Middle Grade Reading: Deborah Hopkinson, Molly Gloss, and Carmen Bernier-Grand
Annie Bloom's welcomes this wonderful trio of authors to read together.
Deborah Hopkinson's How I Became a Spy is a story of espionage, survival, and friendship during World War II.
Bertie Bradshaw never set out to become a spy. He never imagined traipsing around war-torn London, solving ciphers, practicing surveillance, and searching for a traitor to the Allied forces. He certainly never expected that a strong-willed American girl named Eleanor would play Watson to his Holmes (or Holmes to his Watson, depending on who you ask). But when a young woman goes missing, leaving behind a coded notebook, Bertie is determined to solve the mystery. With the help of Eleanor and his friend David, a Jewish refugee--and, of course, his trusty pup, Little Roo--Bertie must decipher the notebook in time to stop a double agent from spilling the biggest secret of all to the Nazis.
Portland author Molly Gloss's classic dystopian fantasy novel, Outside the Gates, has just been reissued. Thirty years later, it's as timely, poignant, and stirring as ever.
Vren has always been told that the world beyond the gates of his village is one filled with monsters, giants, and other terrifying creatures. But when he confides with his family about his ability to talk to animals, he’s outcast to the very world he’s been taught to fear his whole life. He expects to die alone, lost and confused, but he finds something different altogether—refuge in a community of shadowed people with extraordinary powers.
Portland's own Carmen Bernier-Grand presents her middle grade novel, In the Shade of the Nispero Tree.
All Tere and her classmate and best friend, Ana, think about is winning the contest for the Junior Queen and Princess of their town, Ponce, Puerto Rico. But Tere's mother has different ideas for her only daughter. She wants her to be part of la sociedad, "high society", and go to a fancy private school. At first Tere doesn't want to leave her school friends to follow her mother's dream of life among competitive and snobby girls. She knows her parents can't afford the luxuries the rich girls take for granted. But when Tere gets into trouble and has a fight with Ana, she quickly changes her mind. Now she finds herself caught between two worlds.