Countdown of my favorite books – part 5.

Time to focus on middle grade again! These next two choices seem to be more for the library and school market. But the writing and the powerful storytelling in both were incredible.

OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt

I’m sorry. But I almost didn’t read this book – and in fact didn’t pluck it from the library shelves for weeks – because the cover is so bad. It doesn’t show you anything about the compelling journey the main character endures, his struggles, his triumphs. I am so glad I read it. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. Pure story.

CHAINS by  Laurie Halse Anderson

I’ve loved Laurie’s young adult works. Wintergirls is one of my favorite. I found CHAINS at our library and figured I’d give her historical MG a try. I loved how the story, based on the Revolutionary War, told a story we don’t often hear. That of a slave girl in the north, living with British sympathizers, and she’s a spy! I’m very much looking forward to the sequel.

Tell me about your favorites in the comments!

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7 Responses to Countdown of my favorite books – part 5.

  1. Anna Staniszewski December 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I loved CHAINS–it was so powerful! I actually own OKAY FOR NOW and I think the cover has been keeping me from diving in. You’ve inspired me to give it a chance. 🙂

  2. Laura Marcella December 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    That’s why I don’t pay attention to covers! I know of lots of amazing stories stuck between lackluster covers. Titles usually draw me in, but it’s a compelling back cover summary that makes me decide to buy a book.

    I’ve really enjoyed your book recommendations this week, Laura! Wishing you and yours a merry Christmas and a happy new year!!

  3. Donna K. Weaver December 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I’ve been reading a lot of book covers and how important they can be. Your post really supports that.

  4. Laurel G December 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I’ve walked past CHAINS a couple of times, assuming from the cover that it’s another Civil-War-era story. (I’m kind of burned out on the era because my dad was so obsessed). But this sounds really interesting–eighteenth century slave spy during the American Revolution. Cool!

    Just another sign we shouldn’t judge books by their cover, as you said about the Schmidt story.

  5. Jemi Fraser December 24, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    Good choices! I think my favourite MG reads from this year were Dogsled Dreams and Earthling Hero 🙂

  6. Jennifer Shirk December 24, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    What a great idea!

    Have a Merry Christmas, Laura!!

  7. Traci Kenworth December 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    I’ll have to pick these up. Thanks!!

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