Monday February 4th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Kellee and Jen’s meme to share all the reading you have done over the week – everything from picture books to young adult novels! Connecting with the #IMWAYR community is such a great way to hear about fantastic books “new to you.”

I had a big weekend of reading. Part of it was that I fell into many books I just couldn’t put down so I was able to read more novels than usual in a work week.

The Spindlers written by Lauren Oliver This was a title I have been reading to my children as a nightly read aloud. An interesting fantasy title about the world Below – full of drama and action and slightly scary parts. Liza has to rescue her brother’s soul that has been stolen by the Spindlers and the rescue mission is full of risk and odd, magical creatures, many of them menacing. The idea that her little brother’s soul was stolen was creepy enough to warrant a request from my son not to read it right before bed. This lasted just a few nights until the adventure was too addictive and we had to read this book nightly! A really gripping fantasy story for the middle grade crowd.

The Spindlers

Glory Be written by Augusta Scattergood Set in Mississippi in 1964 in the heat of summer and the heat of the civil rights movement. This is a story of one strong girl, her family, her friendships and her drive to make sense of the prejudice and fear around her. The letter Glory sends to the local paper to question the town’s decision to close the pool is absolutely brilliant. What voice and what conviction in such a young girl. I had wanted to read this story for a long time and it is now in the hands of my ten year old daughter who is devouring it.

Glory Be

Dying to Know You written by Aidan Chambers I picked this book up and could not put it down. Yes, I was intrigued by the story and the characters but it was the style of writing and the fact that Chambers tells this story through the voice of a nameless 75 year old narrator that just held me. The narrator’s voice was so strong, so vulnerable, so lyrical – I just loved it. Of course, read this book because the storyline is very clever but the writing will wow you. A young adult realistic fiction title.

dying to know you

Ordinary Beauty written by Laura Wiess Not a book to dip your toe into – you need to jump right in and be with the character as she tells the story of her painful, abusive childhood full of neglect. Sayre’s mother is an addict and she is dying. Sayre’s life story is told alongside her present day dramatic struggle on a wintery night to reach her mother’s bedside and confront her feelings about what is happening. This story is extra raw for me as I have taught students whose lives have many similar elements to Sayre’s childhood – extreme poverty, horrible living conditions, exposure to things children should not even conceive of . . . A hard book to read but what a story . . .

ordinary beauty

Books I am starting this week: Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky is next up for our student book club. I haven’t read this title yet so will be reading along with the kids. With my own children, I have just started reading The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens. This is a book I have wanted to read for a while so am excited to share it with my children. Next novel up for me? Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King – this just arrived for me at the public library. I requested it after loving King‘s Ask the Passengers.

Picture books I enjoyed this week included many nonfiction titles:

Hello Oscar! a Zoe and Beans story by Chloe and Mick Inkpen I keep seeing Zoe and Beans books at the public library and decided I should finally read one – very sweet little illustrations – lovely for story time with the younger set.


A Perfect Day by Carin Berger Perfectly depicts the wonder and magic of a snow day. Love this illustrator’s style.


Speaking of snow – I highlighted some nonfiction snow books on my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday post, including this title, The Story of Snow. Read this post to hear more about these snow books.


Adopt a Glurb by Elise Gravel I really enjoy so many of these Balloon Toons titles! This one is especially quirky and hilarious. Can see this being hugely popular with my students.

adopt a glurb

I Have a Dream by Dr Martin Luther King Jr with paintings by Kadir Nelson. I shared this with my own children and we had very thoughtful discussions. Kadir Nelson’s beautiful art makes Dr. King’s words so accessible and powerful through the intimate experience a well done picture book can create.


Have a happy week of reading everyone!

20 thoughts on “Monday February 4th, 2013

  1. I noted all of your longer books, Carrie. I have Glory Be & hope to get to it sometime. It does sound good every single time. And Dying to Know You sounds so interesting. Also, because of your post, I found A Story of Snow at our library-very nice, so thanks!

    • Hi Linda I saw on Goodreads that you had read Story of Snow. So glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was so special with all of the gorgeous photographs. I think you would love Dying to Know you It was such a pleasant surprise for me.

  2. Loved Kadir Nelson’s paintings in I Have a Dream. Who am I kidding? I love all of Kadir Nelson’s paintings. His work always moves me to tears. I have a major author/illustrator crush. 🙂

  3. Spindlers looks interesting. I may have to read it just to see if I would have done anything if my little brother’s soul had been stolen. Question is… how would I have known? Looks like you’ve had a lot of good books lately!

  4. I love hearing your read aloud ideas for your own kids, and Spindlers sounds great! Emerald Atlas is a family favorite at our house. We listened to it on audio (Jim Dale reads it!) last year, and are doing the sequel again this year on audio during our weekly drives to go skiing. Glory B. has been on my list for a while, and I’m sure to adore it being such a fan on historical fiction. Adopt-a-Glurb looks like great fun!

    • I was really impressed. It had been on my TBR list for a long time so was pleased to finally get my hands on it. I also love Lions of Little Rock – another great historical fiction title.

  5. So many great books! I have the audiobook for The Spindlers checked out right now, I’ve read and loved everything else Oliver has written. I, too, could not put down Dying to Know You. I thought the first half especially was as addicting as anything I’ve ever read! Juniper Berry is fabulous. One of my favorite lesser-known MG titles. Hope you and your kids enjoy!

  6. Thanks for reminding me of the NF challenge. I should add that to my Reading Challenge. I really need to read more of that genre because it seems there are just so many out now that are must-reads!

  7. Kadir Nelson is simply amazing isn’t he? I have to get my hands on this book soon. Adopt a Glurb also looks like a book that my own eleven year old daughter would enjoy. Love seeing quite a few winter titles here as well. Lauren Oliver’s The Spindler seems promising – your post reminds me that I haven’t had a chance to finish the book that I started with my own daughter a few months back. We’ve been so harried and quite frenzied lately that it’s mostly just prayer time and night rituals and off to bed – we haven’t picked up on our Phantom Tollbooth lately – we really should get back to doing that. Tomorrow night. 🙂

    • The night time read aloud is precious time and you are right – not always easy to get to! My children are quite persuasive that we read “just a little” so we try to get to it nightly! Allows me to come across books I might not read otherwise and of course, enjoy lovely reading time with my kids.

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