May Middle Grade Pick of the Month

Middle grade is a term that refers to books written for readers between the ages of eight and twelve. In this column, Erica will recommend great books for children in this age group!

Wishing Upon the Same Stars by Jacquetta Nammar Feldman
All available formats here

When Yasmeen Khoury moves to Texas, she feels isolated in a way she never did in Detroit – at least until she begins to make friends, including with Ayelet Cohen, an Israeli-American girl in her grade. But as she and Ayelet learn more about the destruction each others’ countries have wreaked on their families, can they find a way to reconcile the difference between a person and their homeland?

I found Yasmeen to be a very compelling protagonist, balancing everyday worries that any reader can relate to with larger worries about family history and a war that seems like it will never end. Human connection, empathy and a desire for peace rule this story; crucial direction these days, no matter who we are or where we come from.

Check out the book that Booklist Reviews praised as an “absorbing story [that] compassionately tackles challenging subjects: immigration, explicit racism, family strife, and the enormity of Palestinian-Israeli history…[it] discusses the background of both sides, along with the difficulty of combining long familial history with new familial history with newer American citizenship”; School Library Journal Reviews described as “a valuable title [that] explores an issue rarely discussed in contemporary children’s literature[;] highly recommended for middle grade collections” and “the information, thoughts, and feelings relating to the conflict are expertly done, especially for upper elementary readers”; and Kirkus Reviews called “an ambitious novel about home and belonging” that described the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “a dispute between two sides who have been equally wronged.”

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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