It’s Monday! What are you reading?
Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!
I was quite ill this week so my picture book reading was limited to what was in the house that I had yet to read (no library adventures for me). On the other hand, I spent hours reading novels and finished seven titles. Basically all I have done in the last three days is read, sleep and in one big burst of energy, I cleaned the fridge.
Picture books I enjoyed:
Locomotive by Brian Floca
Wow. The details and the history that Floca gifts to us in this train ride to the West Coast are just stunning. I read this to my son and he was captivated. Simply gorgeous.
DareDevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton by Meghan McCarthy
Another title for the picture book biography section. Betty Skelton and speed – whoa! I was truly shocked at how many things this woman was ready to try and how nothing phased her whatsoever. It was like, goal accomplished – what’s next?
The Fox in the Library written by Lorenz Pauli and illustrated by Kathrin Scharer
Loved the illustrations in this story and that it certainly promoted the love of books and literacy. But was the story memorable, not so sure. Did the story itself impress me? I felt it was only okay.
Novels I finished:
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy (MG)
A #MustReadin2014 title that I borrowed from my daughter’s bookshelf. What an ideal middle grade novel. It has everything to appeal to this preteen/early teen audience: family and friendship dynamics, humour, a taste of bizarre, a dose of romance and just a really great story.
Charm & Strange by Stehanie Kuehn (YA definitely)
Intense, haunting and beautifully told. Almost impossible to discuss this book without giving things away. It is dark. It is about facing the past and demons that have shaped you. It is about vulnerability. An emotional read but one I really recommend.
Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (MG/YA)
There is much to this book about two siblings basically raising themselves – helped occasionally by their spirited Grandmother who is otherwise sad and despondent. Everything changes when an escaped convict breaks into their home and holds them hostage. The drama is not rushed and full of fear and aggression. Rather, it is a simmering psychological story where questions rise up. What is family? What is loyalty? Where do our wishes lead us?
Every Day After by Laura Golden (MG)
Another #MustReadin2014 title I took off my daughter’s shelf (thank goodness I give her such amazing titles!). Lizzie is another young heroine of historical fiction that will weave her way into your heart and you can’t help but root for her. I really hope Laura Golden continues to write in this genre.
Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (MG)
Who would think one could use descriptors such as delightful and uplifting about a book all about funerals and death? Yet, this book is exactly that. It celebrates spirit and connection. It honours life. There is pure simplicity and complex interpersonal dynamics. And in the end I cried. But I would read this book again in a heartbeat just to experience interesting funeral food, the joys of a a flower garden and slobbery dog love.
Bird by Crystal Chan (MG/YA)
This book will follow me through the year I predict and may just end up on my favourites of 2014. Jewel is raised in grief and superstition. Guilt and anger. The day she was born was the day her brother Bird died. Everything about her life begins from there. Beautifully written. Sad and spectacular imagery. Themes of friendship, grief, family, culture, faith. Highly recommended.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA)
I had heard numerous times that this novel was powerful. That is explored PTSD in honest and raw ways. These things were not surprises. How much I adored the characters, the rich relationships, the true to life portrayal of a young girl caught between a place of hanging on and trying to embrace life and possibility – all of this surprised me. Just. So. Good.
Up next? I am currently reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – I really enjoyed Cinder and had looked forward to reading this entire trilogy. I just picked up Allegiant by Veronica Roth from the library so that will likely be my next read. My children are thrilled that I am feeling better so that I can continue nightly reading of The Shadow Throne.
Reading Goal updates:
2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 19/100 novels complete
Goodeads Challenge: 124/650 books read
#MustReadin2014: 9/30 complete
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 40/65 complete