Unit 2.2 (1/student)
When everyone that Justin depends on lets him down, he begins discovering himself with the help of a new friend and some newly found talents.
Alone. That’s how thirteen-year-old Justin feels these days. His older brother Duane has left home, enlisting in the Army, and his father has walked out, maybe for good this time. His mom is too depressed to get out of bed. And if that’s not enough, his best buddy Ben has a new girlfriend and no longer has time to hang out. There’s not much left for Justin to do but to put his brain in neutral and slide into the state he calls “the Big Nothing.”
But slowly Justin discovers he has more resources than he thinks. With the help of his classmate Jemmie and her grandmother, Nana Grace, he learns that underneath all the noisy confusion in his brain lies a talent for music. As he spends time with Jemmie, he begins to understand how simple notes make complex music, and how simple feelings can turn into deep emotions.
Award-winning author Adrian Fogelin once again offers readers an emotionally charged story featuring a sympathetic adolescent trying to make sense of the people and world around him.
MY BROTHER'S HERO
An unexpected turn of events pushes Ben Floyd out of his normal small neighborhood routine, and into an unexpected appreciation for his old life.
Ben Floyd has a lot on his mind. In only eighteen months he will be old enough to get a learner’s permit to drive, but that seems like a lifetime away. Ben enjoys the close-knit group of friends in his small neighborhood, but lately he has been longing for a taste of adventure. Keeping an eye on his younger brother Cody is getting to be a big responsibility. And he is confused by complicated feelings he has for his lifelong friend, Cass.
When the Floyd family ends up in the Florida Keys over Christmas vacation Ben gains a welcome opportunity to escape his routines. He meets Mica, an independent, strong-willed girl who lives a nomadic life aboard a boat with her marine biologist father. Together Ben, Cody, and Mica explore the interior canals and coastal waterways, but Ben soon realizes that adventure sometimes brings danger, and that at the center of Mica’s seemingly charmed life lies a mysterious loneliness.
Young readers will relate to Ben’s conflicting feelings and growing restlessness as they experience this realistic, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous portrait of adolescence by award-winning author Adrian Fogelin.
SOME KIND OF MAGIC
The lives of four best friends are changed by some unexpected magic the summer before they start high school.
It’s the last summer before Cass, Jemmie, Ben, and Justin hit high school. Friends for years, they all know that everything will be different for them once school starts, and each of them have different feelings about the future. Then Ben’s kid brother Cody discovers an old fedora, left behind by a mysterious missing uncle, at the back of a closet. When Cody puts the hat on, it becomes “magic” to him.
Ben and his friends are too old to believe in mystical hats—until the magic begins to work and Cody leads the gang to an abandoned building in the woods. Little do they suspect that this old property with a tragic past might just change them all forever. Can a little hat magic, the discovery of a secret summer hideout, and an encounter with real danger help them all deal with what may be their “last summer” together?
Award-winning author Adrian Fogelin once again offers readers an emotionally charged and suspenseful story, featuring a sympathetic group of adolescents trying to make sense of the mysterious world around them.
SUMMER ON THE MOON
A move from an impoverished tenement to an unfinished suburban development turns thirteen-year-old Socko’s world inside out.
It’s summer vacation, and Socko and his best friend Damien are hanging around the Kludge apartments, taking care to avoid the local gang members. When Socko’s great-grandfather suddenly offers to buy a house in the suburbs, Socko’s mom jumps at the chance. Socko hates to leave Damien behind, but he and his mom pack up their few belongings and move to Moon Ridge Estates.
Nothing there is even remotely what Socko had imagined—Moon Ridge is a lonely wasteland of half-finished houses. Socko tries to make the best of a bad situation, hopping on his skateboard to explore the empty streets that are now his private domain. Constructing new lives will involve taking some risks, but in time a ragtag community begins to rally around the struggling development.
With humor and heart, Adrian Fogelin weaves a timely story of loyalty, family, community, and economic hardship.