My, but the world would be a more beautiful place to live in if there were more people like Sugar Mae Cole in it. As a sixth grader, she experiences more hardships than most of us will ever know: the death of her beloved grandfather, eviction, homelessness, a mother who mentally shuts down, a gambler of a father who only comes around when he needs something, the foster care system, and more. Throughout it all, Sugar shares her love and her pain, her triumphs and her darkest moments through amazing poetry and emails to the inspiring teacher whose class she had to leave. The care she takes of Shush, an abused puppy who needs Sugar as much as she needs him, is further proof that Sugar is one amazing young lady. What a heartprint book–Bauer hits a home run with this one.
Speaking of home runs, some sixth-graders at my school experienced a grand-slam morning when Joan Bauer paid us a visit during her tour of Illinois last April. In only an hour, she was able to share not only portions of her books and her writing process, but also so much of herself. Her visit was truly a conversation with the students, as she asked them to define courage and helped the group create a character “out of thin air.”
Illinois friends: if you would like to meet Joan Bauer in person soon, she will be at the Illinois Reads tent of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield on Saturday, August 9 from 11:00-1:00. Bauer’s book Rules of the Road–another great title–appeared on the 2013 Illinois Reads list for grades 6-8. Other Illinois Reads’ authors will be visiting the tent throughout the duration of the Fair, too.
RCYRBA FUN FACT: Joan Bauer is the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award’s most decorated author of all time, receiving nominations for seven of her books over the years. She has not yet won the award.
Other 2015 Rebecca Caudill Reading Roundup Posts
- A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
- Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
- Dogs on Duty by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
- Unstoppable by Tim Green
- Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate