Newberry book

The Wednesday Wars

If you are looking for a book to make you laugh, cry, and thoroughly enjoy the reading of… Let me tell you, I have the perfect book for you. 

I first read The Wednesday Wars several years ago. I gave it five stars. I recently read it again to see if it was as good as I remembered, and I had my daughter read it too.

There was a bit of trepidation in this move. When you pick up a book to read again or offer it to someone else to read, there is a wondering if the book will hold up. You wonder if you will love it as much as you did the first time you read it. I was thrilled when my daughter loved it too, and for me, it was just as good the second time around, maybe better.


12.75 year-old Boy Seeking Books of Sport and Adventure

Jonah is an almost teenager who loves the Cubs, playing with his dog and playing video and board games. The thing he likes most about reading is that you can go at your own pace and do it whenever you have the time. However, he says that when a book is slow reading can be boring, especially when you are a slower reader. When he is looking for a book to read, he looks for sports books, graphic novels and books filled with adventure. He will also pick up a book if his friends are reading it and it looks good. 

I am excited to help Jonah with a few personalized picks. To help me help him, I asked Jonah to share three of his favorite books and one he was not so crazy about. Here are his favorites:

Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai is my favorite novel in verse to date. I am amazed at how every free-verse poem has the ability to stand alone as a work of art, and yet shared together they link to tell a beautiful, heart-filled, stick-with-you kind of story.

This is the story of a young girl and her family who flee wore-torn Vietnam. They leave on a boat and eventually make their way to America where a family in Arkansas takes them in. 

5 (or more) Novels in Verse that Will Make you Fall in Love with the Genre

The first time I pulled a novel in verse off the shelf, I opened it, saw that it looked like one long poem and quickly put it back. A year later I decided to give one a try and checked out a copy of Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. I quickly learned I had made a mistake by putting that book back on the shelf so long ago. After that, it did not take long for me to fall in love with the genre.

 Most novels in verse contain well-crafted stories told through carefully chosen words. I am often amazed at how different authors utilize poetry, some through free verse and others through more structured forms of poetry to tell their stories.  The novel in verse is also accessible to a wide variety of readers. Because of the large amount of white space on the page, they are relatively quick reads making them a good pick for avid and reluctant readers alike. 

Below are five-is to get you started. Please add to the list in the comments. I am always on the look out for more. 

Author Focus: Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors. She is a storyteller extrodinaire. Her characters are rich. Her word choice is perfect. She captures emotion in a way that very few can. I haven’t read all of her books yet, but I have read most and each one is special.

My kids have also connected with her work. In fact, my most reluctant reader would say that two of her books are among his favorites. Her books are some of my favorites to recommend. If you or your young reader are looking for something to read, you can’t go wrong with a Kate DiCamillo book.

Below are some of my favorites.