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Reading my way home

16 Jul

I went to Canada with a list of new Canadian  books I thought might be hard to find at home, and that I could add to my classroom library. One of the beauties of flying is the time to sit and read without interruption. I read two of my new books as I waited at the gate, then flew home.

I started A World Below by Wesley King while I waited at the Gate.


Publisher’s Summary: A class field trips turns into an underground quest for survival in the latest middle grade novel from the author of Edgar Award winner OCDaniel.

Mr. Baker’s eighth grade class thought they were in for a normal field trip to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. But when an earthquake hits, their field trip takes a terrifying turn. The students are plunged into an underground lake…and their teacher goes missing.

They have no choice but to try and make their way back above ground, even though no one can agree on the best course of action. The darkness brings out everyone’s true self. Supplies dwindle and tensions mount. Pretty and popular Silvia does everything she can to hide her panic attacks, even as she tries to step up and be a leader. But the longer she’s underground, the more frequent and debilitating they become. Meanwhile, Eric has always been a social no one, preferring to sit at the back of the class and spend evenings alone. Now, he finds himself separated from his class, totally by himself underground. That is, until he meets an unexpected stranger.

Told from three different points of view, this fast-paced adventure novel explores how group dynamics change under dire circumstances. Do the students of Mr. Baker’s class really know each other at all? Or do they just think they do? It turns out, it’s hard to hide in the dark.

This was an interesting book to read mere days after the rescue of the soccer team in Thailand. Each chapter ends with a bit of a cliff hanger and that certainly kept me reading. I had arrived at the airport early so I finished the book early in the flight and had time to read a second. The second book was My Deal With the Universe  by Deborah Kerbel.


Publisher’s Summary: Daisy Fisher just wants to be normal, but growing up in a house known as the “Jungle” makes that impossible. It doesn’t help when the neighbours declare your family public enemy number one. Or when your best friend leaves for camp and forgets you exist. Or when your twin brother may be getting sick again….

Just when it feels like Daisy’s deal with the universe is unravelling, she finds out that love and strength can come from surprising places… and that maybe “normal” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Most people have made a deal of some sort with the universe, promising to do something if only the Universe will make something turn out the way we want it to. Daisy’s deal has to do with her brother’s illness. Many kids have been embarrassed by their parents and Daisy is trying to walk the line between her love and embarrassment for hers. There is a lot for middle grade readers to connect with here.

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