Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mrs. Pothier's Picks

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
by Maya Angelou

Most students know how much I love poetry!  This is one of my favorites because it describes many of the challenges and insecurities that we experience every day.  Being confident and true to ourselves in the face of adversity is the theme of this poem.  It has rhyming and repetition and a clear message.  Plus, there’s nothing better than a poem combined with illustrations!  All readers- young and old- will like this special poem by Maya Angelou.

Fever 1793
by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book challenged by initial belief that historical fiction books are boring.  The story takes us back to the summer of 1793 in Philadelphia, where a 14-year old teen, Mattie, helps her widowed mother and grandfather run a coffeehouse.  When an epidemic of yellow fever spreads throughout the city, Mattie finds herself struggling to survive.  She describes her daily life through her first-person narration.  The details are vivid, making this book an excellent historical novel that brings to life the epidemic and its affects on the people of that time.  Laurie Halse Anderson is an author that I can depend on.  Some of her other books include Speak, Twisted, and Wintergirls.  These books seem best suited for girls, because they deal with girl-related issues, although Fever 1793 is meant for any middle school reader!

As Simple As Snow
by Gregory Galloway

This is possibly the best book I’ve ever read!  The story takes place in a small town near a river not far from a city.  The narrator is an unnamed high school guy who becomes friends with a new Goth-girl, Anna Cayne.  Soon, he finds himself hopelessly in love with Anna, who is an unusually charming and intriguing person.  But halfway through the book, Anna disappears, leaving him and the reader feeling lost and betrayed.  What’s fascinating about this book is that it becomes a search for Anna, complete with ciphers, codes, sightings and buried maps.  Plus it has you wondering if everyone is a suspect or if Anna is dead.  This quirky and puzzling debut novel is perfect for mystery lovers.  It had me thinking way beyond the last page, and I can’t wait for more just like it!

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