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3/19/09--Read Your Heart Out
Miss McGraw’s Top Ten Books
(Limited to books I’ve read during the ’08-’09 school year.)
10. Ella Enchanted; Gail Carson Levine. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and really enjoyed the clever twist on a classic tale.
9. Firegirl; Tony Abbott. I didn’t like the way this book ended, but I did like the raw human emotion in it. It reminded me that it is not always easy to respect and care for other people, especially when they are different.
8. Whittington; Alan Armstrong. Who can resist a charming, storytelling cat? Not me! I enjoyed how there were really 2 stories in this book—and both of them had to do with dreams coming true.
7. The Omnivore’s Dilemma; Michael Pollan. I would describe this book as interesting, eye-opening, and challenging. It's a robust report on (1) what we should choose to eat, and (2) how it should be produced. I'd recommend this book for anyone who has ever asked, "What's for dinner?"!
6. Snow Treasure; Marie McSwigan. I might not like this book quite as much as I did in the 5th grade, but I still admire the daring and courageous choices the children of Norway made to help their country during World War II.
5. The English Patient; Michael Ondaatje. I am fascinated with Northern Africa, and this book made me even more curious about visiting, knowing, and respecting a place as wild as the desert. I also felt for the characters as they had to deal with very challenging situations.
4. The House on Mango Street; Sandra Cisneros. Sandra Cisneros has an amazing ability to take boring, ordinary “slices of life” and turn them into beautiful, thought-provoking, and meaningful moments. (I also have to admit that I liked how the chapters were so short.)
3. Rascal; Sterling North. After I read this book, I felt nostalgic for a bygone era when a boy and his silly raccoon could play and adventure to their hearts’ content. This book is charmingly sweet and innocent.
2. Across Five Aprils; Irene Hunt. I appreciate the way Jethro, the main character, wrestles with his conscience as he tries to determine what is “right” and “wrong” during the Civil War. Just as Jethro changes, I also changed and came away from this book with a new perspective on this time in history.
1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian; Sherman Alexie. Despite major disappointments and more suffering than a high schooler should have to endure, Arnold, the main character, still manages to live his life with hope. Another aspect that made the book special was the way the author “tells it like it is” and doesn’t worry about shocking the reader. Even though I like Alexie's frank, straight talking writing style, it makes the book more suited for middle or high school readers--not 4th grade readers. :-( So, for now, tuck the title away in the back of your mind and don't forget to read it when you are a little bit older!
Article posted March 20, 2009 at 12:35 AM •
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