Tyler lives on a dairy farm in Vermont. When his dad is injured in a tractor accident the family can no longer keep up with the work. Tyler’s dad decides to hire migrant workers to save the farm from foreclosure. (A migrant worker is a worker that travels from place to place getting work on farms harvesting crops that are in season. In the US, migrant workers are often from Mexico.)
The Cruz family moves to the farm and the men begin working on the farm. The kids go to Tyler’s school. One girl, Mari, is in Tyler’s class. The two kids find that they have a lot in common, mostly, worrying about their families.
When Tyler discovers that the Cruz’s are undocumented workers, he’s confused. Would his dad do something illegal? What is so illegal about the Cruz’s working to help out his family? When the authorities raid the farm and take the Cruz men to jail, Tyler is as confused as ever. He and his family have spent a year building a friendship with Mari and her family and the rules don’t make any sense. The Cruz’s definitey don’t belong in jail, but where do they belong? Should they stay, or do they have to go? If they go, what will happen to the farm?
This is a really personal look at the life of migrant families and the choices and dangers they face. I really liked Meeting Mari and her family. She helped me understand what would motivate a family to risk living in the US illegally. Author: Julia Alvarez; Award: Pura Belpre Author Award 2010
Listen to Julia Alvarez Read from Return to Sender
Isabella is Jamie’s BFF. If you’ve read any of the other Dear Dumb Diary books you already know this. You also know that Angeline is NOT Jamie’s BFF.
Now, Jamie’s Aunt has gone and done something that’s really wrecked Jamie’s neatly ordered social life. Jamie’s Aunt Carol married Angeline’s Uncle Dan. Now, they are sort of related. Jamie is not very happy about this new “automoatic” friendship. She still doesn’t like Angeline but they are now thrown together at family events and expected to be friends.
Jamie tries to talk to Isabella about this, you know, get a little BFF sympathy, but Isabella thinks Angeline isn’t that bad and they should all be friends. Jamie is having none of that because…there are only TWO Fs in BFF.
“If you get too many Fs, it doesn’t look like Best Friends Forever anymore. It looks like you’re trying to spell the sound a fart makes. Observe: BFFFFFFFFFF.”
More laugh outloud funny diary entries from the one and only Jamie Kelly. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, give these a try. Author: Jim Benton
“Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I can’t wait until two o’clock God. That’s when our dance starts. Do you think I’ll get Philip Leroy for a partner? It’s not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he’s very handsome. And I’d love to dance with him… just once or twice. Thank you God.”
Margaret has to move to new house and start sixth grade in a new school. She has to find new friends. It’s tough, and she talks to God to tell him all about it.
Charlotte Says: All Judy Blume books are amazing my favorite book of hers is Are You There God it’s Me Margaret.
I haven’t read Alex Rider yet, but Ethan and Billy have convinced me, I’ve put in a request for Stormbreaker.
“When his guardian dies in suspicious circumstances, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his world turned upside down. Within days he’s gone from schoolboy to superspy. Forcibly recruited into MI6, Alex has to take part in gruelling SAS training exercises. Then, armed with his own special set of secret gadgets, he’s off on his first mission.” Author: Anthony Horowitz
Ethan says: BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!! A spectacular book about spies and high tech gadgdets. AWSOME!!!!!! Read the rest of his stories.
Billy says: Awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you like spies and gadgets, try the series S.T.O.R.M about a group of kid spies who also use all kinds of high tech gadgets or try Alibi Junior High, about a former kid spy who tries to adjust to Middle School.
Hector Fitzbaudly leads a privileged life. He lives in a mansion with his father, wears stylish, expensive clothes and goes to the best school. He and his father are free to spend as much time and money as they wish on their magnificent butterfly collection.
One night, Hector’s father receives a mysterious guest…and from that night forward Hector’s life begins to unravel. The mysterious man knows something about Hector’s father. Hector’s father is willing to pay a steep price to keep the man quiet.
The stress of the secret extracts an even bigger price when Hector’s father drops dead from a heart attack and leaves Hector to deal with the fact that their fortune is actually gone. Turned out into the street, Hector sets off on his own. He has nothing…except a burning desire for revenge against the mysterious one-eyed guest that Hector blames for his father’s death and for the loss of his father’s fortune. The one-eyed man might be smart, he might be devious, he might have a sinister plan, but Hector is smart too. He can be devious. He can come up with a plan.
Hector follows the one-eyed man to the home of Lady Mandible. Lady Mandible hires Hector to live at the mansion and raise butterflies, giving Hector the opportunity to sneak around at night hoping to find out more about the one-eyed man. Hector discovers some unsavory information about “Lady” Mandible. She collects all kinds of gruesome art and she paints some pictures herself…with blood!
Creepy enough for you? How about this: her guest, the one-eyed man, well, he collects eyeballs. Glass ones, but still…eyeballs. If you like the deliciously macabre (that means shockingly offensive), then you’ll love reading about Lady Mandible. She’s Cruella DeVil without the puppies, and she’ll stop at nothing to get exactly what she wants.
Hector gets quite a dose of sinister and has to decide what to do with his desire for revenge. Should he play the same game as Lady Mandible and the Eyeball Collector…or is there a sweeter revenge? Author: F.E. Higgins
The Eyeball Collector is a gothic story. That means the mood of it is dark and gloomy; very mysterious with strange events and people. F.E. Higgins wrote The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician & The Eyeball Collector. These are not sequels of each other..but characters and places are shared between all the books. If you like them, try The Wolves of Willoughby Chase or The House With the Clock in its Walls. But read early. With the lights on.