Well, I did it! I was able to finish both SSYRA books that I had planned on reading this week even with the business of VBS. Both books were quite enjoyable. Four books down and eleven to go (in case you were counting).
The first book that I read was Double Dog Dare by Lisa Graff. As I mentioned in a previous post I really enjoy Lisa Graff as an author. For the past several years she has had terrific books on the SSYRA list and this year was no exception. Double Dog Dare is centered around a group of students that are in the Media Club. This group of fourth grade students is responsible for putting on the morning news show, via closed circuit tv, for their school each day. Each of the eight student members play an important role in getting the job done. Just a little before Christmas break we find out that the news anchor changes each semester and a new anchor must be chosen. The teacher sponsor is very laid back and wants the children to decide who should take on this new responsibility. After the votes are cast there is a tie between Francine, who has always wanted to star in her own tv animal trainer show and Kansas, the new kid and self-proclaimed King of Dares. The Media Club members decide to have a dare off and the person with the most points at the end of the last few weeks before break gets the anchor job. Francine and Kansas participate in a new dare every day. The dares range from silly, to gross, to problematic (the principal is soon involved). Even though Francine and Kansas are "at war" with one another they learn a lot about themselves and their opponent as they endure their daily dares and lives. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great book to read!
The second book I read this week was Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crun. If I am to be perfectly honest. I don't like dragons. I don't like dragon stories. I have never really understood the fascination with dragons and even contemplated passing this book off to my husband to read because he actually does like dragon tales. But I am SO glad that I did not do that! This book is a charming story about the ultimate underdog (I love an underdog) and how he used kindness and honesty, two of my favorite things, to help him through many "impossible" situations. Thomas the eldest of ten children and quite small in stature for his age (12) has always dreamed of being a knight and is given the opportunity to work his way up through the ranks through hard work and determination, more of my favorite qualities. With the kingdom at war and the princess stolen Thomas is called upon to save the day. You will not want to miss this heart warming tale even though it has dragons. :)
If you are looking for more awesome recommendations check out Andrea's Reading Toward the Stars and Amanda's The Teaching Thief and her Fiction Friday installments I am sure you won't be disappointed!