2018-01-02 / BookBag

New Year, New Perspectives

Paula Bannon | Schlow Centre Region Library

If you’re like me, you’re ready to let go of 2017 and make a fresh start. I am always hopeful about what I’ll accomplish in a new year — learn a new language, travel more, worry less…whatever the goal, it always seems within reach. This year, I want to bring a little more peace and understanding to my world. If you want to join me, start by reading a book written from a different point of view. Here are four middle-grade books that may help you — and your kids — look at the world with a new perspective.

Follow three families as they journey toward what they hope will be a better life in Refugee by Alan Gratz. In 1930s Germany, Josef and his family board the S.S. St. Louis to travel to Cuba to escape the Nazis. Isabel and her family cling to a small raft as they attempt to reach America from Cuba in 1994. And Mahmoud flees his childhood home in Aleppo after his building was bombed in 2015. Different times and different families, but the dream is the same — find a safe home for family.

In the New York Times best-seller Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, an old oak tree named Red has seen many families come and go while watching over the neighborhood. Every year on May 1, neighborhood residents come to tie wishes to Red’s branches. But when a new family moves in, Red sees that the wishes are more important than ever and decides to take action.

The Goldfish Boy, the debut novel from Lisa Thompson, is a page-turning mystery that focuses on a complex character. Matthew’s intense fear of germs means he rarely leaves the safety of his room. Most days are spent watching the neighborhood through his window, which is why he is the last person to observe the small toddler next door before he goes missing. Can Matthew overcome his fear to use his unique perspective to solve the mystery of the missing boy?

Ruth Behar’s coming-of-age story Lucky Broken Girl follows Ruthie Mizrahi and her family, who just immigrated to 1960s New York City from Cuba. But just as she’s starting to enjoy her new neighborhood, Ruthie and her family are in a car accident that leaves her in a full body cast for months. Ruthie must learn to adapt to her new circumstances and begins to look at the world differently.

Return to top