Sasquatch Award 2019 Part 3
This is a state children’s choice award for grades 4th-6th grades. Students have to read at least two of the books in order to vote. There is always a wide variety of books for them to choose from. This week’s nominees were the ones that I put off till the end for various reasons. They were all good in their own ways. The covers are linked to their Goodreads page.
Wish by Barbara O’Connor
This was a very sweet story about friendship and family. Charlie is a bit hard to like at times. She is tough and has a bit of a temper, but you come to like her eventually. Her Aunt and Uncle are wonderful and very patient with her, never getting angry with her even when she does hurtful and mean things to others. I loved her relationship with Howard. He has a limp that she calls his up down walk. He is great with her, always patient and happy and outgoing. Howard’s whole family was great. They take to Charlie like she was their long lost sister. I also loved the relationship she develops with the dog, who also helps to save her. The ending was also perfect, although somewhat predictable. I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Charlie and her issues and will be rooting for her.
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Except for this being a tad too long for my tastes, this was a pretty good historical fiction. The plot was interesting for the most part, and you really got a feel for what it was like living in rural Pennsylvania during WWII. I loved the extended family and how they supported Annabelle. There was a lot of love in that house. Even the aunt, who was often the cause of issues with the family. The family had a good heart and were willing to help others less fortunate as well as the other families in the community. I liked Annabelle’s relationship with Toby, which was the focus of much of the story. Toby is a WWI vet and has his issues, but was always kind and gentle with everyone. The dynamics of everyone believing a girl from a good families story about Toby and Annabelle and her families belief in him was an interesting aspect of the story. And for those of you who like to know these things, it won a Newbery Honor.
A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen
I read this when it first came out and I was hoping to find the time to reread it this summer, but just wasn’t able to squeeze it in. I remember really liking it when I first read it. It is historical fiction, which if you are familiar with Nielsen’s work you know it is a departure from her usual work. It was a really good adventure as well as being historical. I’m not sure how much student’s can relate to the Germans and the Berlin Wall, but the adventure will certainly keep them entertained. I really liked Gerta and her determination to bring her family pack together even at the risk of her life. The difficulties she and her brother and friends encounter will keep you on the edge of your seat. A very well done novel by a master storyteller.
Sputnik’s Guide To Life on Earth by Frank Cottrel Boyce
I have always enjoyed this authors books in the past, they are usually fun and quirky. This one is certainly quirky, and maybe just a little too weird to be fun. But I sort of liked it. At the heart of it is finding your place in this world and finding out that home is not necessarily a place. Prez is a likable character as are the other kids in this book. Sputnik is something else. I’m still not entirely sure if he was real or not but maybe something Prez made up to help him sort through his life and what was happening to him. There were some lovely interactions between Prez and Sputnik, and I especially liked some of the physics explained in simpler terms that most kids will get. I think this is a good book but will appeal to only a small portion of children and adults.
This is my last post on the Sasquatch nominees for this school year. We vote in the spring and I will try to remember to post which book wins. This will be a hard year to predict which one, there isn’t one that sticks out as the one that will appeal to most of the kids, although I think Ghost might have a chance. I think my two favorites were Fuzzy and The Evil Wizard Smallbone, but I don’t hold much hope for either of them winning. I hope you enjoyed these mini-reviews.
Which Sasquatch book would you vote for?