Recent Reads

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Macee–She’s Not There: a life in two genders sounds incredible. Your review alone nearly brought me to tears.

I’ve got two books to tell you about today.

Clara Gillow Clark recently published Hill Hawk Hattie. It’s a story of a girl and her Pa who are trying to rebuild their lives after the loss of Hattie’s Ma. Pa has become so mean since Ma’s death and Hattie Belle is getting meaner by the second. Suddenly, Pa seems less proud of his girl and lets her know that things would be so much easier if she were a boy. Maybe Hattie just reminds him of his dear wife?

Hattie chops off her braids and writes an entry in the diary her Ma left behind (her one comfort) apologizing to Ma for cutting her hair. Pa disguises Hattie as a boy and they take a wild raft ride down the Delaware River. Hattie and Pa make new friends and learn to love one another again as they combat the tempestuous river. The writing flows with movement of the river. It’s a beautiful book and perfect for fourth and fifth graders.

Now, for those rebellious teens (and maybe for those of us who have grown out of our rebellious teens but still do things like pierce our noses!). The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler, is one of the best coming of age novels for teenage girls that I have read in a long time.

Here’s what’s happening in Virginia’s life:

  • she’s battling her weight and the plus size section at Saks–where her Mom insists that she shops
  • she wants a boyfriend
  • she must come to terms with the fact that her brother is not the stellar character that she always believed
  • she is lonely and missing her best friend on earth

…and so much more. Virginia faces all these trials with a unique voice and fun solutions. She realizes that her own thoughts and reactions to her family members are valid–and that she looks great with purple hair! This is a must read for parents of teenage girls, teenage girls, people working with teenage girls… It has a lot to teach us about body image and the realities of family life and communication!

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