MMGM: Odette’s Secrets By Maryann Macdonald

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Some secrets can never be told.

Odette’s Secrets is a very touching and inspiring book about young jewish Odette in Nazi occupied France. She is sent away to the French country side when her father, who is a soldier, is thrown into a work camp and her mother is suspected of helping the Resistance. Odette lives the life of a normal Christian girl. But when the war ends and Odette and her mother return to Paris, will she return as Odette the Jew or Odette the Christian?

Here’s what GOODREADS has to say about Odette’s Secrets;

For Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, nowhere is safe. So when Odette Meyer’s father is sent to a Nazi work camp, Odette’s mother takes desperate measures to protect her, sending Odette deep into the French countryside. There, Odette pretends to be a peasant girl, even posing as a Christian–and attending Catholic masses–with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets, and when the war ends Odette must figure out whether she can resume life in Paris as a Jew, or if she’s lost the connection to her former life forever. Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyer, this moving free-verse novel is a story of triumph over adversity.

I loved this book because of all the twists in the plot and all of the different settings in Nazi-Occupied France. People who love stories that really touch your heart should read this book.

Newbery Winner – THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

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Last year I read THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate. Mom had already read and she thought I would like it. So she bought a copy at ALA in June and got the author to sign it. Last week this book won the Newbery Award!

This is what Goodreads says about the book:

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

The One and Only Ivan

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

I like this book because, it is funny, sad and happy.

The characters are: Ivan a gorilla, Stella an elephant,  Bob  a stray dog. And…Ruby.  The humans are: Mack, George  and Julia. Ivan is my favorite because he makes the most of his life. Ivan says “I think I’ve always been an artist”. And I do too. I relate to Ivan, even though he’s a gorilla and I’m a human!

This would be a good book for families to read together. It is short, only 26,000 words and has a reading level of about grade 3-4.