxious that she too will forget. To ensure she can keep hold of her precious memories, Maggie begins saving small objects. Not only is Maggie attached to these mementos, but also Izzie, the baby their family is fostering until her adoption is final. And when her coach dad dismantles her all girl trapshooting team, her anxiety becomes even more elevated.
Maggie’s saving becomes out of hand filling up 10 boxes in her room and most of her school locker. When her mother discovers the enormity of her collection, Maggie’s normally kind temperament quickly turns to uncontrollable anger. Maggie quickly shows contrition and her mother assures her they will work together as a family to help her make the mad go away. With the help of a child therapist and her supportive and loving family, Maggie begins to slow process of learning how to let go. Some of my favorite scenes are when Maggie visits her grandfather who reminds her that saving things doesn’t necessarily keep you from forgetting but “love never leaves; it carves into your heart.”
Written from Maggie’s perspective, Swartz did a beautiful job capturing Maggie’s compassion, conflicts, and courage. My heart hurt for her as she struggled with the act of throwing away her keepsakes and even though it got a little easier each time, Swartz continued to show the full process Maggie had to undertake to be successful. With themes of family, friendship, facing fears, and forgiveness, Give and Take is a story that is a must read for middle grade readers.
Special thanks to the author Elly Swartz and fellow #bookexcursion member Lisa Maucione for sharing an ARC of Give and Take with our group. Pre-order today so you have Give and Take in your hands, for it celebrates its book birthday next week!
Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela Translated by Daniel Hahn
Alligators, anacondas, and winter rains oh my! Get a glimpse into the everyday life of two siblings who live in Para, Brazil in Along the Tapajós. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, please click here.
Etta’s and 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.
Very Lulu: The (Mostly) True Story of a Training School Dropout by Stephanie Campisi Illustrated by Jessica Gibs
In an effort to calm her energetic behavior, Lulu is enrolled in police dog training school. While all the other dogs do as they were told, Lulu can’t follow directions no matter how hard she tries. Even with increased supports, Lulu is not successful. What should Lula’s handler do with her?
It becomes clear that perhaps Lulu’s job isn’t to be a police dog but rather to be the fun loving, super sniffing member of the handler’s family, which the last couple of page spreads show is a perfect fit for Lulu. Gibson’s lively illustrations capture Lulu’s free spirit, and Campisi gently teaches the importance of accepting others for who they are, which is an important lesson for both children and adults.
Etta, Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!