Here is a story about Picky Reader that is too funny. At fifteen, it's almost impossible to get my daughter to read, but since she always has liked sad books like Don't Hurt Laurie, I have long thought she would like the V.C.Andrews Flowers in the Attic series. She ignored me for years, but now that there is a movie coming out, she downloaded a PDF of the first book... and finished it in two days. She thought it was absolutely awesome, "a haunting page turner" were her exact words. Of course, she was horrified by what occurred and may never again eat a powdered sugar covered doughnut, but she read it and immediately searched for the sequel.
Again, kids frequently like books that are sad or horrific because then their own lives don't seem so bad, and anything that gets them reading is all good. Mostly!
Jennings, Patrick. Odd, Weird and Little
28 January 2014, Egmont USA
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Woodrow is taken aback when a new student, Toulouse, arrives in his classroom. Toulouse has a LOT of weird habits, including dressing like a little old man and hanging out in trees a lot. Still, Woodrow sees other classmates being mean to Toulouse, and knows what it is like to be on the receiving end of such treatment, so the two become friends.Eventually, Woodrow realizes something about Toulouse that no one else has managed to understand, but it doesn't affect their friendship.
Strengths: For elementary students, this might be a good book about accepting people who are different and standing up for who you are. A lot of Jennings' work seems to hit right at about the third grade demographic.
Weaknesses: This was... weird. I don't want to give anything away, but if you look closely at the title, you will have a pretty big clue as to what Toulouse's secret is. Strange, strange book.