BOOKS: My Brother Made Me Do It, The United Tates of America, Love Ruby Lavender, and Are You There God? It's Me Margaret
REVIEWS ON AMAZON:
My Brother Made Me Do It (Made a Sunshine State book for the 2002-2003 school year) - "Hi. I'm Julie Welsh. My nine-year-old brother is always cooking up schemes...and I get blamed. Because I'm older. Eleven, to be exact. But Frankie has his good points too, as I told Mrs. Kaplan, my 89-year-ald pen pal, who lives in Kansas. I write Mrs. Kaplan about everything. Even my secrets. She was the first one I told about my juvenile arthritis. Mrs. Kaplan understands everything. She has arthritis too. I was feeling tired and achy all the time, and discouraged. Then Mrs. Kaplan gave me ideas about running for student council, and though I could barely lift my legs, Frankie made me want to compete in a fun run. Just when I thought my life was a permanent time-out, you'll never believe what happened..."
United Tates of America (Made a Sunshine State book for the 2003-2004 school year) - "Best-selling children's book author Paula Danziger brings us the perfect novel for middle grade readers--a touching story incorporating the themes of friendship,loss, love and perseverance. Skate Tate hates change. But her whole life is changing at once. It's just not fair! Sixth grade is tough. Her new school is bigger, the classes are harder, and Skate's group of close friends is growing apart. Only her Great Uncle Mort (GUM for short) can help her deal with it all. He's not afraid of anything. When tragedy strikes, GUM sends Skate and her family on a road trip that will change their lives forever--starting with Plymouth, Massachusetts. Skate is taking it all down in her scrapbook, but will she ever learnhow to handle what lies just around the corner?"
Love, Ruby Lavender (Made a Sunshine State book for the 2004-2005 school year) - "When Ruby's grandmother, Miss Eula goes to visit her new grandbaby in Hawaii, Ruby is sure that she will have a lonely, empty, horrible summer without her in boring old Halleluia, Mississippi. What happens instead? She makes a new friend, saves the school play, writes plenty of letters to her favorite (and only) grandmother . . . and finally learns to stop blaming herself for her grandfather's death. Not too bad, for a nine-year-old. Winner of numerous awards and included on seventeen state reading lists."
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (A classic for any preteen) - "If anyone tried to determine the most common rite of passage for preteen girls in North America, a girl's first reading of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret would rank near the top of the list. Judy Blume and her character Margaret Simon were the first to say out loud (and in a book even) that it is normal for girls to wonder when they are ever going to fill out their training bras. Puberty is a curious and annoying time. Girls' bodies begin to do freakish things--or, as in Margaret's case, they don't do freakish things nearly as fast as girls wish they would. Adolescents are often so relieved to discover that someone understands their body-angst that they miss one of the book's deeper explorations: a young person's relationship with God. Margaret has a very private relationship with God, and it's only after she moves to New Jersey and hangs out with a new friend that she discovers that it might be weird to talk to God without a priest or a rabbi to mediate. Margaret just wants to fit in! Who is God, and where is He when she needs Him? She begins to look into the cups of her training bra for answers."