Friday, January 16, 2015

Get Your Kids to Snuggle Up With a Good Book

With the temperatures getting colder, who doesn't want to snuggle up with a good book?  With less opportunity to be running around outside, this is a great time to get kids into some engaging books to fill the time they have to spend indoors.  Cue book about a girl who lives in a zoo and wrangles crocodiles in her free time.  Not your typical day in the suburbs.

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Title:How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied

Author:Jess Keating

Target: Grades 4-8

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
Ana is in seventh grade with a family that is well known for their work with animals.  Their fame is her shame.  While the rest of her family is charismatic and outgoing, Ana is awkward and scared of having too much attention placed on her.  When her grandfather makes his family the star of his new reality show, all Ana’s fears are realized.  She must live in a zoo (mortifying), she must talk in front of strangers (embarrassing), and she becomes more of a target for the girls in school who have it out for her (impossible)!  Can Ana turn things around, or will she always be the kid who can’t live up to the accomplishments of her family?

Why I love this book: 
Ana is the perfect tween.  She embodies all the things that tweens worry about - their parents embarrassing them, not being able to look as cool or great as the other kids, having to put themselves out there and be outgoing in public.  I can’t imagine a kid not seeing something of themselves in Ana.  I think we forget as adults some of the worries and challenges kids face in middle school, because we have moved passed them, but they are very real for these kids.

The book also has humor and fun and will be so relatable for kids.  Anna has some tough challenges, but she is a good kid with nice friends, and she has a sense of humor!  Of course there is also a substantial amount of animal poop.  You have been warned.

Who this book is for: 
Great for middle school kids who like realistic fiction.  Also nice for girls who like animals.  The author includes relevant animal facts at the start of every chapter. 

Final thoughts: 
A lovely surprise of a book.  Both my daughter and I were completely caught up in the story and are looking forward to the sequel which was just published!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied (My Life Is a Zoo)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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