So now that I'm home, I've had a chance to catch up on some of the Sunshine State Young Readers that I hadn't read before. Let me tell you, the committee did a GREAT job of choosing books! These are titles that hadn't been on my radar but they are terrific!
The first one is called "The Great Treehouse War" by Lisa Graff. I love her work-she has the most amazing ideas and characters in her stories and this one did not disappoint. It's about a girl named Winnie who's parents have decided to separate in the most non-amicable fashion you can imagine. Eventually they decide to buy adjoining houses with a treehouse in the middle so Winnie will spend three days with each parent and one day in the treehouse so each parent has equal time. Unsurprisingly, Winnie starts to suffer a bit. She really loves the days she spends in the treehouse and when her parents start trying to make every single day they spend with her a celebration, Winnie decides enough is enough. Through a local history project, Winnie finds out her treehouse is actually a sovereign nation. All of her friends decide to join her because they are also having trouble with their parents. It's a really nice story about friends and noticing things that I think will resonate with lots of the kids.
Here's a little video where Lisa talk about the book.
The second book is called "The Ark Plan" by Laura Martin. It's a dystopian future book and it's set in a time when scientists have figured out a way to clone dinosaurs but the dinosaurs have repopulated the earth so completely that people have fled underground to be safe. Sky is a girl who's parents are out of the picture (her mom died in childbirth and her dad disappeared when she was 7) so she's had to make her own way in the society, which emphasizes responsibility to the group and severely punishes wrong doing. Sky gets a message from her dad and decides she's going to have to go up top to try to find him. It's a very exciting adventure, full of danger and plot twists. It's also the first one in a series, so I know the kids are going to love that the story continues. I thought it was great and I can't wait to give it to my students.
Here's a book trailer for the Ark Plan.