Children’s Book Club: – The Washington Post


The Secret Battle of Evan Pao

Ever since he had a baseball coach who tried to hide how badly he wanted his team to win, Evan Pao has a sense of when people aren’t quite telling the truth.

The 12-year-old just moved from California to the town of Haddington, Virginia with his mother and sister, and he can tell if what people say matches what they feel. It’s a handy skill if you’re going to sixth grade at the end of the school year and don’t know anyone.

Evan has a lot to figure out, including a mystery about his father, but it’s his fellow students who demand most of his attention. He also tries to persuade his mother to give the family a dog.

With the help of his mother’s brother (who has lived in Haddington for eight years), a friendly boy named Max (who has lived there all his life), and a dog that seems to have no home, Evan slowly becomes accustomed to his newfound life. city ​​. In fact, through computer searches at the local library, he finds a meaningful way to participate in his school’s Battlefield Day, which commemorates the Civil War, and the discussion in his town about the Confederate statue erected there more than a century ago.

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As the only Asian American in his school, Evan arouses curiosity in some people and hostility in others. He had never had to deal with that at his old school. And when a classmate admits to shooting a bullet in his house, Evan, his mother and his 15-year-old sister are shocked and upset. They wonder why the police are not taking the incident more seriously. While Evan can sense when someone is lying, it’s hard for him to see the full truth or why his classmate is acting like a bully.

Wendy Wan-Long Shang presents the book’s chapters from different points of view, but Evan takes center stage in the fast-paced story. He is attentive and sympathetic, and his ability to see through insincerity will make you think about your own instincts. As eventful as “The Secret Battle of Evan Pao” is, it’s also a good reminder that everyone has inner battles that we can’t see or easily understand.

“The Great Wall of Lucy Wu” (8 to 12 years old), Wendy Wan-Long Shang’s first novel features another sixth-grader who must face surprising challenges.

In Melissa Dassori’sJR Silver writes her world” (8 to 12 years old) a sixth-grade girl discovers she has magical powers when the short stories she writes come true.

KidsPost reader Edith Dawson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, recommends “on my honor” (aged 9 to 12) by Marion Dane Bauer. It’s a Newbery Honor-winning story about a tragedy that happens when two friends swim in a dangerous river. “It uses realistic characters with recognizable struggles to teach children that it is their duty to tell the truth and to move away from the guilt of mistakes that are not entirely their fault.”

In the kingdom of Mangkon, 12-year-old Sai tries to make it on his own. Her mother died years ago and her father survives through criminal acts that sometimes land him in prison. Sai has worked on her handwriting and has merged into mainstream society, and she has been fortunate enough to land a job helping the kingdom’s preeminent mapmaker. When the opportunity arises to escape her father’s dark schemes, Sai sets out on a grand voyage of discovery. Once on board, she’ll have to figure out who to trust and the truth of what’s beyond the known world.

The Summer Book Club is open to children from 6 to 14 years old. They may read some or all of the books on our list. (Find a blurb for each book at launch2022.) The first 600 children registered will receive a notebook and pen. To join the club, children must be registered by a parent or guardian before August 8th. To register, that adult needs to fill out our form at If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Do you have a suggestion?

The KidsPost Summer Book Club 2022 is themed ‘Speaking Truth’ and we would like to know your favorite books related to the theme. Children aged 6 to 14 are eligible to participate; one entry per person. Have a parent or guardian complete the top portion of the form at and then share your suggestions by Thursday. We can include your favorites in KidsPost. At the end of the summer, we will send a selection of books to three randomly selected children who have sent in suggestions. Winners will be notified by August 30.

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