Posted in Book Reviews, Possible Truman Nominees 2020-21

Mascot – Book Review

Image result for mascot book

Back in October, I was looking for a book to read aloud to my two reading classes. These classes are full of students who are two grade levels or more behind grade level. One of the biggest struggles for these readers is they fatigue and have a hard time finishing a book. Many of them didn’t have parents who read out loud to them, or if they did, stopped at too early of an age. It is vitally important to read to your kids, even your middle school kids (and I would dare say, many of your high school kiddos could benefit from it as well). By reading out loud and finishing a book, it helps the students realize that they can succeed in reading a book and persevering through it. This will hopefully encourage them to do it on their own as well.

So in my search for a book that my students would enjoy, and one that was on my to-read list, I found this one. Antony John does a fantastic job of channeling the brain of a 7th grade boy. The main character, Noah, is in a wheelchair. The result of a horrible car accident that took the life of his dad. (Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything with this. You find this out within the first chapter or two.) Noah is from St. Louis and a big baseball fan (and former player). Thus the Arch and the cardinal on the cover.

The story weaves through Noah trying to navigate new friendship, old friendships, his injury, emotions around losing his father, and his mom’s new “friend”. There are a lot of emotional elements throughout this book, but John uses middle school humor and some grown up insight to wade through them without making it too heavy. I definitely recommend this for middle schoolers.

I brought this book home over break, so my students haven’t finished it yet. I’m interested to see how they will react to the last part of the book. Many of them have predicted that Noah will walk again. I won’t give that away here though!


17 years of teaching experience 100s of books read

7 thoughts on “Mascot – Book Review

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book! It sounds like it explores the aftermath of a sad event very well (and without too much sadness). That’s neat that you’re reading the book to your students—it’s a great idea to give them the satisfaction of having finished a book so that they’ll read more! Thanks so much for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s great that you read aloud to your students. So sad they don’t get more of that at home. This sounds like a great story. Hope your students enjoy finishing it after the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a former teacher and literacy mentor myself, I couldn’t agree with you more about inspiring struggling readers to read. The best part of each day for Kindergartners through 4th graders {the grades I taught} and me was when I read aloud to them. This cover is so appealing as are the themes of the story. I will look for it at our public library. Thank you for sharing this book with us for MMGM.

    Liked by 1 person

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