Thursday, March 17, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Not Just Anybody Family by Betsy Byars

Besty Byars sucked me right in with her strong characters in The Not-Just-Anybody Family. Published in 1986 with a lexile measure of 690L, this story is just right for middle grade students. Young readers will like the ingenuity of the characters and relate to the fears they face.

Blurb from Goodreads:When Junior Blossom wakes up in the hospital, his last memory is of crouching on the barn roof with cloth wings tied to his arms, and of Maggie and Vern in the yard below, urging him to fly. That had been just before Junior spotted a police car approaching the farm in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile Pap, the children's grandfather, sits in disgrace in the city jail. He was arrested for disturbing the peace after his pickup truck accidentally dumped 2,147 beer and soda cans (worth $107.35) on Spring Street. With their mother away on the rodeo circuit, it's up to Maggie and Vern to find a way to rescue Pap and Junior. How will they solve their family problems?

I loved the characters in this book. Junior's hospital roommate is such a tease that he is a menace. Byars' descriptions made me feel like the kids were real and that I knew them. Many of the scenes are quite funny.  You may need to make sure your reader knows about pay phones, gathering pop bottles, and that Pap probably would have been shot in today's world when he discharged his gun in the town.

Mud the dog is wonderful, and every family should have a dog just like him.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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