The Real Boy by Anne Ursu


     I am currently reading The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu.  It is required reading for the young boy I am tutoring this summer.  I have to admit; I am enjoying it a lot!  
     The main character, Oscar, works for a magician in the hilltop town of Asteri.  Oscar is an odd little boy.  He doesn't remember his childhood.  He doesn't know how to act around people.  His best friends are cats.       Weird things are starting to happen around the town.  Two magician apprentices are turned into logs (really).  And, the animals are starting to act peculiar.
        I am forcing myself to read the book at the same pace as my student.  It is KILLING me!!!  I don't believe I will be able to hold out for much longer!  I will let you know!
      I just completed Jump Into the Sky, by Shelley Pearsall.  I enjoyed this historical fiction novel very much.  It discusses the racism prevalent during the 1940's through the eyes of a Chicago-born young boy, Levi.  Levi is sent, by his aunt, to find his father who is stationed at an army base in North Carolina.  Levi has no idea what is in store for him as he travels to the South.
     Since the story is told through the eyes of Levi, the reader experiences the lessons learned by him.  The novel provides a fantastic avenue to investigate: the 555th paratroopers or "Triple Nickles" as they were called, the Jim Crow laws, discrimination, and sweetgrass basket weaving (really).
     As I was writing the novel study for this book, I was able to learn so much about this time period.  I provide many links that are relevant to the story.  If you would like to preview the novel study it may be found here.