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New Review Tuesday: Hannah Trierweiler Likes These Books

Has anyone else noticed a trend among recent novels with fiesty young heroines? I'm talking about LONG book titles, usually containing the protagonist's full name. I'm thinking if Because of Winn-Dixie was published today it would be called India Opal Buloni Adopts a Dog, Makes Friends, and Comes to Terms With the Death of Her Mother. And of course Little Women would be Jo March Sells Her Hair to a Wig Shop.

Anyhow, I actually have a soft spot in my heart for these artfully-titled stories and their spunky characters. Here are three that would be great to recommend to your second through fifth graders.

Samantha Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head
by Nancy Viau, is a debut novel about a ten-year-old girl who's crazy for geology and therefore over the moon about her family's upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon. Viau expertly captures the relationships between Samantha, her mother, and her sister—and explores some pretty big questions about death and grief with humor and grace. There are lots of curriculum connections, so keep this one on your list for a geology unit.


Violet_2 Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning
by Danette Haworth reminded me a great deal of Because of Winn-Dixie—it's a southern story about a girl struggling to find a place in the world. In this case, tomboy Violet resists growing up and becoming a "proper young lady"—and of course she finds that she doesn't have to give up as much as she thinks she does. Violet's voice is full of wit and humor—I had a hard time putting this one down.   

Moxy Finally, I loved the chapter titles in Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank You Notes by Peggy Gifford. For example, Chapter 16 is "In Which Mrs. Maxwell's 1989 Volvo DL with the Three New Tires and the 2002 Transmission and the Once-Heated Seats and the Broken Back Windshield Wiper Vibrates Down the Driveway." The story radiates with the same humor, and is a terrific follow-up to Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little.

Am I missing your favorite long-titled tale? Or does anyone want to re-title some more classics? Go for it in the comments!


Sonja Cole

Does this trend of using full names in book titles start with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, or does it go back farther than that?

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