Mascot by Antony John

5 stars Middle School/ Children’s Chapter

I loved this book! There is so many reasons why I loved it and those reasons kept mounting as I read it.  I’m only sorry that it took me a while to find this book and now, I’m wondering what else this author wrote that I should be reading. 

In the beginning pages of Mascot, you will meet Noah who is adjusting to life in a wheelchair.  Noah was with his father in a car accident, were his father was pronounced dead and now, Noah is a paraplegic.

From his tone, Noah isn’t happy with the way his life is headed. During his weekly physical therapy sessions, Noah’s passive/negative remarks have him moving nowhere, whereas another patient in the room, who Noah has been watching, is slowly making progress.  His former teammates taunt and bully him, every chance that they get.  The pitcher, once his close friend is the leader in this cruel act.  Once a star catcher on the school’s baseball team, Noah can’t use his legs anymore.  With his father gone, he must rely on his mother for everything and the way things are going, Noah feels this might be a long time. 

When Ruben enters the picture, this book just blew up. Ruben cracked me up!  Ruben, a.k.a Double Wide or Dee-Dub, arrives in his true form.  When he was first introduced to the class, I had many thoughts going through my head as Dee Dub basically says the honest truth without any filters.  Like Noah thought, Dee-Dub was crazy or a total genius that knows that being a new kid he can get away with anything.  I think he was a little bit of both.

Ruben ends up sitting next to Noah and they form a friendship.  Ruben is now associated with Noah which gets the attention of everyone especially the baseball team.  I wondered how Ruben would handle the harassment now that he was a part of it.  Noah and Ruben were now a pair but could they do anything against a team?  We meet Alyssa, who is a friend of Noah’s.  I thought she was one tough girl.  Noah needed to start hanging around her more as she would teach him something, for she was not taking any gruff from anyone.

Ruben was not afraid of speaking his mind and now, Noah finally has someone to talk to.  Ruben helps us, as readers, get to know the characters as he’s not afraid of talking to them and inquiring into the lives of each of them.   

What a remarkable, outstanding book!  I loved the characters as they felt realistic and I liked how they felt a variety of emotions.  There were fears and bleak situations but they worked through them.  Now to see what else I need to read by this author.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

5 stars Fiction

I loved this novel! Give me an author that can write and some individuals living off the grid and I am happier than a fox in a henhouse. I’m glad that I didn’t read many detailed reviews on this novel and although I hesitated to buy the novel, I’m glad that I forked over the money because I am definitely going to reread it in the future.  As soon as I finished reading this novel, I was dancing all over the house, as this novel was one of those novels that got down deep inside me.  I had to give my hubby a quick play-by-play of what happened, the words just came tumbling out.

The more that I read, the more I admired Kya.  I loved how she managed to live in the marsh all those years, basically by herself. I wondered as she commented about the amount of time that she spent in school, if those comments were her own crafty way to address the individual that she had become.  Over the years, Kya had indeed inquired quite the skills and strength living in the marsh, and I think to a point, she was hardened. 

I enjoyed how the two stories slowly came together in the novel. There were moments that I became worried about Kya’s maturity level as relationships developed and times that Kya surprised me when her actions went beyond what I had expected. 

This was a fantastic novel that I highly recommend if you haven’t read it yet.