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The Tweens Read {December 2017}

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Here’s another monthly installment of the Tweens Read.  Each month I give a short summary of what my 9 and 11-year-olds have been reading.  If you are looking for new books for your own tweens to read, hopefully you can get some suggestions here.

READ BY THE 9-YEAR-OLD:

This past month  my son did an author study at school on Roald Dahl.  Most of his outside school reading was of various Roald Dahl books.

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Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
Published by: Penguin Group, February 1999 (first published 1984)
Pages: 176
Source: borrowed from classroom library
Rating: 3 out of 5

This is Roald  Dahl’s first autobiography, in which he writes about his childhood in England.  I have not read this book.  My son, “kind of liked it because I don’t really like autobiographies.”

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Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Published by:  Puffin, June 1998 (first published 1975)
Pages: 205
Source:  borrowed from classroom library
Rating: 4 out of 5

Danny’s mother passes away when he’s a baby, so it’s just him and his dad.  He discovers that his father has a secret hobby, poaching pheasants.  Again, this is a book that I have not read.  My son liked this book and found it entertaining and funny.

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Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Published by: Puffin, April 2001 (first published 1986)
Pages: 209
Source: borrowed from classroom library
Rating: 3 out of 5

Going Solo is the sequel to Boy.  It’s Dahl’s autobiography of his time as a World War II pilot.  Again, my son wasn’t the biggest fan of this book because he doesn’t enjoy reading this genre of books.

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James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Published by: Puffin, April 1996 (first published 1961)
Pages: 144
Source: borrowed from classroom library
Rating: 4 out of 5

Although James and the Giant Peach is the sixth book that Dahl wrote, it’s one of his more well-known earlier works.  Even I’ve read and enjoyed this book and the movie with the giant peach and the talking insects! My son liked it because, “their adventures are extreme.”

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The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets by Roald Dahl
Published by: Puffin Books, September 2010
Pages: 128
Source: borrowed from classroom library
Rating: 4 out of 5

This short book contains both fiction and non-fiction works.  It includes a chapter about Miranda Mary Piker, one of the children who didn’t make it into the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  There are also more tales about Roald Dahl’s life, a quiz and some recipes from Mr. Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  My son liked it because, “it has cool recipes  for truffles and butterscotch” (which I did not know about and we did not try making).

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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl
Published by: Puffin, October 1988 (first published 1977)
Pages: 240
Source:  borrowed from classroom library
Rating: 4 out of 5

This book is a collection of seven short stories.  I had not even heard of this book before my son brought it home to read.  He really liked the title story, because, “it is cool that Henry has the power to (kind of) cheat at casino games.”

READ BY THE 11-YEAR-OLD:

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Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers, October 2008
Pages: 322
Source: borrowed from the library
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This middle grade fiction book is about three different teens Ally, Bree and Jack.  They are brought together by a viewing of a solar eclipse at Moon Shadow campground, which ends up changing their lives.  The chapters alternate being told from the perspectives of the three different characters.  My daughter has read several books by Wendy Mass and is a fan.

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The School For Good and Evil (The School For Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani
Published by: HarperCollins, May 2013
Pages: 488
Source:  purchased from Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is my daughter’s favorite book series.  Having purchased the second book in the series earlier last month, she decided to re-read the first book.  Best friends Sophie and Agatha are kidnapped and brought to the School For Good and Evil.

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To Look a Nazi in the Eye by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz
Published by: Second Story Press, September 2017
Pages: 256
Source:  received copy from publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Daughter’s Review:  This book was very interesting.  It is an account of a war trial against Oskar Groening, a SS guard in World War II. 19-year-old Jordana Lebowitz found herself being swept into the confusing and curious trial of Groening that claims he helped to kill more than 300,000 Jews. Jordana was ultimately not prepared for what she would encounter and see on her adventure. Jordana understood she would access knowledge by seeing history before her eyes and that she would have to pass this knowledge onto the next generation of learners. I recommend this book for ages 9+ because of the complexity.

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Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Published by: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, April 2017
Pages: 320
Source: received copy from publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Daughter’s Review: This book was also an interesting book. It is about a 14 year-old-girl named Sofia who goes through the struggles of losing her mom, her dad getting a new girlfriend when she is not ready to get over her mom yet, and just being a teen. Her friends help her but when a long time goes by, they are concerned. When Sofia discovers Dear Kate, a column for girls, she now feels she has someone she can talk to for advice. When her Dad introduces her to his new girlfriend, who seems very familiar, Sofia’s life takes a whole new direction. I recommend this book for ages 10+ because of some rude humor, and awkward topics.

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Published by: Simon Pulse, February 2005
Pages: 425
Source:  purchased
Rating: 4 out of stars

I read this series over five years ago and enjoyed it enough to own the first three books.  My daughter decided to read this first one and liked it as much as I did.   This is a dystopian YA book where everyone is considered “ugly” until age 16 when they get a surgery to make them “pretty.” Tally Youngblood is about to turn 16.  But her new friends Shay and David show her the not-so-pretty side of being a “pretty.”

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A World Without Princes (The School For Good and Evil #2) by Soman Chainani
Published by: HarperCollins, April 2015
Pages: 433
Source: we own
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is the second book in The School for Good and Evil series.  Sophie and Agatha are back home but are whisked back to the school.  There they discover that everything has changed and instead of good vs. evil, it is now girls versus boys.

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