Fourth Grade Journey

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker

How I Heard About It:  I was able to get this novel while at #NerdCampMI.  Penguin Publishers had a table set up, and attendees were able to choose a novel to take with them.  I asked the representative which story she would pick, and she handed this one to me.  I read the entire book today.  That right there probably tells you something.  

What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:  
1.  *Zenobia July is a new person.  At least she hopes to be.  

2.  *After heartache and loss in Arizona, Zen relocates across the country to live with her two aunts, who have been married for many years.  

3.  *While trying to adjust to her new surroundings, and new self, Zenobia finds the courage to begin a new school with a group of students she isn't quite sure will accept her for her.  

4.  *As Zen gets to know a small group of kids, she realizes she may not be all that different.  

5.  *When someone "hacks" into the school computer system targeting different groups of students, Zen finds herself trying to figure out who is responsible for this act.  

What I Thought Of It - Five Observations/Reflections:
1.  *Had I known what a deeply powerful story this was, I would have started the minute I returned from #NerdCampMI.

2.  *The plot grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go of my mind and heart until the very last word.  

3.  *Zenobia is one of the most unique, strong, and "deep" characters I've ever had the pleasure of getting to know in a middle-grade novel.  

4.  *The journey of Zen is an important one for readers to experience.  There were several extremely important life issues presented within the pages and the author did a fantastic job of being authentic and sensitive.  

5.  *I not only enjoyed the character of Zenobia, but her two aunts brought such life, energy, and love to the story.  They would be so cool to meet in "real life".  

Who Should Read It:    In my opinion, I would recommend this book being used in grades six and above.  In some ways, it may be appropriate for a fifth grade reader as well.  As I mentioned, there are some mature topics and themes, and I think the middle-school reader would be suited for the story.  Again, this is just my opinion.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:   5 STARS out of 5 Stars!

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