I finished reading All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doerr. What a wonderful step back in time. Doerr lets see, hear and feel the life of everyday people during WWII. We see and hear through the lens of a young blind girl, whose father works for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and a young orphan in Germany who is fascinated by a old radio he finds and repairs. There is so much to say about this story and there are so many great reviews already written. I will just say read it if you have not. As a teacher I think this story is worth knowing (even though fiction) since for me it adds depth to the children’s books I have read about this time period. The people of history come alive to tell their story. Such great writing.
After finished that wonderful book and taking a bit to savor the quality of it I jump into the time travel machine for a bit of science fiction. I read Six by M.M. Vaughan which was released this last spring. It is a perfect middle grade sci fi book. A fun read for 4th through 6th grade.
This story follows a brother and sister who have moved to the US because of their fathers job. Their mother was killed in an “accident” and we begin the book with their struggling to adapt to a new school. Parker, the older brother, walks right into the bullying of middle school while his younger sister Emma, who is deaf, seems to have found her way easily. As you begin reading you feel as if you are here and now but quickly the imbedded communication system in their wrist tell you things are a bit different in their house hold.
The parents are scientist who are working on a secret project but have developed one of their own that lets them communicate through thoughts. It was a easy way to help Emma navigate the hearing world. Each of the family members has three little lights on their wrist. They can press these lights to talk to and hear their family members thoughts. A thought call. The next step beyond our cell phones.
Their father is deep into another project he can not explain and it is taking all his time and energy. He is working literally day and night for a big presentation. When this presentation does not go as well as expected their father begins to warn his children but then is gone. A call interrupted and his light on his children’s wrist has gone off.
Here is were the action begins. Vaughan does a nice job of keeping the pace moving as we explore what really happened to their mom and where they must go to find their father.
There is not much more I want to say because reading it is much more fun. I am not one to be a spoiler. This would be a great addition to the science fiction collection in your classroom.
A good read aloud to introduce the genre. A good part of the book life seems much like life today so why it it science fiction? This is a great example of the genre.
Vaughan also wrote The Ability Series: Mindscape. This author is new to me to I am excited to take a look at these other books. Her web sites is Here with a good author Q & A that would be fun to share with your student writers.