June 28, 2019

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

Gramps says that I am a country girl at heart, and that is true. I have lived most of my 13 years in Bybanks, Kentucky, which is not much more than a caboodle of houses roosting in a green spot along the Ohio River.
Hillbilly Elegy
J. D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy

By: J. D. Vance
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country --From the website at HarperCollins

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Sunny Side Up
Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Sunny Side Up

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Recommended for grade(s): 3, 4

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. ItÕs full of . . . old people. Really old people. Luckily, Sunny isn't the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they're having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains -- why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won't be secret to Sunny much longer. . . --From the website at Scholastic

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Building Our House
Jonathan Bean

Building Our House

By: Jonathan Bean
Recommended for grade(s):

In this unique construction book for kids who love tools and trucks, readers join a girl and her family as they pack up their old house in town and set out to build a new one in the country. Mom and Dad are going to make the new house themselves, from the ground up. From empty lot to finished home, every stage of their year-and-a-half-long building project is here. And at every step their lucky kids are watching and getting their hands dirty, in page after page brimming with machines, vehicles, and all kinds of house-making activities! As he imagines it through the eyes of his older sister, Building Our House is Jonathan Bean's retelling of his own family's true experience, and includes an afterword with photographs from the author's collection. --From the website at Macmillan

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Walk Two Moons
Sharon Creech

Walk Two Moons

By: Sharon Creech
Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

In her own singularly beautiful style, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion. Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the "Indian-ness in her blood," travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a "potential lunatic," and whose mother disappeared. As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold—the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother. Newbery Medal Winner. —from the HarperCollins website

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.