Number the Stars- Lois Lowry

This book is a bit of a change for me as it is a bit more middle grades than young adult.  That being said, I’d heard good things so I decided to pick it up and read it.  The story, as most of you probably know, is about a young girl during WWII that lives in Holland and how her family is affected by the Nazi occupation.

It was interesting to read this book so soon after I read Postcards From No Man’s Land (I read both a couple of months ago).  Both provided insight into the war in Holland, but both were extremely different.  Overall I honestly wasn’t that big of a fan of Number the Stars, perhaps if I were more into books for upper elementary school students I would have felt differently.  It appears to be historically accurate, but I felt the plot and the characters lacked development.  I wanted to know more.

The book is definitely school appropriate and could be used for grades 4-7 though I’d say 5/6 is ideal.  This would be a good book to pair with a history lesson on WWII.

Awards:

WINNER 1991 – Arkansas Charlie May Simon Master List
WINNER 1989
– Sydney Taylor Book Award, Association of Jewish Libraries
WINNER 1991 – Kansas William White Master List
WINNER 1991 – Kentucky Bluegrass Master List
WINNER 1990 – Maine Student Book Award
FINALIST 1993 – Massachusetts Children’s Book Award
WINNER – Newbery Medal Winner
WINNER – ALA Notable Children’s Book
WINNER – School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

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House of the Scorpion-Nancy Farmer

This novel was really interesting.  It is futuristic, science fiction, and deals with the moral issues of cloning. It is set in a future, dystopian, Mexico.   I think this book could be used in 8-10th grade.  The issues presented can be linked to science and social studies courses as well.

Awards:

Newbery Honor 2003

National Book Award 2002

Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book 2003

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award finalist 2003

Sequoyah Young Adult Award 2004-05

Volunteer State Award 2006

Arizona Young Readers Teen Award 2005

South Carolina Junior Readers Award 2005-2006

Rhode Island Teen Book Award Winner 2005

Young Hoosier Book Award Middle Grades 2006

Nevada Young Reader’s Award in the Young Adult category 2005

Senior Young Readers Choice Award Pacific Northwest Library Association 2004-05

Out of the Dust- Karen Hess

This historical fiction piece is written in verse form. The language is easy to understand however. It takes place during the 1930’s in the middle of the “dust bowl.” This book I believe is appropriate for students ages 10-13 depending on their reading level. If a class were studying this time period it could be an interesting text to read along with it. The protagonist is female however, which might make it harder for male students to appreciate.

 

 

AWARDS:

Newberry Medal 1998

Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

IBBY Honor List

ALA 1998 Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults