09 September 2013

September Selections for the Scholastic Mother-Daughter Book Club

Remember when I introduced you to the Scholastic Mother Daughter Book Club for middle readers? I'm committed to featuring or reviewing all the books selected for this club because I think Scholastic has picked winning titles that have broad appeal.

Don't forget that the Scholastic book club site includes more information about the books, recipes, reading guides, and contests. The resources are perfect for book clubs, teachers, homeschoolers, and any one who wants to get more out of reading books with middle grade readers.

I absolutely love both selection this month. The graphic novel is a long-time favorite of mine, and the chapter book is an engaging and emotionally strong story.

Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff SmithI first read Jeff Smith's Bone series in 2009, and I still recommend this great graphic novel fantasy series, which appeals to middle grade readers as well as to adults. Rather than repeat myself here, I'll direct you to my original review.

Bone: Out from Boneville is about three cousins who leave home and set off on an adventure. Fone Bone, our hero and shown on the cover, is a lovable guy who is loyal to his kin and fairly on the ball. Phoney Bone is always looking for the next get-rich-quick scheme and tends to get his cousins into trouble. Smiley Bone is a bit slow but often has a joke up his sleeve; he's also good hearted and offers much comic relief.

This first in the series offers exciting action, great characters, and even a little bit of a love story. The artwork is wonderful, and the characters' faces are so expressive you know just what they're thinking and feeling. Don't miss this series!

Besides the discussion questions on the Scholastic book club site, your readers will likely want to talk about family, loyalty, working versus scheming, and all the different creatures they meet and the places they visit in this engaging fantasy story. The suggested recipe on the book club site is apple pie, which has special meaning for one of the characters and is perfect for the season.

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela CerantesAngela Cervantes's Gaby, Lost and Found, is a contemporary story that takes place in Kansas City.

Sixth grade is going to be hard for eleven-year-old Gaby Ramirez Howard. Her mother was recently deported to Honduras, and her absent father has suddenly decided to move into her house to take of her. Unfortunately, he is rarely home and can't seem to keep a job for more than a day or two. Even worse, he won't let his daughter live with her best friend and neighbor, although the family has begged Mr. Howard to let them take Gaby in.

The best part of fall is the sixth-grade community project. The girls at Gaby's parochial school have decided to help out at a local no-kill animal shelter. There, Gaby and her friends learn how to take care of the dogs and cats, work to keep the cages clean and fresh, and help the animals find new homes. Gaby is given the job of writing up flyers to encourage people to adopt a new pet.

When Gaby goes too far to save a cat from a bad situation, she gets in all kinds of trouble and even jeopardizes her friendship with Alma, her BFF. Will Gaby be able to work everything out, make peace with her parents, and help the animals? More important will she get the courage to stand up for herself?

Young readers will fall in love with Gaby, hoping she finds happiness and a stable home. Their hearts will also go out to the many special dogs and cats that come under the girls' care at the shelter. I'm sure more than one reader (young or old) will tear up at the end, when Gaby learns we can't have everything we want, but sometimes what we get is just fine anyway.

Book clubs will talk about illegal immigration, deportation, friendship, animal shelters, giving back to one's community, helping others who are less fortunate than we are, and the meaning of family. Although the novel contains what may seem like adult issues, Cervantes approaches them in an age-appropriate manner, and middle grade readers will not be overwhelmed. Don't forget to check the Scholastic book club site for more discussion questions. The punch recipe will remind readers of a celebration at the animal shelter and will be a welcome addition to any club meeting.

This post will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted by Julie at Booking Mama.

Bone: Out from Boneville: Scholastic / Scholastic Press, 2005; ISBN-13: 9780439706407
Gaby, Lost and Found: Scholastic / Scholastic Press, 2013; ISBN-13:9780545489454
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Col (Col Reads) 9/9/13, 7:52 AM  

Considering how my daughter loves her cat, I think Gaby would be a winner with her. I haven't heard of Bone. Thanks for the recommendations.

bermudaonion 9/9/13, 12:50 PM  

Oh my gosh, I love that they're reading Bone!!

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine 9/9/13, 8:18 PM  

A book set in Kansas City - I'll have to read that! I live there and haven't come across many books set here. Sounds like a good one!

Daryl 9/10/13, 8:33 AM  

thanks for these, i am sending the link to a friend who has a daughter just the right age for these

Laura at Library of Clean Reads 9/15/13, 8:51 AM  

For some reason, my son isn't into the Bone series yet. He's discovered the Goosebumps series and now is all into those.

Suko 9/16/13, 2:05 PM  

Bone sounds terrific! Thank you for this list of books.

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