- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
"I've contacted the aunt and uncle whom I visited in rural Pennsylvania every summer as a boy. You'll be staying with them." says Dad
"What are their names?"
"Uh...Poppy and Moo."
"Mike, come meet Poppy!"
I followed the line of the yardstick, which seemed to point to a huge recliner in the far, dark corner of the room. With a statue sitting in it.
At least, it was frozen like a statue. Its arms were almost as white as its undershirt except for the blue veins running up and down. Above the undershirt, hair peeked out, then a fat neck and stubbly chin. Lips stuck out in a pout. Eyes stared straight ahead. Two tufts of gray hair stuck up like devil horns. The whole statue looked like it hadn't moved in days.
"Say hello to Poppy!" Moo said.
Mike is a kid who is the only sane center of the town called "Do Over." Sent by his dad to spend six weeks of his summer vacation building an artesian screw, Mike cannot figure out how to tell his dad that he hates math. However, when he arrives in "Do Over," he realizes that he is the only person who can fundraise $40,000 for the adoption of Romanian Mike.
Over the course of the summer, Mike finds the calling within himself. Full of humorous situations and eccentric characters, Mike manages to rouse people in Do Over. At the same time, though, does he manage to finally reach his Dad? Read it and find out!
Calli lives in a family of over-achievers. Every single person in her family, including her parents "go for the gold." Except Calli. She is happy being an average fifth grade kid, but doesn't know how to fit in with her extroverted family, who want her to be an over-achiever, too. Especially torturous is her father's version of the ABC's. Her brother and sister, Alex and Becca, each announce their achievements during the ABC's. But Calli, the "C", does not feel she has anything to contribute. Until, she meets Noah. Noah isn't like other kids. Her approach to Noah changes life for both him and her in ways she could never have imagined!
Along the way, Calli learns that her parents have issues of their own. Her older brother brings some sanity to her world with his understanding of the family dynamic. Becca, meanwhile, has a hidden secret, too.
Calli Be Gold (AR 6.0, Level 4.2) will reach the heart of any kid who doesn't really fit in, whether at school or at home. Michele Weber Hurwitz clearly understands the problems that upper-elementary or beginning middle-school kids have in this stellar debut novel. She cleverly uses humor to offset some of the serious issues her characters face. The combination of humor and pathos made this book a page-turner!
I could not put it down until the wee hours of the morning! This adult librarian was in tears from about half-way through the book all the way to the end. I was also laughing, as well, so I am sure my family thought I was becoming unhinged. I can wholeheartedly say that this book is the best book I have read so far this year. Try it and see for yourself!