New Books About School, Friends, Family & Growing Up

Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

Reading Level:  Grades 6 -9

Told in free verse, this is the story of Kasienka, who has just left her native Poland for a tenament in England.  Her mother was determined to follow her father who left the family two years before and hasn't been heard from since.  Kasienka is miserable in her new life.  At her middle school the popular girls bully her and at home her mother is determined to continue the exhausting, fruitless search for her father.  Only when she's swimming does Kasienka feel good and empowered.

Check availabliity of this book

Also by Sarah Crossan

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolotionist by Margarita Engle

Reading Level:  Ages 12 and up

This inspiring free verse novel is the fictionalized story of the early teen years of  Cuban poet/abollitionist Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (1814-1873.)  At thirteen, Tula uses her poetry and plays to express her views about freedom, both for the slaves of Cuba and for the young girls who are sold into arranged marriages to the highest bidder.  In defiance of her family's wishes  Tula is determined to live a free life.  Other poems give added dimension as the reader hear from her supportive brother, the nuns who nuture Tula, her disgusted mother, and the freed slave who has not  had the courage to leave. Tula's is a beautiful and powerful story.

Check availability of this book

Other books by Margarita Engle

Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamara Will Wissinger

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

It's obvious just from the cover that this book is going to be fun to read.  And it's all in poems so you can impress your teacher or your parents with your knowledge of different types of poems.  (Each one is labeled with the type of poem and at the back there's an explanation of what each type is.) The story is simple.  Sam has been looking forward to a father-son fishing trip, but then his pesky little sister horns in.  Tamera Will Wissinger's first book will have you hooked.

 

Check availability 

Pages