Thursday, September 30, 2021

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker was published in 2020, and after reading this, I've decided that Pennypacker is one of my favorite authors for young people. I recently read another book in her Clementine series (which is great for early readers), and it was excellent. 

Pennypacker knows how to get in a kid's head and see things the way a kid does. Her characters are incredibly real; she is a wonderful storyteller, and her writing is stellar.  Her characters seem to have a vulnerability and gentleness about them, which makes them all the more likeable. 

Here in the Read World is about Ware, a boy who feels awkward in his own skin. He is eleven years old, and supposed to be spending the summer with his grandmother while his parents both work overtime so that they can afford to buy their home. However, something happens to grandma and that means that Ware must go to the dreaded Rec center for the summer instead. 

Ware sneaks away from the Rec center, and goes next door where he discovers an abandoned church and a very salty girl, Jolene. He's been sheltered by overprotective parents his whole life, and now he has a chance to help build something important. In creating a refuge in this abandoned lot, Ware begins to see who he really is.  

I loved the symbolism in this story. I listened to the audio version, which was well narrated, but I want to reread the book so that I can annotate because there are many great quotes in this story. 

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

We’ve had several donations to our book project this month.  

Britney Shaw sent this book.

My neighbor, Michelle, sent these.

Grace donated money, and I purchased these books from Scholastic. 

I spent the last of our donated money from last year on these books from Scholastic. As a teacher, I am able to get a good price plus get free books from the points earned by purchasing. So that means more books for babies. 

Heidi Crezee sent these. 

Sharise Case brought this book. 
Link to our NICU book registry to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.