Tag Archives: foster care

Rising to the Challenge

10 Jun

I read a lot, as you well know, and I can often predict how things will end. Sometimes, though, you see it coming and it still makes you cry.

This weekend, I read Planet Earth is Blue  by Nicole Panteleakos, and it was like a gut punch. I totally knew what was coming, but the reaction of the main character, Nova, was so well written that I wanted to crawl through the pages to give her a hug, even though she doesn’t like to be touched.


Books can do a lot to teach kids to feel empathy for others. It was interesting to see what was going on in Nova’s mind, while people around her misunderstood everything she was about.  At 232 pages, Planet Earth is Blue,  isn’t a long book – it can easily be finished in an afternoon by a pool – but it kept me riveted.


Orbiting Gary D. Schmidt

9 Nov

Oh Gary D. Schmidt,

What you do to my heart.

I was in tears yesterday afternoon reading your latest novel Orbiting Jupiter. 


I read it, as I often read, nestled between Fiona and Lucy on the sofa. Fiona is not doing well these days and I fear I will have to make a big decision one day soon.

 Having just heard Jack Gantos on Saturday, Orbiting Jupiter was the perfect book to read because it is about that the perilous moment in a a young person’s life as they wrestle with their internal and external lives, trying to find their balance and their place in the world.

Publisher’s summary: The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.

This is a short book, with spare but effective writing. The publisher lists it as middle grade, but it would be a good book for readers transitioning from middle grader to YA.


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