Book Talk / Fiction Friday: July 19


Those of you who are regular readers know that I try to read all the Sunshine State Young Reader Award books over the summer, and they are some of my read - alouds for the school year. While this is a Florida award, many of the books are on reading lists in other states, too. For a complete list of the 3 - 5 books, just click the link. I have really been enjoying this year's books for the most part; of course there are always those that I like more than others. This week I completed two more of the books, and one in particular really struck a chord with me. I'm going to share both of them today. I am down to just one more of the 15 books to read, and I'm just waiting for it to come in at the library. I'm going to try to share all the books over the next few Fridays, with the brochure I made for each.

Waiting For The Magic

Patrica MacLachlan

When William's Dad leaves his family, Mama goes to the animal shelter and adopts 4 dogs and a cat named Lula! The dogs, Neo, Bitty, Grace, and Bryn fill up the house if not completely the empty space left when Papa went away.

William doesn't believe in magic, but four year old Elinor certainly does. In fact, Elinor knows a lot about magic, because she can hear the dogs think. Grace, the greyhound, explains that it is because she is four, and four-year-olds hear and know everything.

The story is very sweet and well told. People have flaws, but love holds them together. It has a feel - good ending, which I like!

You can pick this book up at Amazon with this link:


Prudence Breitrose

Mousenet is another book that will probably tickle the funny bone of most 3rd - 5th graders. In this story, 10 year old Megan has returned from a remote island where her Mom was studying sheep's reaction to a changing climate. Back in Cleveland, she helps her Uncle Fred complete his latest invention -- the world's tiniest computer.

Unknown to any of the people, mice had taken a great interest in Fred's work. Mouse had evolved into the second smartest creatures on the planet. Mouse Nation already has a strong digital presence, but using regular computers involves a great deal of work for them. When they see the "Thumbtop," they realize that their dream of a computer in every mouse hole can become reality!

As the story develops, Megan must go stay with her father and stepmom in Oregon while her mother goes off on another study in the wilds of Australia. There she is contacted by Mouse Nation, in the form of Trey a talking mouse. Many adventures ensue!

I found the global warming theme a bit off - putting in this children's book, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I believe a sequel is scheduled to come out in October.

The Five Lives of our Cat Zook

Joanne Rocklin

Zook (short for Zucchini) is a much loved cat belonging to Oona and her little brother Fred. Unfortunately, Zook is sick and ends up at the vet's office for a stay. This is particularly difficult for Oona; their father died of cancer about two years ago. The children and their mom are trying to cope with the changes in their lives. 

Oona is convinced that they need to bring Zook home in order for him to get better. She is also struggling with the new relationship developing between her mother and Dylan (she calls him the villain to herself). It turns out that there are secrets to uncover about both Dylan and Zook. The five lives of the title refer to the stories (whoppers) that Oona begins to tell Fred to spare him the reality of Zook's illness (after all, cats have nine lives). Her stories tell a lot about how she feels about what is happening to their family.

You can download the brochures for these books by clicking on the pictures below.



  1. Thank you so much for linking up again! These books look like a lot of fun too. The Mousenet one sounds silly, but I think kids would enjoy it.

    I am so glad you are writing about all of these because I have found some fun ones to read!
    Reading Toward the Stars

  2. Thanks for sharing! I am always looking for new read alouds to use!

  3. I enjoyed reading about all of your book picks. I'm especially interested in Waiting for the Magic. Patricia MacLachlan hasn't let me down yet.


  4. Waiting for the Magic was one of my class' favorite read alouds last year!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  5. Thanks again for the freebies! I am planning on letting my students choose to complete your brochure to document their reading of the SSYRA books this year as opposed to the traditional response. They are great and I really appreciate you making them and of course sharing them with us.
    I was also glad to read your Mousenet review as that was one of the books I had not been able to put my hands on yet. Not sure if I'll read that one aloud to my kiddos this year.

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

    1. It's a bit too long for me to want to do a read - aloud, but it's a very cute story that I'll recommend to higher readers.


  6. Thanks for linking up. I enjoyed Waiting for the Magic too. It's such a sweet story. The other two sound like great fun!! I love that Zook is names Zucchini. Fun!!



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