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The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell by Jordan Sonnenblick

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  This is a hilarious memoir of Jordan Sonnenblick. My students know that I have met and spoken with him on a regular basis. He is a wonderfully generous and caring man now, but this book chronicles his fourth grade school year as a regular kid who loved his snake, wanted to learn how to play drums, and hopefully survive a year in school.  This had to have been really fun to write because it was a lot of fun to read! I think many students will be able to relate to the emotions (uncertainty, excitement, anger, and giddiness among others). Students tend to see the author's name on a book cover and forget that they once were students just like them. This book serves as a good reminder! I loved it!

Frankie and Bug by Gayle Forman

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  This book is very timely. Bug's summer just might have been ruined if it hadn't been for the arrival of Frankie. She was supposed to go to the beach with her brother Danny, but Danny has said he needs more space this summer. So upon Frankie's arrival, there might be hope though even they are strangers. Frankie and Bug connect over something very serious- there's a serial killer attacking people around the city and they want to help stop him. Along the way, they get to know each other for who they truly are as Frankie reveals very personal information and Bug accepts him for who he is on the inside.  Set in Venice Beach, California in the 1980's, among the backdrop of a very diverse population of people, this book teaches the lessons of acceptance and tolerance and being your true self. I think a lot of my students will really connect to this book and I certainly plan on adding it to my classroom library! -TK

How to Train Your Dad by Gary Paulsen

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 This book is oddly adorable. Carl and his friend Pooder (yes, that's what he goes by) set up an experiment to "reboot" Carl's dad who is a minimalist and an environmentalist. That means Carl is forced to live an environmentally friendly-minimimalist lifestyle. When it comes to wanting to meet a pretty girl, Peggy, that might create some problems for him! So, following the advice from a dog training pamphlet, Carl begins the experiment and the results of his various trials are hilarious silly!  The best part of this is the simple and straightforward way it's written. It's like Carl is simply talking to you while you wait for the bus or for lunch to be delivered. This book is as non-threatening as they come. Publication date is October 5th, so pre-order it now! -TK

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

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  This book is a lot of fun and is full of heart. In the village of Perchance creatures known as Screechers are seen as a nuisance for making loud noises and emitting skunk like odors. The town has put a bounty on their heads and that is not ok if you ask eleven year old Willodeen. Willodeen loves all animals, but she especially drawn to the odd ones, partially because Willodeen herself is a bit of a loner oddball.  Having lost her family in a terrible fire, and being taken in by two wonderful ladies, Birdie and Mae, Willodeen is determined to solve another one of the villages problems: their biggest tourist attraction and the lifeblood of their yearly faire, the Hummingbear, have begun to disappear. Can Willodeen protect the hated Screecher and bring back the beloved Hummingbear at the same time, or is this once lovely village going to fade away to nothing like these two creatures? This is a light and easy read that students will love! I can't wait to add it to my classroom librar

You'll be the Death of Me by Karen McManus

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  This book has been advertised as a Ferris Bueller's Day Off with a dangerous twist. While completely accurate and awesome, I wonder how many young adults will understand the reference! In You'll be the Death of Me three friends decide to skip school for one last day of fun, just like when they were younger. As they are leaving, they notice a classmate of theirs also leaving so they decide to follow him. And then he is murdered, leaving Ivy, Mateo, and Cal as they only witnesses to the crime. Soon Ivy is suspected and the three friends need to figure out a way out of this together so else all three are in deep trouble! Every book  Karen McManus writes is thriller gold. I have many on my classroom shelf so if you see this blog, come grab any of them. Unfortunately you are going to have to wait to grab this one as it is set for publication on November 30th. But, trust me, it'll be worth the wait! -TK

Capsule by Mel Torrefranca

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  This a wild read! Three days after two students go missing, a strange app appears on the phone of one of their classmates. Jackie seems to have been tasked with playing the game in order to help the missing students, Peter and Kat, survive. Even though there seemingly is no connection, a very strange one begins to form as Jackie makes it past each level. There are twists and turns and a whole lot of surprises! This serves an interesting look at the consequences of gaming while also telling a very compelling story. I think students will really enjoy Capsule. 

After Math by Emily Barth Isler

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  This book is awesome. Lucy is a girl who family relocates after her little brother's death. What Lucy is not expecting is to end up in a school in a class with students who experienced a school shooting a few years ago, apparently they might have something loosely in common. But Lucy decides to keep her brother's death a secret until she befriends Avery who turns out to be the sister of the shooter. Can Lucy adapt to the school and this new challenging environment where everyone still seems to be healing? Might Lucy be just this school needs?  This book does a great job of mixing emotion and a bit of humor. I loved it. Also, one last note, the teacher in the book is absolutely fantastic-love him. More teachers need to be like him! -TK