Newbery winner Lynne Rae Perkins (Criss Cross 2006) delivers laughs and thrills in this four way adventure story that all starts when teenager Ry makes the mistake of getting off a train in the middle of nowhere and getting left behind. Ry, his grandfather, Ry's two dogs and his parents are all in different places when one thing after another goes wrong keeping them completely out of reach of each other. It's mostly Ry's story but all the threads keep moving as the story progresses. Rich visual language, Ry's humorous internal monologues, unusual and fully realized secondary characters will zip you along. Don't miss some wonderful graphic details both small and large. And also the Extras chapter at the end that tells about the dogs adventure told from their point of view. If you're a dog person you'll totally get it! All in all a great YA selection for boys or girls, As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth.
Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai based this modern historical fiction on her husband's experiences as a young boy fleeing war torn Afghanistan in 1979. Fadi, in middle school in Fremont, California is thousands of miles away from all he has ever known. His family, once successful people before the Taliban take over of Russian occupied Afghanistan, are trying to cope. Fadi is beyond guilt ridden because he blames himself for the fact that his little sister got separated from the family during their escape and got left behind. Fadi discovers a love of photography which not only gains him some new friends but maybe a way to find his missing sister. Here's a chance to better understand some difficult topics such as terrorism and 911 and the effect on people experiencing it from the other side of the United States. Pair this outstanding story with Inside Out and Back Again or Trash (both Caudill nominees) for a deep new cultures experience.
Jennifer Holm takes you back in time to a place many of you have visited: The Florida Keys. But this is the Keys of 1935 and the US is fully in the Depression. Many people are struggling to make ends meet. Eleven year old Turtle is sent by her single mom to live with relatives in Key West. Spunky and resilient Turtle is determined to make the best of her situation even if does include a load of boy cousins, some strange neighbors, different kinds of foods and even treasure. The story is told by Turtle. Her voice rings true. You will feel how she feels and experience this wondrous place along with her. A Newbery Honor winner in 2010, this historical fiction adventure was inspired by the author's great grandmother. Do not miss reading the author's note at the end full of wonderful period photographs of places and people from the book.