Being an elementary school librarian is filled with an awful lot of good stuff and an awful lot of not-so-good stuff. I get asked questions like: "Do you work here or do you just volunteer?' or "Did you have to go to school to become a librarian?" and my favorite: "It must be nice to sit around and read all day and tell kids to be quiet." Don't I wish?
A lot of the good stuff comes from the kids themselves (OK...actually most of the good stuff). Each week I meet with a group of 5th graders and a group of 6th graders (on separate occasions) for a lunch time reading group. It is crazy, chaotic, and wonderful! A group of kids eating bland looking school lunches excitedly talking about BOOKS! Huh? Who would have thought it.
The 6th graders are currently reading A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban. I normally do not assign a book without reading it, but I did this time. (Hey, it came recommended by many pre-teen girls and who I am to doubt their authority?) So I decided to pick it up this morning and see what it was all about.
Well....let me tell you....I fell in love with Zoe Elias, the main character, who turns 11 during this brief glimpse into her life. The book was written in short chapters with wonderfully clever titles, and the pace of the book was perfect. It read smoothly and quickly....I had it done in under 2 hours. The book is not filled with many characters, but the ones you meet are richly drawn. Her father is my favorite by far. He suffers from high-levels of anxiety and hates to leave the house because he worries about what might happen. So he rarely does. Her mother makes up for it by being away from home -- working...always working. Both are loving and caring parents if not a bit odd. There is a rhythm about them that works.
Zoe does not blend real well in school. Her best friend has replaced her with another, and she does not wear the coolest name brands. She also plays the organ. Who plays the organ outside of church? Zoe does not want to play the organ. What Zoe wants is to play the piano, but her dad's anxiety got the best of him, and she ended up with an organ.
This organ AKA Perfectone D-60 takes her on a journey of discovery for her and the people around her. I recommend reading this sweet, honest book about a one-of-a-kind character.