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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Middle School Reading, 5th - 7th graders

Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she’s missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter—cold and unkind. But slowly he makes friends: a girl in foster care, an old woman with a rundown farm, and a sweet, sad cow that reminds Kek of home. As he waits for word of his mother’s fate, Kek weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.
Olana, my 7th grader, has been challenged to read the YARP reading list for the award of a Barnes and Noble card.  I looked through the list and only found four that I though I wouldn't want her to read (rebellion/isolation themes).  Since 1989, each year the Young Adult Reading Program (YARP) Teen Reads Committee of the South Dakota Library Association publishes a list of books to promote quality literature and to help South Dakota teachers and librarians in selecting and promoting books for adolescents. The books are selected from among the many young adult and adult books that have received positive reviews by national reviewing periodicals. To qualify to vote, teens read books from the list and give it a star rating of 1 to 4, 4 being best. Teenagers may vote for as many books as they would like on a scale basis. One winner is selected from the Middle School List and another winner from the High School list. To find books for K-12, follow this link to the state library page.

Middle School List

The first I put on hold at the library was How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg. This books is definitely not for the squeamish, but Bragg's light-hearted take on the subject keeps things moving while convincing the modern reader to be very grateful for modern medicine. For example, George Washington came down with what modern doctor's think was a throat infection that today could be cured by antibiotics. But his doctors used the following 'remedies,' bloodletting (numerous times, they took over a third of his blood), blister-beetle treatment (you don't want to know!), a dose of calomel (contains mercury, which is highly poisonous, tartar emetic (to make him vomit), and a variety of different poultices.

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