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I am giving away 3 copies of A Million Miles to Boston. Please Tweet and Stumble Upon to Win.
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I'm lucky to have Karen Day as a neighbor. We met through Music Lovers' third grade soccer team. Karen's youngest was also on the same team and we had a chance to chat at the end of the season dinner at the coach's house. Once there was a face to the name, I started bumping into her everywhere! We like to go to the same off leash dog park around a reservoir one town over and now our dogs are buddies. We also like the same hot yoga studio another town over too. Strangely though, I've never bumped into her at the grocery store.
She's been a big hit at two book clubs. The first one featured her baseball chapter book that is also the story of her life called No Cream Puffs about a girl pitching in the little league for the first time. PickyKidPix likes that book a lot too.
MADISON IS NOT your average 12-year-old girl from Michigan in 1980. She doesn’t use lipgloss, but she loves to play sports, and joins baseball for the summer—the first girl in Southern Michigan to play on a boys’ team. The press call her a star and a trailblazer, but Madison just wants to play ball. Who knew it would be so much pressure? Crowds flock to the games. Her team will win the championship—if she can keep up her pitching streak. Meanwhile, she’s got a crush on a fellow player, her best friend abandons her for the popular girls, the “O” on her Hinton’s uniform forms a bulls-eye over her left breast, and the boy she punched on the last day of school plans to bean her in the championship game.
We were fortunate to have her again for a second book club on A Million Miles from Boston this past year where she had the girls do a writing exercise and share their feelings about starting middle school. For the first time, this small group of girls were going to be at three different schools.
Karen has an amazing rapport with kids and was able to channel their fears and hopes into a poignant discussion about transitioning into middle school. Then she talked about "Show, Don't Tell" and each girl wrote a short story that she then read aloud and it was fun to guess that each child was describing.
School's out! That means Lucy is off to her favorite place: Pierson Point, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. And as she tries to forget her worries about starting middle school and about Dad's new girlfriend, Lucy can't get there soon enough. Pierson Point is where she feels most like herself, and where memories of her mother, who died when Lucy was six, are strong and sacred.
But this summer, nothing is the same. Ian, a boy from home in Boston, comes to Pierson Point with his family. Ian is loud, popular, and mean. He and Lucy can't stand each other. To top it off, Dad wants his girlfriend to become a bigger part of Lucy's life.
Karen Day's engaging novel shows that people aren't always what they seem, and that friendship can be found in the most unusual places.
It turns out that all the girls in the book club had a smooth transition into Middle School. There are lots of new skills to be gained for sure from 1) learning how to use combination locks (surprisingly challenging!), 2) getting and staying organized (our Middle School is on a 6 day schedule so every week is different), 3) self advocacy (going to teachers for help), 4) logistics of transitioning to class within 2 minutes when there are 3 crowded stairwells to be negotiated, 5) keeping old friends while making new ones, 6) balancing texting with the rest of your life, and 7) finding the right balance of independence.
All in all, it's been better than I dared hope.
What were or are your anxieties about your child going into Middle School? Please share! (Extra chances to win!)
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