Waiting on Wednesday–Saving Red by Sonya Sones

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

I wouldn’t normally write a Waiting on Wednesday post about a book with a release so far away, but I just saw Saving Red pop up on Goodreads and I love Sonya Sones. I’m not sure if this is another book written in verse; I hope it is! Regardless, I know my students are going to be excited to read this since I have so many fellow Sones fans in my classes. And don’t you love that striking cover?!

Saving RedTitle & Author: Saving Red by Sonya Sones

Release Date: October 18th, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (From Goodreads):

Right before winter break, fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count, just to get her school’s community service requirement out of the way. But when she ends up meeting Red, a spirited homeless girl only a few years older than she is, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for Christmas. This turns out to be extremely difficult—because Red refuses to talk about her past. There are things Molly won’t talk about either. Like the awful thing that happened last winter. She may never be ready to talk about that. Not to Red, or to Cristo, the soulful boy she meets while riding the Ferris wheel one afternoon.

When Molly realizes that the friends who Red keeps mentioning are nothing more than voices inside Red’s head, she becomes even more concerned about her well-being. How will Molly keep her safe until she can figure out a way to get Red home? In Sonya Sones’ latest novel, two girls, with much more in common than they realize, give each other a new perspective on the meaning of family, friendship, and forgiveness.

In Honor of National Poetry Month: Verse Novels Worth Reading

We’re nearing the end of National Poetry Month, so I found it fitting to write a post featuring my favorite verse novels.  If you haven’t read many verse novels, or any at all, you might want to view this post as a verse novels starter kit.  I’ll admit verse novels aren’t for everyone, but when they’re done well it might surprise you when you find yourself attached to a character or moved by the imagery created through so few words.

My first novel in verse was Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff (Goodreads), which I read for my college Young Adult Lit class.  It’s been a few years since I’ve read that book, but I still love it and remember it vividly.  From there I started reading Ellen Hopkins’ books which began with Crank (Goodreads).  I moved on to Sonya Sones (her books on Goodreads) next.  Once I started reading verse novels I was on a mission to find more, not only because I adore them, but because they soon became very popular in my classroom.  For struggling readers, being able to conquer one of Ellen Hopkins’ books is like a point of pride because they’re “such big books.”  And I don’t say that to demean their experience; I say that because her books, along with other verse novels, create more confident readers.

The list I’m providing is here because I love these novels and want to promote them.  It’s also here because I hope more readers will give verse novels a chance.  This list will also help fill in some gaps for those who already read and love novels in verse.  If you have some recommendations please share them in the comments! 🙂

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder (Goodreads) (My Review): This was the first book I read by Lisa Schroeder.  I read it in one sitting and was completely awed by her writing.  I still need to read Far From You, but I’ve read all of her other books.  I’ll continue to read every book she writes because she’s so incredibly talented.

Sold by Patricia McCormick (Goodreads): I read Sold before I started teaching, so I don’t have a review for it.  Patricia McCormick is one of my favorite authors because she spends so much time researching the topic for her novels.  Consequently, she creates powerful novels that stick with you for some time after finishing one of her books, much like Sold did.  It’s written in vignettes and packs a quite the emotional punch.

Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay (Goodreads) (My Review): What a debut!  I hope Sarah Tregay writes more novels in verse because I adored Love & Leftovers, and if the fact that I haven’t seen it in my classroom for months means anything, my students love this debut as well.  Sarah Tregay took a familiar topic (exploring love and friendship) and created it into a verse novel that’s both humorous and touching.  Love & Leftovers has been featured all over my blog via my review, a student review, and more so I really hope you read this one.

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus (Goodreads) (My Review): This novel is hard to discuss without spoilers.  I can say, however, that when I read Exposed I often thought of different books written by Ellen Hopkins.  I’ve handed Kimberly Marcus’s debut to my Hopkins fans and received positive feedback.  I’ve also used Exposed as a stepping stone to Ellen Hopkins which has gone over well also.  Regardless, it’s a fantastic and powerful novel about friendship, family, and loyalty.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (Goodreads): Thanhha Lai has received some well-deserved recognition including the National Book Award and as a Newberry Honor Book.  Inside Out & Back Again is a story of overcoming adversity, discovering a new world, and the importance of family.  It’s a book that both middle grade and young adult readers will appreciate because despite the age and circumstance of the main character, many of us have felt different and misunderstood.  It’s a beautiful novel and certainly one worth reading.

** More Verse Novels Worth Reading **

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (Goodreads)

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Goodreads)

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose (Goodreads)

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