A few weeks ago, our 8th grade book club members started reading advance review copies of three books scheduled for release this spring. It's been fun getting the chance to read something before anyone else. So far, we've read three books, all from well-known authors. We've liked them all, although some appealled more than others. Here's an summary of what we've read.
'Seer of Shadows' is part historical fiction, part ghost story with the best part being the ghost story. Horace is a photographer's apprentice who gets involved in a plot to swindle a wealthy woman by creating a photograph with an image of the woman's dead daughter in the background. Set in the 1890's when photographs had to be developed by hand, Horace discovers that he can actually photograph the dead girl's ghost. With each photo he takes, the girl's ghost gets stronger and it soon becomes obvious that she hasn't come back for a friendly visit. This book, by favorite author Avi, was well-liked by everyone. It's a page-turner with a delicious ending that leaves you wondering.
'Bird Lake Moon', by Newbery-winner Kevin Henkes, is the story of a troubled young boy who finds friendship one summer while trying to piece his life back together. Mitch's dad has just left the family, turning Mitch's life upside down. His stay at Bird Lake Moon with his grandparents is not the remedy he needs. But when Spencer arrives with his family in the empty house next door, Mitch senses that the two can become friends and help each other through the losses that mar their lives. This is a quiet book, one about friendship and acceptance. It doesn't have the kind of plot action that 'Seer of Shadows' has, but we enjoyed the relationship that develops between the two boys.
Jerry Spinelli has written another winner with 'Smiles to Go', the story of Will who is convinced his world has ended the day he finds out the proton died. Full of science, first kisses, annoying little sisters, best friends, and star gazing, this is a great book for older readers. Those that liked 'Stargirl' will enjoy this one.
This month, we'll preview 'Well Witched', the story of three kids who find out what happens when you steal money from a wishing well. Let's see if this book is as well-liked as some of the titles we've previewed already!