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Contemporary Realistic Fiction

This category contains 158 posts

SAVE ME A SEAT by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I originally read Save Me a Seat when it was published in 2016.  I rated it 5 stars then. When I saw it was a Lovelace nominee this year, I was curious to see if I would feel the same after rereading it.  Save Me a Seat was just as fantastic the second time as the … Continue reading

THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevado

Having read Elizabeth Acevado’s With the Fire on High, I was excited to go back and read The Poet X.  I was not disappointed.  Acevado creates some of the strongest, most completely developed young female characters I have ever encountered.  Xiomara Batista from The Poet X is no exception. Xiomara’s mother is extremely religious and has raised … Continue reading

PIECING ME TOGETHER by Renee Watson…a 2020 LOVELACE nominee Division II

Jade is an extraordinarily talented African-American teenage artist about to begin her junior year at St. Francis High School in Portland, Oregon.  St. Francis is a private high school in a nicer neighborhood than the one in which Jade lives with her mother and uncle; its students are mostly white. Jade agreed to attend St. … Continue reading

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Linda Mullaly Hunt

Shouting at the Rain is an okay story. It won’t shoot to the top of my Recommendations list for middle grade readers the way Hunt’s other works, Fish in a Tree and  One of the Murphys did.  This one was a 3.5/5 star read for me. Delsie lives with her Grammy on Cape Cod.  When we meet … Continue reading

MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina…2019 Newbery Medal

Merci Suarez Changes Gears has been on my To Be Read list for awhile and I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it.  Merci Suarez is in 6th grade.  She lives in Florida with her older brother, Roli, and her parents next door to her Tia Ines (and her twin boys) and her … Continue reading

THE NEXT GREAT PAULIE FINK by Ali Benjamin

The Next Great Paulie Fink is a confusing story.  Our main character is Caitlyn, who, having moved with her mother from upstate New York to Mitchell, Vermont, is starting 7th Grade at a small rural school. The school is located in an old mansion–instead of a typical school building.  All grades are housed in the … Continue reading

TO NIGHT OWL FROM DOGFISH by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer

To Night Owl from Dogfish is the story of Avery and Bett.  They are both 12-year-old girls and both are being raised by a single, gay dad. The story begins with an email from Bett to Avery.  They have never met, but each has received information from her father that the two girls will be … Continue reading

THE PARKER INHERITANCE by Varian Johnson…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I & II

Part historical fiction, part mystery and part contemporary middle years coming-of-age story, The Parker Inheritance weaves many themes into its complex, but highly structured, plot. The main character is Candice Miller.  She is twelve years old and her parents have separated. She and her mother have come to Lambert, South Carolina to stay while their … Continue reading

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo

WOW!  I cannot say enough how much I LOVED With the Fire on High! Emoni Santiago is one of my new favorite characters in literature. She’s extraordinary.  Her mother was Jamaican and her father is Puerto Rican.  She has always lived with her paternal grandmother; her father shows up for about a month (usually July) out … Continue reading

THE BRIDGE HOME by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge Home is Viji’s story.  Viji is eleven and her sister, Rukku, is a year older.  They live in Chennai, India with their mother and father.  Viji’s father is often angry and violent.  When her father’s brutality toward her mother spills over onto Viji and her sister, Viji makes the decision run away. Rukku is … Continue reading