Mark Twain Nominee Reviews, Part 2

It’s time for the second installment of my Mark Twain nominee reviews! Below, I detail three nominees where the main characters overcome major obstacles.

"House Arrest" book coverHouse Arrest” by K. A. Holt
This book follows the story of Timothy, a teenage boy who is forced to write in a journal to avoid juvenile hall. He got in this less-than-desirable situation because he stole a credit card to pay for medicine for his brother who has a severe birth defect. While this is an excellent story, the ending could have been stronger in my opinion. Read it for yourself, and let me know what you think!

"The War That Saved My Life" book coverThe War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This tale, set in the World War II era, is about a young girl named Ada who has a club foot. She is terribly abused and neglected by her mother due to her disability. When the children of London are sent to the countryside for their own safety, Ada is supposed to be left behind. However, she sneaks away with her little brother to a small town by the coast where they are taken in by Susan, a woman who initially doesn’t want them. However, Susan treats them like royalty compared to their mother, and after some time, she begins grows to love Ada and her brother. This book is so heartfelt, and I was rooting for Ada to finally find the happiness she deserves.

"Fish in a Tree" book coverFish in A Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally has believed for many years that she is too dumb to learn because she can’t get the letters and words in her books to stay still. Ally, her parents and her teachers don’t realize that she is suffering from dyslexia. This causes a lot of misunderstandings, and poor Ally is labeled as a problem child. This story spoke to me because of my background as a teacher. I was sad to see Ally going so long without any help. But thanks to a wonderful substitute, Ally finds out that she isn’t “dumb,” and she has a great capacity for learning.

If you are interested in other books like these nominees, check out these read-alike lists in our catalog.