Monday, April 24, 2017

MMGM- Lucky Broken Girl and Double Cross

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Sometimes, I read books and then forget to review them! This was the case with Lucky Broken Girl, which I picked up at ALA. I read it in order to write an interview with Ms. Behar (which should come out in May on the site), but completely spaced about writing a review. Definitely take a look at this one-- I loved it, not only for the great 1960s details from the author's own life, but for the description of immigrant life. Also, I had a good friend who suffered an injury very similar to Ruthie's, and was laid up in bed for months!

This has gotten tons of love from Kirkus, Publishers WeeklyLatinxs in Kid Lit, AND The Nerdy Book Club, so you know that this is definitely one hot book!

31247023Behar, Ruth. Lucky Broken Girl
April 11th 2017 by Nancy Paulsen Books
From Goodreads:

Based on the author's childhood in the 1960s, a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro's Cuba to New York City. Just when she's finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood's hopscotch queen, a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie's world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger. She comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.

31395317Janeczko, Paul B. Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War
April 25th 2017 by Candlewick Press
ARC provided by the publisher

Not only does Mr. Janeczko do a great poetry collection, but he puts together interesting and intriguing volumes on espionage that rather amaze me. Starting with an overview of what deception strategies AND techniques are used by the US military, Double Cross goes on to thoroughly describe how these are used in a variety of historical settings. 

From the earliest days of Biblical descriptions of battles (Gideon driving out the Midianites) to the siege of Troy and a variety of early European battles, Janeczko points out how these techniques and strategies were employed, and to what effect. In between chapters, there are asides of information such as ciphers and codes (readers can get more on this from this author's Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing, Candlewick 2006), naming operations, telegraphs, Bletchley Park and more). A wide variety of other operations, from WWII to Korea to Kuwait are painstakingly described, the generals involved introduces, and the tactics enumerated. 

There are a few photographs, although the ARC doesn't show them all, and I definitely want to see a finished copy. Best of all, there is a complete bibliography and very careful source notes. This book would be a great example to show students how sources should be cited, and demonstrate the careful attention to detail that was used in compiling this book. 

Not only is this carefully researched, but like The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles (Candlwick, 2012), this is told in a fast paced, interesting narrative style. As much as I would prefer that this author go back to compiling poetry collections, he turns out high quality narrative nonfiction that adventure seeking readers will find hard to put down. 

Remember, there's still time to vote for your favorite for Children's Book Week!


  1. I just finished this book and will post a review next month. I too enjoyed it and having it based on the author's own experiences made it even more special.

  2. I really enjoyed Lucky Broken Girl. It's a definite must read.

  3. Lucky Broken Girl sounds beautiful, can't wait to experience it myself.

  4. I would really love Lucky Broken Girl. Will look up this memoir. I might like Double Cross because of my fascination with code breaking during the war, and organizations like Bletchley Park.

  5. We were just working with a group of teachers who were searching for historical fiction about immigration. We will pass the title along - Thank you for the recommendation.

  6. These are both unfamiliar titles to me - they all look very timely and relevant.

  7. Lucky Broken Girl sounds like a good stream of consciousness; need to check it out.

  8. Lucky Broken Girl sounds like a winner. I will check it out. The other isn't quite up my alley. Thanks for the post.