It’s no secret that librarians love Jason Reynolds and all of the amazing books he writes. Luckily for us he doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. His latest book, Look Both Ways, is a middle-grade read and a pretty quick one at that!
It takes place over the course of one afternoon on 10 different blocks of the same neighborhood. At first you aren’t entirely sure how all of this is going to fit together, but as you read the different chapters, familiar names start to pop up and the full picture is painted.
On one block, you have a group of friends hyping up one boy before he talks to his crush. Unfortunately the lip balm his friend gives him is actually Vicks VapoRub. In another one, you see a group of kids essentially use candy to hustle and earn a profit, but their intentions are what is surprising. It’s a great read that explores different points of view and a wide variety of kids.
Now if you’re like me, the youth librarian writing this blog, you are going to fall in love with Jason’s writing style and need MORE. Well, as I said, he was written a decent number of books to keep you well-fed in the middle-grade and young-adult literature department.
One of those books, Ghost, is all about Castle Crenshaw, or Ghost, and the giant chip he has on his shoulder that is causing him to harbor a lot of anger with a bit of an attitude. Ghost is mad, and sometimes that anger gets out at unfortunate moments. He needs to find his cool and get through some of the emotions he’s dealing with or he’s not going to get a chance to run at a meet. Ghost is the first in the Track series, so in case you were worried, there’s more!
Another Jason Reynold novel that will fill the void when you’ve finished Look Both Ways is As Brave As You. This story features two brothers who are sent to live with their grandparents for the summer in the COUNTRY! They’re only slightly devastated (that was sarcasm), but their interest is piqued when they discover that their Grandpop is actually blind.
They bombard him with questions about how he lives his life and decide he is the bravest man — but is that true? And what does it really mean to be “brave”? Those are questions our pal Genie is left to struggle with as his summer goes on.
If you enjoyed the multiple points of view aspect of this lovely book then fear not, there are other books written in exactly that format! (Amazing right?!) Jacqueline Woodson’s novel Harbor Me is a great novel written from six different perspectives. The six kiddos in this story all start meeting up for a weekly chat in the ARTT room (A Room to Talk) and talk about everything that’s bothering them, and the things that are bothering them are tough.
They are each other’s support and as they talk and spend time together, they grow to lean on one another to give them bravery to make it through the tough times ahead.
Lastly, if you are just in the mood for a collection of short stories you can read on and off, then look no further than the quirky anthology of stories, essays, and poetry that is Funny Girl. This book is filled with awesome pieces of literature written by some of the most popular authors in the middle-grade realm. This book is full of funny stories about girls, because girls can be funny, too!
Check out all of these great books and more at your local Kent District Library branch! Remember you can place a hold via our online catalog (all those bright hyperlinks will take you right there) or you can check out if we’ve got a digital copy of any of these amazing books available for instant download on cloudLibrary or hoopla.
Stay warm & happy reading everyone!