By Laura Resau
(For 4th-8th grade)
Sixteen-year-old Sophia and her family are summoned to the hospital one night, where a 6-year-old Mexican boy, who they later discover is named Pablo, is recovering from dehydration. The group that Pablo was crossing the border with, including his parents, were all found dead, but the border patrol found Sophie’s stepfather’s business card in the dead man’s pocket.
Juan does not recognize the boy, but since he has no family in the USA, he comes to live Sophie, her parents, and her eccentric, great-aunt Dika — who is a refugee from the war in Bosnia. Over the course of the next year, Pablo becomes part of the family and emerges from his shell enough to help Sophie’s family make contact with his grandmother in Mexico.
In a twist of fate, Dika’s new boyfriend and his son, Angel, are planning to travel through Mexico to their native Guatemala during the summer. Dika, Sophie and Pablo ride along so that Pablo can see his family and eventually make a decision about whether he wants to stay in Mexico or return to the USA.
Sophie always considered herself an amoeba — a single-celled organism that aimlessly floats through life — and she is afraid of everything, from becoming an orphan to getting food poisoning. But it is on this summer adventure that she will have to conquer bigger fears in an effort to help her friends.
This memorable novel seamlessly blends cultures to create one breathtaking narrative. Sophie and the rest of the characters have to cross numerous borders — mentally, socially, as well as physically — and readers of all ages will fall in love with this captivating story.
“Marcelo in the Real World”
By Francisco X. Stork
- Globe Life
Head for heritage: Through years of devotion to community, title of 'Mr. Carl Junction' earned
He worked for and later owned the town's weekly newspaper, the Standard, for more than 30 years; retired as the Jasper County deputy assessor in 2004; is president of the Carl Junction cemetery board and serves as the high school alumni association's corresponding secretary.
Phyllis Seesengood: Gardner's seventh in series among her best thrillers
"Fear Nothing," the seventh novel in the D.D. Warren series, may be Lisa Gardner's best psychological thriller yet.
Ryan Richardson: Dog remembers summer toads aren't chew toys
Over the next month, I became fascinated with their well-being. As far as I could tell, none of my other neighbors had the fortune of having these little guys pay them a visit.
Frankie Meyer: USGS launches powerful map tool
The site, historicalmaps .arcgis.com/usgs, will be a tremendous help to family history researchers. The maps are free, downloadable and printable. Best of all, they include the quadrangle maps that researchers used to pay for.
Cari Rerat: Gratton's series a great transition to Gaiman
In "The Lost Sun," the first book of "The United States of Asgard" by Tessa Gratton, Soren Bearskin is a berserker. He has an innate internal fire, a battle rage that he constantly tries to squelch with self-discipline, exercise, and meditation.
Frankie Meyer: List of historic sites offers plenty of research leads
In 1966, our federal government established the National Historic Preservation Act that set up the National Register of Historic Places.
Achievements (July 20)
The following people were recognized in the Joplin Globe for the following achievements.
Ryan Richardson: Preventing heat stroke can save your pet's life
I still see it around town, and it bothers me to see pets in a dangerous situation. But I don't think it is necessarily a product of intentional harm or neglect; I think it has more to do with understanding just how a dog ultimately deals with hot weather.
Shared palette: Married couple Steve and Cindy Head create art, show exhibits together
Steve Head is pretty good with cameras and video editing. Cindy Head is an expert quilter. Neither one had painted much a few years ago -- Cindy painted tulle and furniture for repurposing projects, but that was about it.
Linda Cannon: 'Freak' authors explain their unique thought processes
In 2006, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner wrote the huge best-seller "Freakonomics" and followed it up in 2009 with "Superfreakonomics." Now they bring us "Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain."
- More Globe Life Headlines
- Head for heritage: Through years of devotion to community, title of 'Mr. Carl Junction' earned