Deza Malone is the kind of character who jumps right into your heart and makes camp there.
Yes, this is a wonderful historical fiction book about the devastating effects of the Depression on families in the American Midwest - especially African American families. More than that, though, this is a book about a whip smart little girl who treasures books, her family, and has boundless hope for the future.
Read it for the eloquent writing and the childlike wonder. Read it for the glimpse into the past. Most of all, though, read it to fall in love with Deza Malone.
** This was my book recommendation in my classroom last week, it just didn't make it online!
Listen to the author speak!
Miranda’s life is one that passes for normal for a New York City sixth grader. She goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and avoids the crazy guy on the corner who spouts nonsense about pocket shoes and kicks at the air.
Things begin to go wrong for her the day her best friend Sal is punched by a stranger on the street and refuses to hang out with her anymore. Then the mysterious notes begin to arrive.
“I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.”
What follows is an amazing tale that is part mystery, part growing up tale, with a little splash of science fiction. It’s a perfect blend for kids (and adults) who like figuring out a puzzle along with the characters in a story. You need to read this book!
Perfect for upper elementary and middle school kids. It is especially recommended for fans of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 classic – A Wrinkle in Time.
Check out Rebecca Stead's own website
for more information about this book and her other books! Also, watch the interview with the author below.
Author: M.P. Kozlowsky
What would you sacrifice to make your fondest wishes come true?
Juniper's family used to be close and loving. Juniper would write elaborate plays and her actor parents would make them come to life. Her parents longed for fame and fortune, though. When they finally "made it" in the movies, their lives changed drastically. Suddenly, Juniper's parents have no time for her, and don't even seem to really care about her anymore. When she meets a new neighbor named Giles with similar parental problems, they decide to investigate.
This isn't just a tale of family changes, though. Juniper suspects something sinister has happened to her formerly loving parents. When she follows them out into the woods one dark and dreary night, her suspicions are confirmed. Can she withstand the temptations of her own deepest desires long enough to rescue her parents?
Juniper Berry is a wonderfully creepy tale, but not terrifying. It's a great choice for kids who want to dive into a book that will make them shiver. Students who are overly sensitive (as some of my students tend to be) may want to wait until they are slightly older. It's a great example of a strong female lead who will also appeal to the boys in the room!
Note: I won a copy of this book from Walden Pond Press. Check them out on Twitter! (@WaldenPondPress)
Check out the trailer here!