The Littlest Bigfoot by Weiner

 

Alice is starting in yet another new school, her eighth school in seven years.  Lately, she has spent her days trying to disappear.  She slumps, she hunches, and tries to hide her large feet and tame her wild hair. Her parents have given up trying to understand her and she has never made a friend.

Now Alice is being sent off to The Experimental Center for Love and Learning, a boarding school in upstate New York.  The school promises to be a place where everyone can learn from each other with “an atmosphere of inclusivity and respect, where hierarchies are nonexistent, where age and grades don’t matter as much as the understanding that we all have things to learn from one another.”  Alice wonders if the school was as weird as it sounds.

Although Alice is not yet aware, this is going to be a year like no other.  This will be the year she makes a friend who shares so many of the same problems as Alice.  Her new friend, from across the lake, has no friends.  Many members of her tribe feel she is a danger to the community and has crazy ideas about the direction the tribe should take into the future. Millie even feels it would be beneficial to make contact with the no-furs across the lake.

The Littlest Bigfoot is a story of understanding and embracing one’s uniqueness.  The story explores what makes a friendship and the responsibilities that go along with being a true friend and a valuable part of a larger community.

A Handful of Stars by Lord

Lily lives in Maine with her Memere & Pepere. Her life is changing in many ways, including her friendship with her “two peas in a pod” best friend Hannah. Somehow they just aren’t as close as they used to be. All Hannah wants to talk about is the boy she likes.

One day, Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, runs off into the blueberry farm fields and Lily is terrified that he will run into the busy road. Salma, a young girl working the blueberry fields lures Lucky back with her sandwich. Salma works the fields with her family and lives in the migrant camp with other seasonal workers. Although every summer migrant families like Salma’s come to work the blueberry fields, Lily never gets to know them, since they don’t stay in the area for long.

This chance encounter leads to a friendship between the two girls.  Salma offers to help Lily in her attempt to earn money for an operation that may save Lucky’s eyesight.  This will be a summer of change for Lily and Salma as their friendship grows from the fields to the stars.

Once again, Cynthia Lord gives us a wonderful story of courage, hope and healing.

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