Well-known, award-winning authors Patricia MacLachlan and Sharon Creech have each recently published new books for middle grade readers.
MacLachlan, Newbery Medal winner for “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” has written “Poet’s Dog” about two children and an Irish wolfhound. Teddy was rescued from a shelter and taken by his owner Sylvan to a secluded cabin. His owner is a lover of words, and Teddy has grown up with words and learns to use them himself. Sylvan teaches him that there are only two kinds of people who will be able to understand him: poets and children. One day during a snowstorm, Teddy finds two stranded children. He tells Nickel and Flora that just like Sylvan rescued him, he will rescue them. At the cabin the children learn to heal themselves through interacting with Teddy and Sylvan.
This heartwarming story is told in simple prose and will appeal to readers ages 6-10.
Sharon Creech’s newest title is “Moo.” Narrated by twelve-year old Reena, the story is told in verse–a series of poems. Some poems are strictly narrative, while others are more abstract.
Reena and her younger brother Luke are surprised when their parents move them to a remote coastal town in Maine. Excited, yet nervous, the children are eager to explore their new surroundings. Soon they learn that their parents have volunteered them to work with Mrs. Falala, who lives with a variety of animals. The children learn very quickly that Mrs. Falala needs help from both children. Luke teaches Mrs. Falala to draw and Reena readies Zora, a stubborn cow, for the fair.
“Moo” will appeal to young readers ages 8-12 who are up to the challenge of reading a novel-in-verse.