New books – two of the most beautiful words in the English language!
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson will be released in early September, and I anticipate a waiting list by the end of the first day of school. Fans of Jamieson’s first middle grade graphic novel, Roller Girl, are going to love All’s Faire in Middle School. At the center of the story is eleven-year-old Impy who is beginning 6th grade in a “real” school after being home schooled. As Impy describes it herself, her life with her parents and younger brother is pretty “normal.” There is one thing though that makes Impy’s family stand out: her family is part of the Florida Renaissance Faire. In fact, her parents are both cast members during the weekend festivities, and Impy is looking forward to training to be a squire. She fits in perfectly at the Faire, but middle school is a different story. The rules are different and not as clear.
During weekend performances on the Faire’s main street, Impy is comfortable asking visitors if they are “looking for victuals” and using phrases like “loggerheaded rump-fed giglet,” but trying to figure out what shoes she should wear to school is more challenging. Of course, mistakes are made and there are consequences, but Impy and her family are memorable characters.
And there’s this…..
I read The Quest for Z by Greg Pizzoli and immediately started thinking of various ways to use this book in classes – and making a mental note about kids who will enjoy this fascinating story. It’s a picture book based on the life of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who spent years searching for a mythical civilization in the Amazon rain forest. Born in 1867, Fawcett was born into an adventurous family, and from the beginning he was committed to learning to surviving in the jungle. He took numerous trips deep into South America where, Pizzoli writes, Fawcett “heard stories from locals that gave him clues to the possible location of the lost city of Z, and he became obsessed.” Ultimately, Fawcett disappeared during one of his explorations, but his story caught the imagination of people then and now. Pizzoli writes: “It’s estimated that as many as one hundred people have disappeared or died in the hunt for Percy Fawcett and the blank spot on the globe that he called Z.”
In fact, this book reminded me of a bestselling book from a few years ago, The Lost City of Z: A Deadly Tale of Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann.
Speaking of new books…
I went book shopping today with a 5th grade Inly student. Our mission: her summer reading plan. It was a successful trip: