Thursday, November 20, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude: The Thanksgiving Post

Thanksgiving is here, and you know what that means!

Sure, there's stuffing your belly (in one sitting) with more food than you ate all last week or watching football (or the parade) or arguing with your brother (or sister) about who gets the wishbone this year. But that's not what I'm talking about.

Thanksgiving, as over-commercialized as it has become, is about family and about being happy (grateful) with what you have in life. It's about being happy in the moment. Right here. Right now. 

Here are a few selections on that theme.

A Mango-Shaped Space, by Wendy Mass: Mia's synesthesia always made her feel like an outsider, so she hid it from the world. When her secret gets out, her family is nothing but supportive. Mia learns that being different is a good thing...and even to appreciate her differences as a special gift.

Article 5, by Kristen Simmons: After reading this creepy distopia where the characters lose their basic rights, you'll be infinitely grateful for the freedoms you have in this life.

Body of Water, by Sarah Dooley: When Ember's family relocates to a campground after their home is destroyed in a fire (a hate crime committed by her former best friend), Ember can't let go of her anger--toward her ex-friend, toward her family, and to herself. Can she learn to let things go and move on?

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, by Jordan Sonnenblick: A catastrophic injury ends Pete's baseball career...his beloved grandfather's health is failing... What does Pete have to be grateful for? How about a new hobby and, quite possibly, the girlfriend of his dreams.

Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin: After Liz's untimely death, she learns that the afterlife is nothing like she expected--and NOT in a good way. But there are some awesome things going for her in this un-life (family, friends, and even romance)...if only she can learn to see it.

How to Rock Braces & Glasses, by Meg Haston: Kacey Simon took for granted she'd always be the Queen Bee of her school. Then a freak accident drops her to the bottom of the social food chain. New friends and new interests can give her a new appreciation for life...IF she'll stop feeling sorry for herself.

How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr: Jill and Mandy are both troubled teens with tragic pasts. Both have a lot to learn about family, love, and about life in general. Will having to live together for the next several months teach them what they need to learn?

Stargirl (and the sequel Love Stargirl), by Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl Caraway sees the world in a completely different way than the average teen. She appreciates little things in life, like mockingbirds and night-blooming flowers. And never questions who she is. Read these and you'll feel happy about life and all the good things in the world.

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