Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Middle School Favorites: magical realism

My middle school students are using Kidblog to share posts and book recommendations with each other, and I would like to share some of their favorites more widely. (Please note that my seventh graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for seventh graders.) Click on the middle school tag for more. (You can also check out #3rdfor3rd for book recommendations from my third graders.)

Middle School Favorites: magical realism

Magical realism can be a difficult genre to explain, but I am grouping these two books together because both take place mainly in our modern world but with just a little bit of something special thrown in ...

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee

Recommended by Gabby

** Early spoilers **

Maybe A Fox, by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee, is a wonderful read, that pulls at your heartstrings. I would say that the genre is fantasy mixed in with magical realism, with strong themes of family evident throughout the book. After Jules' sister, Sylvie doesn't return from the woods one day, everything turns around. Jules is living in an 'after Sylvie' world, staying in her house, not going to school or doing homework, hardly doing anything she loves at all. Jules becomes determined to find out the end of Sylvie's wish, the reason why she died. All Jules knows is what Sylvie would tell her, To run faster so that... One day when Jules plucks up the courage to go out into the woods, by the dark underwater cavern they call the slip, the very same slip that stole her sister, she finds an answer to her question. Sylvie wants to run faster so that...

If you like stories about family, that make you cry, this whimsical, mystical tale is right for you! I would rate this 5/5 stars!

[This is also a book club discussion book choice in our classroom.]

Holes by Louis Sachar

Recommended by Andrew

Holes, by Louis Sachar, Mostly Realistic Fantasy. Stanley Yelnat has a family curse, and now he is sent to Camp Green Lake, where bad kids each dig a hole five feet wide and five feet deep once a day. Stanley tries to find why they dig up holes in this evil camp in the middle of nowhere.

If you like other books by this author, or like books with a Newberry Medal, this book is for you. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Want more book reviews? Click on the middle school tag for more middle schooler recommendations or check out #3rdfor3rd for book recommendations from my third graders.

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