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English Festival Recommendations

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The following three books are very different, but highly interesting for a reader that enjoys stories. One book is a biography, one is a story of family, and one story is a fantasy. Stories come in all shapes and sizes and this is no exception.

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English Festival Recommendations – Middle School Edition

Babe Conquers the World  written by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace  

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was ranked as one of the best athletes in the world. She was set to conquer the world and not in any small way. This story began with her life on June 26, 1911 and travels through memorable sports history events like her famous pursuit of basketball, world-breaking performances in the 1932 Olympics games, and winning appearance in the professional golf realm. Babe was raised in Texas and battled poverty, loneliness, prejudice throughout her life. She never took no for an answer and always was wanted to try her hardest at everything she did in the sports field.  Babe even battled with cancer near the end of her life.  This biography accounts for her life throughout the story with interviews, pictures, quotes, and an index. These 271 pages are filled with excitement, controversy and determination in describing on of world’s top athletes.

One Crazy Summer written by Rita Williams-Garcia 

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are about to leave their home in Brooklyn, New York and travel to Oakland, California in the summer of 1968. The three girls are going to visit their mom that abandoned them seven years ago. Delphine, age 11, is the mother figure in this story that takes care of her two younger sisters. The girls are hoping to spend quality time with their mom, Cecile by visiting Disneyland and see Tinkerbell. Little to their understanding, mom sends them to camp with the Black Panther and they learn a lot about growing up in the 1960s, their family, culture and history as a family. This humorous book of 218 pages is filled with an unforgettable story that has won numerous literary awards.

The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman with illustrations by Dave McKean 

This 312-page novel tells the tale of Bod, the main character that is raised from the time he is eighteen months old in a graveyard and his life as a child through his teen years. His family was murdered and the ghosts of the graveyard decide to raise him. The accounts of his life include talking with ghosts, ghouls, witches and werewolves. He also had human friends as well. Throughout his life he learns how to fade, like a ghost and learns about the man that is still trying to murder him after all those years. Bod and his friend Scarlett encounter action, intrigue and mystery in this thrilling award-winning novel.

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