Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, January 7, 2018

TakeDown by Laura Shovan

How I Heard About It:  I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this novel from my #bookexpedition group on Twitter.  What makes this an even better ARC is that the author is a member of this incredible group of readers.  Thank you Laura for writing this story and sharing with us before it comes out in June.  

What It Is About:  Meet Mikayla.  She is the only daughter of three children. Her parents are divorced and one of the brothers lives with her dad while she and her other brother live with their mother.  The two boys are wrestlers and the whole family focuses on the love and passion of wrestling.  Mikayla is also a wrestler and has been lucky enough to have her best friend Kenna always be at her side on the wrestling mat.  When the girls hit middle-school Mikayla can't wait to hit the big-time wrestling world.  Kenna has other ideas and wants  venture toward a more female friendly world.  Meet Lev.  He is also heading to middle-school.  He has been involved with wrestling and can't wait to make it to "state" and make in mark in the sport.  Lev has always wrestled with two of his buddies and can't wait to continue this tradition.  He is quite surprised when he meets Mikayla and ends up being her wrestling partner.  Lev isn't thrilled about this pair-up, but keeps his sights on his goal of going to state.  Both young children must deal with a lot both on and off the wrestling mat.  They learn about themselves, each other, and the real world.  

What I Thought Of It:  I was thrilled to get the advanced copy of the book in the mail from #bookexpedition.  The members of the group had been raving about it.  At first I was a bit skeptical because I'm not really a wrestling guy.  I could put this skepticism aside because as soon as I began the book I fell in love with the story.  Mikayla and Lev were two of the most unique and special characters.  I loved how they each stood their own ground, compromised, and came out better people in the end.  The story isn't just about the sport.  The plot also includes friendship, family, relationships, and finding your "spot" in this great big crazy world.  I know young readers are going to so enjoy this book.  Too bad they have to wait until summer of 2018.  

Who Should Read It:   Takedown is the perfect novel for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade readers.  I love that there is a lead female and male in the story because I think that will appeal to both girls and boys.  The story would make for a great read aloud especially because several of the chapters end with great cliff-hangars.  Of course the book would also be wonderful to put in the hands of individual readers in grades four through six and middle-school readers.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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