Shannon Messenger. The reading for Cybils is done. My fellow judges and I came up with our seven choices to pass on to the next round. You can read all about them here.
I so enjoyed working with the group of teachers, librarians and bloggers who were part of the first round Middle Grade Fiction judging. What a fantastic experience and what a lot of books I want to share with you. We could only choose seven for the shortlist, but needless to say they were others that we loved. So let's begin:
Being as I loved, loved Almost Home and got to write the blurb for it being a final seven, I thought I would tell you about two more favourites that have dogs at the centre.
Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron-Heartwrenching to read, spare and unafraid storytelling that will take kids to the streets of Russia where he is doing his best to survive. And survive he does. From the time he was four. Yes. You read me right. Four. Years. Old. What a testament to human spirit and the amazing ability of children to survive inspite of the adults in their lives. What a testament to the power of family-in this case a family of dogs. For grade four and up I would say.
From Good Reads:
A small boy, a cruel city, and the incredible dogs who save him.
Based on a true story!
When Ivan's mother disappears, he's abandoned on the streets of Moscow, with little chance to make it through the harsh winter. But help comes in an unexpected form: Ivan is adopted by a pack of dogs, and the dogs quickly become more than just his street companions: They become his family. Soon Ivan, who used to love reading fairytales, is practically living in one, as he and his pack roam the city and countryside, using their wits to find food and shelter, dodging danger, begging for coins. But Ivan can’t stay hidden from the world of people forever. When help is finally offered to him, will he be able to accept it? Will he even want to?
A heart-pounding tale of survival and a moving look at what makes us human.
Buddy by M.H. Herlong-A boy and his dog with a crazy twist at the beginning. The boy meets the dog when the family car hits and breaks the dogs leg. The dog loses the leg but gains a family and a loving (well, except for the mom who is not so keen) family. At times funny and sad this book is true to the streets the boy and dog roam and when Katrina hits boy and dog are separated. The ending is so unexpected it's absolute perfection.
From Good Reads:
A classic boy-and-dog tale in the tradition of Old Yeller
Tyrone "Li'l T" Roberts meets Buddy when his family's car accidentally hits the stray dog on their way to church. Buddy turns out to be the dog Li'l T's always wished for--until Hurricane Katrina comes to New Orleans and he must leave Buddy behind. After the storm, Li'l T and his father return home to find a community struggling to rebuild their lives--and Buddy gone. But Li'l T refuses to give up his quest to find his best friend. From the author of the BBYA Top Ten selection The Great Wide Seacomes a powerful story of hope, courage, and knowing when to let go.
That's it from me, not go forth and grow that TBR pile with some more MMGM books!