A Boy and a Bear in A Boat by Dave Shelton. The boy is not named. Neither is the bear. Yet they have an adventure and become friends, despite boredom and storms and the last sandwich. I'm not sure what the point was exactly... I like that it was different, but it wasn't quite for me.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Another great read from Rowell! Love how she writes real characters... high schoolers in Eleanor & Park, college students in Fangirl and now the married-with-children crowd in Landline -- career-driven funny-writer Georgie and stay-at-home dad Neal. When their marriage is failing, the magic landline phone allows them to communicate as their younger selves and remember all the reasons they gave their marriage a go, despite their many differences. Really sweet read.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. The book opens with a gun. Unfortunately our narrator plans to use it -- and not just on himself. It's kind of a disturbing book, but also relevant with the awful shooter stories in recent years AND with the CDC reports suicide as the #3 killer of youth ages 10 -24. Breaks my heart that this is true. The book feels like a realistic peek inside a depressed teen's head.
Neither a fun nor easy read for me, but raw and honest, and I can appreciate that.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm. This middle-grade novel is a celebration of science with a crazy premise: main character's grandfather has discovered the fountain of youth and lives with the family not as himself, but as visiting cousin Melvin. I loved all the sciency-stuff, including famous scientists (like Marie Curie) and using a microscope to investigate mold on a hunk of cheese. Nice, as we've come to expect from 3 time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm. It leaves one with a positive feeling about change (and don't we all experience change, at every age?), and I think teachers are going to love sharing it with kids.