Monday, May 23, 2016
It's Monday! Here's What I'm Reading...
Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What are You Reading? weekly on their blogs. To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.
There is so much to love about Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin. Thyme and her family move from San Diego to New York City in order to get cutting edge cancer treatment for Thyme's younger brother, Val. Thyme has to deal with moving, fitting into a new school, figuring out a grumpy neighbor, sharing a bedroom with a moody older sister... While the primary focus is on Thyme and her issues, all of the characters are multi-dimensional and provide discussion opportunities about all sorts of social issues. The basic premise is simple in that Thyme has to establish a new identity and set of friends while supporting her brother and coping with the understandable family tension. However, perceptive readers will find a lot of other issues to talk about if they pay attention to the struggles of many magnetic characters. Melanie Conklin weaves in loneliness, insecurity, loss of parents, grief, immigration, even dementia, as there is an unlikably likable neighbor who both fascinates and scares Thyme--and she does this all while maintaining a strong middle school voice and perspective. I'm really looking forward to hearing other people's reactions to this new book!