Friday, May 18, 2012

FRIDAY: The Maibox, Touch Blue

Two final Book Fair books:
Gabe was in foster care for years before being placed with his crusty old uncle, Vernon. It's not a perfect placement, but it has become home for Gabe. Then one day he comes home from school and discovers Vernon is dead. Gabe doesn't know what to do - and he doesn't want to go back into foster care. So he does nothing. The next day when Gabe gets home, Vernon's body is gone and cards start showing up in the mailbox. The cards are an encouragement and comfort to Gabe. As Gabe mourns his loss and worries about someone finding out, he remembers colorful moments from his life with Vernon and he learns some things about himself.

4 out of 5 stars

This was a beautiful story. I really liked Gabe's character and the glimpses the reader gets of Vernon. There are great supports in Gabe's life that he discovers through the story. This would be an interesting story to read to a class - maybe 5th or 6th graders - and discuss together.

Tess enjoys her life on an island off the coast of Maine. But that life is in jeopardy because the state says there are too few students to keep the school open. The townspeople decide to take in some foster children in order to build up the school's numbers, and to help some kids in need. Tess' family takes in a boy named Aaron, but Tess worries that he won't like them and won't want to stay and she'll lose everything precious to her.

4 out of 5 stars

This is another great story. Not as dark as The Mailbox, but with similar themes of family and belonging. The author does a great job with Tess - her eagerness to make Aaron like them and want to stay is portrayed well. If you need material to talk to kids about foster care, you might check this title out.

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