December 5, 2020
#6Degrees of Separation: From Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume to The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
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Moving in Middle Grade!
#6Degrees of Separation: from Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret to The War That Saved My Life.
#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I’ve seen this meme around for a while and Davida’s posts at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog inspired me to give it a try this year! Making connections between books is challenging, creative, and fun!
Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain. The rules are:
- Link the books together in any way you like.
- Provide a link in your post to the meme at Books Are My Favourite and Best.
- Share these rules in your post.
- Paste the link to your post in the comments on Kate’s post and/or the Linky Tool on that post.
- Invite your blog readers to join in and paste their links in the comments and/or the Linky Tool.
- Share your post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hash tag.
- Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.
This month’s prompt starts with Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and it is a Middle-Grade book I read a long, long time ago. I decided to reread for this post. For me, the reread doesn’t hold up. It’s dated, and I don’t think I would recommend it for young readers today (but that’s probably a post for another time).
One theme in the story is moving to a new home, so my chain is held together with a theme of moving.
Goodreads Summary: “Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and she is anxious to fit in with her new friends. When Nancy, Gretchen, and Jamie form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong. But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything–family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush. Margaret is funny and real, and her thoughts and feelings are oh-so-relatable–you’ll feel like she’s talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend. ”
First Degree. From the summary of Are You There God?, I notice a theme of moving. This reminds me of another Middle-Grade book, Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai, in which the main character moves from Vietnam to America.
My Summary: “Told in free verse from the perspective of ten-year-old Ha and inspired by the author’s own experiences, this is a poignant and beautifully written story of a family’s escape from Vietnam before the fall of Saigon and move to America. This refugee and immigrant story can build feelings of compassion and lead to thoughtful reflection as Ha experiences grief, bullying, learning English, new foods and customs, kindness from a neighbor, finding her voice, family loyalty, and the comfort of old traditions. A perfect read for older elementary or middle-grade readers but, as with all good literature, enjoyable for adults too…a diverse read that builds understanding and empathy. ***I love this story!
Second Degree: Another Middle-Grade story involving moving is Lemons by Melissa Savage. Moving in this story is due to the loss of a mother.
My Summary: “Ten-year-old Lemonade Liberty Witt believes her mom about making lemonade when life gets difficult. However, Lemon faces circumstances that test her lemonade-making abilities. After the death of her mother, she is sent to live in another town with a grandfather she’s never met. Her life gets better when she makes a new friend, Tobin Sky, who is CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. Yes, there have been suspected Bigfoot sightings in this wooded Northern California community! Lemon becomes Tobin’s assistant, but they discover something more important than Bigfoot.“ My review of Lemons here.
Third Degree: The next Middle-Grade book to involve moving is Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. Esperanza and her family flee Mexico and move to the Central Valley of California.
Goodreads Summary: “Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression and settle in a camp for Mexican farmworkers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.’