In the Middle Monday is a feature I use to highlight books written primarily for a middle school audience.
Today, in addition to featuring a middle level book, I am also featuring a guest post by Amy, one of my eighth grade students, who used the Character Connection format hosted by Jen at The Introverted Reader on Thursdays to talk about Runaway Twin by Peg Kepret. Amy chose to use this format for a recent book project and needless to say I was blown away by her creativity.
A unique story of separated twins and the unexpected consequences of their reunion.
Sunny Skyland longs to be reunited with her twin sister, Starr. With only an old photograph, taken a few days before the girls were separated at age three, to guide her, Sunny begins the cross-country journey that she has dreamed of during her ten years in various foster homes. Sunny manages to locate her twin, only to be faced with a whole new challenge.
Award-winning author Peg Kehret combines suspense and action with reflections on the true meaning of family as Sunny learns that sometimes we must let go of our dreams in order to embrace a different, better future.
A Day in the Mind of a Dog
by Snickers Skyland
My name is Snickers Skyland. You might have heard of me from Sunny’s book, Runaway Twin, written by Sunny’s pseudonym Peg Kehret, or seen Sunny walking me around the neighborhood. Sunny Skyland is the best person I know, and, just as the planets revolve around the sun, me, Sunny’s dog Snickers Skyland, revolves around Sunny. If I could talk to her, the first thing I would tell Sunny would be thanks for her determination, kindness, and compassion.
Sunny is a very determined girl. In her search to find her twin sister Starr, she perseveres through all sorts of hardships, including taking me along, fighting bullies, and having a run in with a tornado. Throughout all of these things, Sunny keeps the hope of finding her lost twin, even when the circumstances make it seem unlikely.
Sunny is patient enough to wait to fulfill her dreams. Before Sunny met me, she was traveling alone all day on the bus, covering hundreds of miles. When Sunny found me and took me along, it wasn’t until afterwards that she realized I wasn’t allowed on the bus. What did she do? Instead of leaving me in that parking lot, Sunny walked with me across states. She took much longer to get to Enumclaw, Washington than it would have riding on the bus. She got herself dirty and tired every day instead of sitting in air-conditioned comfort. She waited for me when I, being elderly, needed a rest from constantly walking. None of this was required of her, but Sunny put up with a lot, especially on account of me. It could have made her angry, but it didn’t, because she knows how to be patient and not let what happens to her ruin her outlook on things.
Sunny is forgiving. One day, we came upon a little town. After walking for miles, we ate and then hitched a ride with the owner of the restaurant to the next town with a bus stop. We were waiting outside for the bus when three teenage boys, named Zooman, Hunker, and Randy started bullying Sunny, trying to rob her. When I attacked them, they ran towards the approaching bus, waving for it to stop and then running off. When poor Sunny tried to get the driver to let us on, he angrily yelled at us and drove off. The bus came to that town only once a day. We were walking towards Starr when a storm started, with a tornado that headed straight for us through an open field. I got injured when debris fell on my head. Sunny went back into the town to look for help when she heard someone calling from under a demolished house. She ran over and started digging until she found the person’s head. The person was Randy, one of the bullies from earlier! Instead of leaving him in obvious pain, Sunny forgave Randy and did her best to free him and get help. Even when she herself could not help him, she directed others who could to help him first, then herself if possible. Sunny is so compassionate that she will put the needs of others first, with no thought of herself.
I love Sunny, and I wish more people could be like her. She is determined to complete what she starts, but is capable of patiently waiting for it to happen. She is kind to anyone, whether they are an animal or a person. Most of all, she is compassionate and forgiving. If Sunny sees someone in pain or needing help, no matter who he or she is or what they have done to her, she will try to help them. I love my friend Sunny for all this and more.