The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata introduces the reader to 12 year-old Summer and her younger brother Jaz during the wheat crop's harvest season in Kansas. The siblings are spending this summer with their strict Japanese grandparents, Obaachan and Jiichan, who work the harvest as a combine driver and a cook. Summer navigates helping her grandmother cook for the crew, learning the harvesting process, getting to know the farmers and their families and trying to control her brother's tempers, until she needs true determination and courage when her grandparent's need her help. As a bonus, the reader learns how the bread we eat gets to our table, plus Japanese sayings and stories. (4th and up)
Carley does not want to like the Murphy's, the foster family she is sent to when her mother's boyfriend sends her edgy, rather selfish, but fun loving mother to the hospital. Even with all her faults, Carley just wants her own mother back. But at the Murphy's, Carley sees and feels everything that has been missing from her life. Unconditional love and caring, and appreciation for each of the children's personalities, interests, and goals is on constant display and as the weeks go by, Carley's steel reserve is cracked. She begins to let them love and care for her and in return, Carley smart and funny personality wins over the boys, as she becomes their friend and helper, even providing guidance and basketball skills know how. Read One for the Murphy's by Linda Mullaly Hunt to find out if Carley still prefers to back to her former life when her mother's rehab is over. (5th grade and up)
My Reading List!
I am the Library Media Center director at Patton School in Arlington Heights where I help students from kindergarten through 5th grade find terrific independent reading for enjoyment and information, and teach students the skills to use information and technology safely and productively and to connect, communicate and share with others. I have four grown children, a large black dog, (flat coat retriever) and a small striped cat. I am an obessive Chicago Cubs fan and I love to run.