Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Disclaimer: Do not read this book alone late at night. The pictures are creepy! But FYI- adolescents LOVE that about this book :) I only have to show them a couple pictures and tell them about the plot, and they're lining up to read it.
Jacob grew up hearing his grandpa's ghost stories and tales about the peculiar children he grew up with as a Jewish WWII refuge in England. But when Jacob's grandpa suffers a horrific death, Jacob starts to think that maybe there is truth to these stories. He returns to Miss Peregrine's Home to learn what he can and determine the truth.
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie berry
Judith returns after having been missing for four years with no explanation for her absence, no tongue, and no explanation for the death of her best friend who also went missing at the same time. Her town fears her and she become a quiet, lone outcast, distrusted by her own family and ignored by her former friends. But while the truth is dangerous for Judith and those she loves, it could also be the only means of saving them.
This was an interesting idea for a book. I didn't love it, but it was an interesting story. Because of the way the story is told, you never really know the whole story until the end.
Maus by Art Spiegleman
As a graphic novel, this is a unique and unexpected format for a historical fiction book about the Holocaust, but it definitely reaches an audience that otherwise would not read similar genres. As you can imagine, this is especially powerful for students. But don't be fooled by the comic book feel of this book- the topic is no laughing matter and the story is as real as any other book on this topic.
The author write his father's story as a Holocaust survivor. As a Jew in Poland, Spiegelman's parents and older brother had been caught in the turmoil of WWII. They hid, finding refuge from the sympathetic, but eventually ended up in a concentration camp.
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
After being accidentally vacuumed up, a squirrel is brought back to life by a cynical and lonely little girl. Much to their surprise, he finds he now has superpowers- incredible strength, the ability to fly, and a new found knack for poetry. The girl, Flora, names him Ulysses, and the two begin to look out for one another and to seek out a worthy purpose for Ulysses' new powers.
This is a very sweet story. As an English teacher, I love the appeal of the pictures throughout, and I appreciate the vocabulary and the themes of friendship, empathy, and heroism.