The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
Sometimes it is funny how we make connections with reading. I picked up this book randomly out of my Sasquatch pile, but it just happened to be while my husband was combining wheat as part of his job. I even rode in a combine recently! The story of Summer and her family is a familiar one to my home in the agricultural area of northwest Washington. Many of my students have parents who work in agriculture, and while our migrant families are not as predominant as in the past, we still have a few. In the story, Summer, her brother, and her grandparents are part of a custom harvesting crew that travels all over the Midwest combining wheat for farmers who cannot afford to buy their own machines. They work tirelessly, and for months in the heat. On top of that Summer is trying to avoid the bad luck that has seemed to follow all of her family for the past year. She finds herself in awkward positions where she must make choices about who she wants to be. Growing up is hard, but especially difficult when you just can't seem to ever make a good choice due to bad luck.
The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: a novel of snow and courage by Chris Kurtz
Have you ever had a crazy dream? One that keeps you up at night? In this story, Flora, the pig has a dream. She dreams of becoming a sled pig, just like the sled dogs training on her farm. Her family thinks she is crazy to want to be anything besides a pig, but with some inspiration from her farm friends, and her obliviousness to the real reason farms raise pigs, Flora gets chosen to travel with the sled dogs to Antarctica to follow her dreams. She doesn't really know that she was chosen to come because the cook loves bacon, she thinks that she will be part of the team, racing across the snow! That's when the real adventure begins, as Flora must survive rat attacks, a shipwreck, and finally, a true test of survival as a sled pig. She is one brave pig!
Rump: The true story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
Poor Rump has survived many years with his awful name, but what's in a name? In his village, "your name is your destiny," so Rump does not have much to look forward to besides the backside of life. Rump's Gran tells the story of his birth where his mother died before she could speak his full name. He knows that there is more to him than just Rump. When he finds an old spinning wheel, his destiny changes, but not exactly for the good. He has a magic curse that he must figure out, and evil likes to follow magic, so now he must deal with an evil King and Queen, evil trolls, and evil pixies. They are all trying to get what they want out of him - gold, and all he wants to know is his full name. Follow Rump on his exciting and humorous adventure through the kingdom where he finds friendship in unlikely places and must figure out for himself where his true destiny lies.
Please check out these books from your local library!