October 5, 2010

Top Ten for Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ask any kid who has listened to me give a book talk... I love sad, depressing books.  Most of the books that I booktalk have a character that lives in foster care, her mom has died, she ran away from home, her dog gets hit by a car... if it is sad, I love it.  I don't know why...  This week I give you my top 10 favorite "grab a tissue and cry your eyes out" books.  Just because they are sad doesn't mean that they start sad, stay sad and end sad... but you will have to read them and find out!

  The Same Stuff as Stars by Katherine Paterson
 Angel and her brother have a hard life.  Their dad is in prison and their mom isn't very responsible.  One night, mom drops the 2 kids off at their grandmother's house, even though they have never met her.  Mom reassures the kids that she will be back first thing in the morning to pick them up... but she never comes back.  So, now Angel is stuck with a grandmother she doesn't know, in a town she doesn't know... and she has to be brave for her brother.  Angel walks 2 miles to the town library and befriends the librarian, and she also meets a mysterious man who shares her passion for star gazing.  Who is this man, and how will he help her put her past behind her?  You will have to read the book and find out!  F PAT
Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park
Phoebe is narrator of this book, and she has a heartbreaking story.  Her little brother, Mick, was killed in a bike accident.  She starts the book by saying "I don't want to make you cry. I just want to tell you about Mick. But I thought you should know right up front that he's not here anymore. I just thought that would be fair."  Phoebe tells the story of how her family copes with the death of her little brother; including the first time her mom goes in his bedroom after he has died.  Phoebe's father feels so guilty for his son's death, saying that if he had only made him wear a helmet, he would have lived.  This book will break your heart.  F PAR
Greetings From Nowhere by Barbara O'Connor
Aggie and her husband have run a small motel at the foot of the Smokey Mountains since they were married.  Now that her husband has died, she doesn't know what to do.  She knows that the motel is too much for an old lady to run, but she can't bare to give it up.  She finally decides to put the motel up for sale.  She finds a buyer- a single father with a lonely daughter, who come to visit the motel and make the final arrangements.  As fate would have it, the motel gets very busy- 3 more families need rooms at the same time.  All of these families have sad stories that you learn as each chapter is narrated by a different character.  All of their stories come together by the end of the book... this is a beautiful story that will touch your heart.  F OCO
A Small White Scar by K.A. Nuzman
It is 1940 and since his mother died, Will has been in charge of caring for his disabled twin brother, Denny.  Will wants to break out on his own, and leave his brother and his strict father behind.  He resents the responsibilities that have fallen on him, and he knows he will have to give up his dream of joining the rodeo.  Will decides to run away and enter the rodeo in the next town- thinking that he can finally prove himself to his father.  But, Denny follows Will on his journey, and Will is forced to either leave his brother in the middle of the desert, or turn back and give up his dream.  What will he do?  Read and find out! F NUZ

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
I cannot talk about this book. I have work to do, and I can't spend the day rolled up in a ball in the corner of my office.  Read it.  Please.
Charlotte's Web by E.B.White
I know that this new generation has no need to read this book, since they have seen the movie... NOT!  You must read this book.  Spoiler alert here, but when my dad read this book to me,  I sobbed uncontrollably when Charlotte died.  How could she leave Wilbur behind?  That was the first book I had ever heard where a main character dies.  I know that her babies coming to Wilbur's farm are suppose to make us all feel better in the end- but it made me cry harder.  How can they grow up without a mother?  I think this book lead to my irrational fear of spiders. Please read this book to your child. F WHI
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
I know everyone under the sun has either read this book or seen the movie (sigh), but I read this book to my 4th grade class the year it was published in the US.  My class knew that I would cry at the drop of a hat, but they had a chance to see it in person when I read a certain chapter of this book to them.  When Harry looks into the Mirror of Erised and sees his parents, I became a blubbering fool.  I continued to read, and when I looked up from my book, all of the children were sobbing too.   F ROW
Mars Needs Moms by Berkeley Breathed
The little boy in this book is sick of his mom... she makes him eat his vegetables, makes him go to bed at night; and he decides he will be better off without her.  Little does he know, that aliens have invaded Earth, and they are here to find the perfect human to take back to their planet.  A human who will fix boo boos and drive carpool... so they come and take all the moms.  The little boy manages to stow away on the space ship, and when he tries to escape, he has no helmet and can't breath.  His mother rushes to him and gives him her helmet.  We all know what happens to you if you are in outer space and have no space helmet.  I cry every time I read this.  If you are a mom, you will cry twice as hard...  you know you would do the same for your child.  The first time I read this book out loud to a class, I couldn't finish it- Mr. Aunan had to come and finish reading for me.  I was sobbing.  Buy this for your mom... or for yourself. E BRE 

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
I don't care how many times I read this to my daughters, I can't keep from tearing up.  When that Big Nutbrown Hare  lifts Little Nutbrown in the air and says "I love you to the moon and back", I just can't stand it.  Every single baby needs this book!

Corduroy by Don Freeman
When the little girl takes Corduroy home and sews that button on his overalls... that's what gets me every time.  Every.  Time.


  1. I can't wait to read some of these sad books. Reading sad books is a great thing to do when you are sad about something, because then you cry and feel better. Some of my favorites are: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech; Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm; Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo; Getting Near to Baby by Audrey Couloumbis; and Michael Rosen's Sad Book by Michael Rosen.

  2. Getting Near Baby... I knew I left one off the list. AND Winn Dixie! When that tornado strikes and Winn Dixie disappears! Awful! Have you read DiCamillo's "Tiger Rising"? That is a tear inducing book too!