Saturday, March 26, 2022

Review: Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! #iLoveMG

My 5th graders are reading and reviewing their independent reading books, as well as designing a new cover. I love the large baseball on Lauren's version of Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth 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 fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!

Recommended by Lauren


Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen is a book written by Sarah Kapit, published by Dial Books for Young readers in 2020. It won the Schneider Family Award Honor in 2021. For those who like realistic fiction books, this would be a good book for you! 
 
11-year-old Vivy Cohen has dreams to be a pitcher in the Major League Baseball team, and she is determined to not let anything stop her, not even being an autistic kid or the only girl on a team. She’s had enough of playing catch in the park with her brother, and when a baseball coach sees her throw a knuckleball, she is invited to join a team. But her mom and therapist are worried about her autism, but lucky for her, she’s got an actual major league baseball player, VJ Capello and her dad on her side. When she finds herself in the middle of an accident, she has to fight her way back to stay on the team, especially when she faces a mean bully and her mom trying to get her off the team. 
 
As I said before, for anyone who likes realistic fiction books, this is a great book for you! I personally think this is a great book, and I would give it a 4.5/5 because I generally don’t understand the rules of baseball so it’s kind of confusing. But it’s great book!

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Starfish - recommended! #iLoveMG

Check out the amazing student cover for Starfish! My fifth graders chose an independent reading book, read it, analyzed the current cover, and designed one based on their interpretation of the story. 

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth 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 fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Starfish

Recommended by Smayana



I read the book Starfish, by Lisa Fipps. I would say this book is realistic fiction. Ever since she wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her 5th birthday party everyone started calling Ellie, Splash. She was made fun of for her weight ever since whether it was bullies or her own family. The whole reason was her own sister, Ana├»s! She has to hear the same things every day including from her mom and classmates so she made Fat Girl Rules to help her not stand out. It’s hard enough when her best friend moves but then things start to look up. She meets a new neighbor, Catalina, who surprisingly doesn’t judge her body. Along with her, she has a new therapist who knows just what to say. Will Ellie find a place in the world after all?

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Book Recommendation: New from Here #iLoveMG

Happy book birthday last week to Kelly Yang's newest, New From Here, which just hit the Indie Top list! I received an advanced copy from NCTE, and one of my students had a chance to read and review it this week.

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth 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 fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

New From Here

Recommended by Lucy


New From Here is a very realistic fiction book by Kelly Yang, about an Asian American boy who fights to stand up to racism during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus, when he is forced to move to the United States, oceans apart from his father (his best friend) at the beginning of the book. 

In California, 10-year-old Knox Wei-Evan struggles with racism. Just because he’s from Asia, his classmates think that he must have brought over the virus and that they will get infected by him, always making him “It” in “Coronavirus tag”. He tries to stand up to hate, but how can you stop bullies when you’re one against a crowd? 

Meanwhile, at home, his Mom got fired from her job and is panicking from the loss of health insurance. Knox also has to deal with living in the same room as his older brother, Bowen, who would rather share a room with a mosquito. And everyone struggles with Knox’s habit of blurting things out. “It drives everyone in my family crazy,” he says, without knowing, just yet, that there is a clinical diagnosis for it. 
 
I enjoyed this book a lot. First of all, big themes like job loss, parental tensions, and money woes are handled carefully. There is also a lot happening in this novel but what really stands out is Knox's development and the relationships within the family. And Knox, a boy who gets “volcano mad” and always feels as if he is on the ridge of getting into a whole mess of trouble, is a moving narrator. Sometimes he cannot control the emotions that bubble up inside him. But the world cannot control the chaos unleashed by the coronavirus either. That truth, as this pandemic novel makes clear, extends to all of us. 
 
In conclusion, I recommended this book to anyone who wants a story that sheds light on the wrongness of racism in the same layered style as Kelly Yang’s Front Desk.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Ghost Boys review #iLoveMG

This week my fifth graders are sharing the new covers they designed for the books they read recently. Several of them have agreed to share their covers and reviews with readers of The Logonauts

(Please note that my fifth 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 fifth graders. More 5th grade reviews are at #iLoveMG.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Ghost Boys

Recommended by Shira



My book is Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. The genre is Historical Fiction. 

Ghost Boys is about Black struggles and standing up for rights. It shows the hardships and struggles that Black kids face against the racists. It shows lies and love and friendship when there is none. 

The book is about 12-year-old Jerome, being killed for having a weapon. A toy weapon. As a ghost, he meets Emmett Till, a black boy, like him, killed for saying hi to a white woman, and Sarah, the daughter of the policeman who killed Jerome. 

This book focuses on the real-world struggles both adults and kids are sadly still facing today. It takes a dark but real and in-depth look at racism and the number of lives being taken just because of the color of their skin. 

I like this book a lot because it takes a look at things not many people pay attention to. Yes, it has gory details, but that is what I like. Most books with death have a simple old-age death, they go over the details and why it happened. But this book went in-depth about the reasoning, and the details. 

If I were to choose one sentence or paragraph from this book to sum it up, I would use this: “Doesn’t seem fair. Nobody ever paid me any attention. I skated by. Kept my head low. Now I’m famous.” I chose this because it shows the one time people pay attention, it ends up being a bad thing. Jerome was just trying to protect himself, and it cost him his life. 

I recommend this book to people who are ready to understand the real world. Not fantasy with peace and friendship, the one with blood and war, with love and hate. The one with understanding and stupidity. This book shows the real world. Ghost Boys is a glimpse at the countless lives that have been taken. Mind you, these lives are mostly Black. Just because of the color of their skin and the way they act, they are suddenly bad people. Is this the world you want to shape? Your turn to tell me.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?