Every book recommended on the Butterfly Books blog is a favourite, a carefully chosen and much loved book. So choosing one over another is a tough job! But for the end of 2017 I thought I’d choose the best of the best of this year’s recommendations.
Butterfly Books recommends all sorts of books, but this list will be the kinds of books that set this blog apart: books to support kids and teens through hard times, and a focus on books that reflect diversity.
This week: 12 to 14 year olds (click on the link to see the full review)
Steven is an average 13 year old boy, dealing with the up and downs of teenaged life: friends, girls, parents, and school. When his little brother Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, it affects the whole family, and Steven has to learn how to balance it all.
Within a good story, this book explores how it feels to have cancer affect your family, and what you can do to deal with it. Steven is funny and relatable, and tweens and teens can learn a lot from how he gets through a confusing and stressful time.
Japanese American Yuki Nakahara is living in an internment camp during World War II. He wants to prove he’s a loyal American, so he enlists in the army. But the realities of war and racism in the army make it harder than he could have imagined.
Historical fiction lets teens learn about the past in a way that doesn’t feel like homework, and Four-Four-Two is a great example of this. Many teens may know about World War II, but the contribution of Japanese Americans is not as widely known, and is important both from a historical point of view and as context for current conversations about racism.
Next week, find out my favourite choices for 15 – 18 year olds!