It’s Monday! What are you reading?


  • Listening to Lucca by Suzanne La Fleur ( released August 6th)
  • Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower (will be released September 24th)

In Progress:

  • The Nature Principal: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Word by Richard Louv
  • Matisse on the Loose by Georgia Bragg
  • Nobodys’ Secret by Michaela Mac Coll
  • Emily by Michael Bedard

This seems to have been a week of reading about families and how words can hurt and help relationships. It is the story of how we can bully our closest friends and not realize we are doing it. The story of how words or the lack of words can leave us feeling lonely or alone.

Last week I had just begun Listening for Lucca by Suzanne La Fleur. I connected to her books through reading Eight Keys (reviewed here)  and La Fleur’s other stories of families and questions caught my eye.

I was wondering if this story of Lucca was going to be a ghost story but it really turned into more of a story of past words giving voice to a few who have been silenced.  This book gives a look into how words and important people (family) have strength that we don’t always understand.  Sometimes that unseen power can pull us apart but it can also heal us.

Siena and Lucca, our main characters, have been living in Brooklyn.  Lucca, a pre schooler, has stopped speaking and the family does not know why.  Siena has her own struggles with friendships, collecting odd abandoned items and “seeing” things.  She is seeing things from the past. At first it is just in her dreams but over time her night dreams or visions appear during waking hours as well.

We follow this family as they move to Maine to help heal Lucca but it might be good for Siena also. However,Siene take her own journey into the past both in dreams and  through journal entries she is writing from the voice of Sarah who lived in their historic house during WWII.

This journal helps Siena explore how words spoken can control or harm others.  She learns that friends, family and words can heal as well when we watch, listen and use our words carefully.

Listening for Lucca is an easy read for 4th through 6th grade.  Siene’s dreams and travels back in time might be more difficult for younger readers to follow and make the connections that La Fleur is bringing forward.  The pace of the book is slow but that fits for the authors ideas of slowing down to listen and be award of the words around you.  It would be a good one to add to a class read and discussion on families and bullies.  It shows how words said in anger and in love can have a strong impact on those listening.

Andi Unexpected (release date September 24 from Zonderkidz-Books)

Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower continues my theme of reading about families, the past and the value of words.  In this novel it is words not shared in the past that create a mystery for Andi, short for Andora, and her new friend Colin.

This novel also involves moving as Andi and her older sister have lost their parents in a plane crash.  They are moving to the small town, where their father grew up, to live with their Aunt.  As Andi discovers her name – Andora- makes people uncomfortable. So she begins a journey to discover why and what happened to the Andora of the past. This leads us to explore a bit of history during the Great Depression. It show us how families are people we care about and communities that care about us.

This book would be a great for 4th through 6th grade.(strong 3rd grade readers might also enjoy the mystery found right in Andi’s new house.)

Looking forward:

I am set to finish The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual World and Matisse on the Loose by Georgia Bragg.

I am excited to begin a reading adventure in stories around Emily Dickenson.

  • YA Novel –  Nobody’s Secret by Michaela Mac Coll
  • Picture Book – Emily by Michael Bedard

You know I will have to read poetry directly from Emily if I am reading stories about her.   Looking forward to another week of great reading.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Book Review, journals and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s Monday! What are you reading?

  1. Wow, all new books for me! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ooooh … your plans for Emily Dickinson are interesting. I will have to check out those books!

    I’ve had Eight Keys on my TBR list for a long time now but just haven’t gotten to it. Apparently I need to bump this author higher up the queue … the new one sounds good as well!

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