Monday, April 9, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Better Than Weird

Today’s pick:  Better Than Weird by Anna Kerz

Orca, 2011

From the Publisher:
Sometimes reading faces is a lot harder than reading books.

In this stand-alone sequel to The Mealworm Diaries, Aaron is anxiously waiting for his father to return for the first time since Aaron's mother's death eight years earlier. Aaron works hard with a counselor at school, but he still has problems getting along with and understanding other kids, and he's worried that his dad will think he's weird. As well as having to confront Tufan, the class bully, Aaron must find ways to cope with the fact that his dad now has a pregnant wife and his beloved Gran needs surgery. In the end, his greatest strength is not his intelligence or his sense of humor, but the openness and warmth of his heart.

My Take: 
It isn’t specifically stated in the story, but from the clues about Aaron’s thoughts and behaviour, he seems to have some kind of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The author presents a realistic picture of how Aaron tries to cope and understand bullying, friendship and family relationships. I read this book straight through without stopping, because the writing is smooth and easy to read and the story was compelling. The author’s portrayal of Aaron’s feelings and thoughts clearly showed his different perspective on the story events as well as his personality.

Other Info:
Anna Kerz is a storyteller from Toronto.

This book has been nominated for the 2012 SYRCA Diamond Willow Award and has been distinguished as one of  the Ontario Library Association’s Best Bets for 201, named as a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Book and as a Notable Book for the Global Society Book Awards 2012.
This book is nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading in the Silver Birch (Fiction) category for 2012. I’ve profiled the other nominated books:  The McGillicuddy Book of Personal Records, Crossing to Freedom, Ghosts of the Titantic, Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction, That Boy Red, The Glory Wind, Ghost Messages, Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze and Undergrounders.

Other books by this author include:
The Mealworm Diaries
The Gnome’s Eye  

For more, check out Anna Kerz’s website.

Looking for more MMGM? Check out these links:
  • Joanne Fritz
  • Shannon Messenger
  • Shannon O'Donnell
  • Myrna Foster
  • Ally Beecher
  • Barbara Watson
  • Deb Marshall
  • Anita Laydon Miller's Middle Grade Blog
  • Middle Grade Mafioso
  • Literary Rambles
  • Ms. Yingling Reads
  • Jennifer Rumberger
  • Pam Torres
  • The Accidental Novelist
  • G.S. Prendergast
  • Gina Carey
  • Nye Louwen - My Spirit
  • Laurisa White Reyes

    1. Sounds good. And I love the title. Thanks for sharing this.

    2. I love books that help readers get in the head of hard situations and/or disabilities. It spreads our world wider.

    3. I love getting all this exposure to different MG writers and books. Thanks for sharing!

    4. I am so looking forward to reading this one. Loved. loved THE MEALWORM DIARIES!


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