This title won the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor in 2011. It chronicles the friendship between a group of mice and a cat during the time of Charles Dickens. In fact, the author himself frequents the inn where this novel takes place. An initial listing of characters with names such as Pip alludes to the possibility of many Dickens references throughout the story. My favorite so far (on the back cover): “He was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms.”
I see this title frequently mentioned on Twitter by other educators. After picking it up at my local book store, I sent out this tweet:
Purchased The False Prince today – heard it was a good read. Confirmation? #nerdybookclub
— Matt Renwick (@ReadByExample) June 10, 2014
It resulted in at least half a dozen replies, all highly recommending it. This fantasy novel pits four orphans against each other in a deadly competition to impersonate the king’s missing son, in order to avoid civil war. After an initial preview, I get the feeling it is The Hunger Games meets Crispin: The Cross of Lead. The False Prince is part of a series, like the other two books mentioned.
My kids have checked out this title as an audiobook on Playaway a few times from our public library. Their frequent laughter while listening has piqued my interest. A girl’s “hippy” parents have been kidnapped by foxes. She hires two rabbits (hence the title) after learning she can speak animal. Also fun is that the author, Mrs. Bunny, has a blog.
Although I cannot say for sure, this second book in The Sixties Trilogy appears to combine primary historical documents from that time period with a narrative of kids experiencing the Civil Rights Movement. It almost has the feel of Brian Selznick’s books The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Thunderstruck. The difference: The artifacts and photos support the story with both imagery and facts.
What is on your reading list for middle level titles this summer? Please share in the comments.