A shout out to two soon-to-be-released middle grade reads.

7th most imp

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall – Set in the 1960’s, this story dives into the life of Arthur T. Owens, a boy who picks up a brick and throws it at an old trash picker. Instead of sending Arthur to juvie, the judge sentences him to do 120 hours of community service working for the man he assaulted, 4 hours every Saturday. Arthur is grossed out to find he’s expected to pick through trash looking for the seven things on the trash picker’s list.

Shelley makes the character of Arthur really come to life…I found myself wondering if this story was really fiction. The book delves into the problems in Arthur’s life that led to him throwing the brick, his struggle to accomplish a disgusting and degrading task so he won’t end up back at juvie, and how he grows as a result of his relationship with the man he assaulted. It provides a great lesson on how one moment of anger can change your life if a way that kids today will easily relate to. I highly recommend it.

Pub date: September 8, 2015

In Don’t Vote For Me by Krista Van Dolzer, Veronica Pritchard-Pratt is running for Class President. Again. David thinks someone else should have a say in how things at school are run and makes the mistake of saying so out loud. David ends up running against Veronica, trying to figure out how to steal votes from the most popular girl in seventh grade But as David spends more time with Veronica, on the campaign trail and practicing for the band recital, he finds that there’s more to Veronica than he thought, and maybe she deserves to win the election.vote for me

Don’t Vote For Me is a fun romp through the antics of a middle school class office election. The reader learns, through David’s eyes, that the grass isn’t always greener at the popular table in the caf. It’s a fun read for any middle grader.

Click here for an excerpt from Don’t Vote For Me and to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of two copies of the book.

Pub date: August 4, 2015

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