Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June YA/Upper El Picks

June's YA pick is Kendra, written by Coe Booth, authour of Tyrell. Like Tyrell, Kendra is definitely not for the upper elementary set due to graphic sex and upsetting violence. It is, however, an excellent teen book. Kendra's mother gave birth to her as a teen and left Kendra's upbringing up to her own mother while she went on to pursue her education and get out of the projects. Kendra always assumed that when her mother finally finished getting all of her degrees, they would live together, but when the time comes, Kendra's mother isn't ready. This rejection awakens so much hurt in Kendra that she begins making very dangerous choices and getting into serious trouble. Eventually, she has to learn to find her support in pieces, among many different family members and friends, instead of expecting any one adult to be what she needs. Most of all, she has to learn to be there for herself. Another excellent book - I plan to be reading everything that Coe Booth ever writes.

For upper elementary readers and up, I also really enjoyed A String In The Harp, an old timeslip story by Nancy Bond. The Morgan children have lost their mother and their father isn't coping all that well. When he moves the family from the U.S. to a tiny Welsh village, he immerses himself in his work and leaves them to manage their feelings alone. Peter, the middle child, finds an ancient harp key that plunges him into the story of Taliessin. Together, the Morgans learn the importance of trusting and supporting each other.

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