Monday, January 22, 2018

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick –ESSENTIAL

Sonnenblick, Jordan The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade 208 pgs. Scholastic, 2017.  $17. Language: G (0 swears) Mature Content: G Violence: PG (bullying, psychically abusive mom’s boyfriend).  

Maverick doesn’t have much. His mother is an alcoholic with a string abusive boyfriends who can barely keep herself together, let alone a household. Maverick is used to going hungry, wearing the same clothes everyday, and fending for himself. School doesn’t help either- adults don’t seem to understand, the other students make fun of him for being short, and his attempts to make friends lead to situations that make everything worse. But Maverick doesn’t give up and decides he is going to take a stand and defend those like him, he will be the secret sheriff of sixth grade.

This is such a great book for quite a few reasons. First of all –it was just the right length –realistic fiction that is three or four hundred pages for elementary is a huge deterrent –and it seems like most of them are. It would make a great read-a-loud for a 5-6th grade teacher. Maverick is an incredibly believable character and the readers will find themselves rooting for him and hopefully discover some empathy. This was a book that I could not put down and it did not talk down to the reader either. The situation is fully fleshed out and the author has a done a great job creating the world. This is one of the best fiction books (non-graphic novel anyway) I have read this year. Its very realistic yet isn't cold or distant, it has a warm heart. 

EL –ESSENTIAL.  Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author

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