Classes resumed today after the extended winter break, which included an extended reading binge. Here's a recap (of the binge, not the break):
Rabbit and Robot by Andrew Smith - This young-adult science fiction depicts a future that's distressingly, black humorously close to our present. Its zany darkness, at times, echoes Kurt Vonnegut.
Assassination of Brangwain Swain by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin - A middle-grade fantasy, this illustrated volume proves a Trojan horse for exploring dueling perspectives (elf vs. goblin!) plus the challenges of empathy.
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka - The writer and artist behind lighthearted fare like the Lunch Lady series and Platypus Police Squad turns serious in this graphic-novel autobiography retracing his sometimes troubled upbringing.
Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore - In this realistic middle-grade fiction set in New York City, the main character Lolly often feels adrift after his brother is killed. That situation introduces one of many hard choices Lolly must make growing up...when to create (often with Legos) versus destroy.
Refugee by Alan Gratz - Three interlocking tales blend realistic and historical YA fiction, showing refugee families from different eras fleeing Germany, Cuba, and Syria, respectively.
Stiff by Mary Roach - This title for older readers could land on a reading ladder somewhere after How They Croaked. It details more than any single reader could ever want to know about what happens to a body once a person dies. Simultaneously riveting and not for the squeamish.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds - The patter of the author's familiar urban voice come across loud and clear, with a few extra superhero trappings and a conspiracy spun out by a weirdly hallucinogenic villain. This YA adventure may have asked to me to suspend my disbelief further than I typically will for this genre.