It’s Monday! What are you reading?
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 have been sick for 4 days. We all know the yucky things about being sick so I haven’t been thrilled about being ill this weekend. But, for a book lover, sick days mean book days so I happily read some great novels between naps and mint tea breaks.
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King This is the second King title I’ve read (Ask the Passengers being the first) and I am fast becoming a fan of how she lays out characters and families and their sometimes strange, challenging but yet, connected dynamics. I sort of feel like I’m spying through a lit window at night into the intimate details of family relationships. Not always pretty. Sometimes all about the ugly and the weak. But so truly real. A book with a theme of bullying and how it affects an entire family.
Crow by Barbara Wright This title is another great example of why I love historical fiction to learn about specific events in history I often knew nothing or little about – in this case, the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. This book is very much about Moses and his family. I loved his relationship with his spunky and wise grandmother Boo Nanny. The racial tensions and extreme prejudice are thoroughly explored in this story – going back in time to Moses’ grandparent’s experiences and forward to his father’s dreams for him. Some challenging moments in this book. A middle grade read that might be best as a read aloud where lots of discussion could occur. With room for many questions . . .
Insurgent by Veronica Roth So first off, I must say that yes, I liked this book. Yes, I’m hooked on the adventure and very curious about what will happen next. But, while I appreciate adventure and fast paced plots, I need breathing room in a story. Time to reflect and ponder. Down time. There is little down time in Roth’s books. Which is probably what makes them favourites for others but not for me. I miss the space to think. Again, like I said with Divergent, it feels like I am reading a movie. With little mood music. Just go, go, go! But I like many of these characters and so yes, count me in as someone who will read the next title in this series!
Next up for me? Nothing but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. My children and I are loving The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens. If my voice hadn’t been so rotten this weekend we would have read much more. Such an engaging novel! And for kids, it has it all – suspense, humour, mystery, action . . .
I continue to add board books to my classroom collection for when we have buddy reading with the kindergarten class. Two new titles added this week:
Pouch! by David Ezra Stein A sweet little title about a little joey almost ready to brave the world.
Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills My students love sharing Duck & Goose titles. So sweet. Messages always so positive. Kids read them and smile.
I also read some great nonfiction picture books this week.
Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin This book is quietly powerful which is often the very best kind. Full of quotes to read, share and ponder. The artwork is exquisite. And I love the message that peace needs to be everywhere (in our hearts, homes, schools, countries . . .) in order to impact peace everywhere else. A book to own.
Who Lives Here? written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Marc Boutavant I purchased Who’s Like Me? (read more here) a book in this same format and it quickly became very popular for buddy reading so I am excited to book talk this title next week. In this book, students learn all about different habitats. Very accessible for younger learners and fun lift the flap elements.
My favourite picture books of the week were . . .
Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski This was the only Caldecott honour title for 2013 that I hadn’t read. I was completely smitten when I turned to the page of the whales. Oh, the whales! Such gorgeous pictures. Love the cityscape on the first page with the tiger carrying away the huge orange ball . . . Text and illustrations mesh beautifully. This would be such a beautiful book to give as a gift to those who appreciate the soothing power of bedtime books.
Bone Dog written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann I am a big Rohmann fan. My Friend Rabbit is one of my all time favourites. So I was intrigued by this title. It tackles death (of a pet) which most books shy away from so it gets automatic points. I always think we should talk openly with kids about death as a part of life. I once wrote a post ranting about this very thing. This title also has some very sweet elements to it. And when tested on a child (my son) evoked some giggles (when the proud little dog struts back with bone in mouth after a skeleton chase!)
The First Mosquito written and illustrated by Caroll Simpson. A dramatic First Nations story full of supernatural beings. My students wrote reviews of this book and I shared them here.
Have a happy reading week!
I look forward to your post each week. My students like books almost as much as I do. Amazon and Kidsbooks like that I read this too, my hubby not so much! Maybe if you reviewed some Marvel comics…JK.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for a great blog!
Thanks so much for this lovely comment! Not sure if Marvel comics are in my “to be read” pile, some cool graphic novels, maybe 🙂 I appreciate you reading and glad that you find some titles of interest!
First, I want to say that I truly appreciate that you include your students’ reviews. I read Ask the Passengers a few weeks ago and loved it, so I’m going to have to check out Everybody Sees Ants. My library has a couple of the picture books you’ve mentioned, and the cover of Peace is so beautiful I’ve put it in my shopping cart. Thanks for the recommendations!
Peace is definitely a book to own! I need to own it too. I’ve snagged it from my school’s library and don’t want to give it back! (Which isn’t very peaceful of me is it?) Thanks for the comment about student reviews – I love sharing what my students think – sometimes their comments and perspectives just completely stop me in my tracks. So insightful and clear. I hope you enjoy Everybody Ses the Ants.
A busy reading week for you Carrie. I have heard so much about the Divergent trilogy. Everybody sees the Ants looks good.
Thanks Gigi! Everybody Sees the Ants was very well done. King really gives her characters such amazing voice.
Both Crow and Everybody Sees the Ants are books I have not heard of before but will add to my TBR list now. They sound like great books! I completely agree with you about Insurgent and didn’t really know what bothered me about the book until now. I love the story and the characters, but you are right the action is so quick that there is not time to think!
Hi Andrea – it’s interesting isn’t it – action in books. . . we were just having this conversation with our student book club about character or plot driven books. I need to connect to the characters to be willing to follow them on all of their wild adventures and I need sneak peeks into what they are thinking about on all of these adventures. With Divergent/Insurgent I feel that I need just a bit more of quiet time with these characters 🙂 Would love to know what you think about Crow – such a well done middle grade novel.
Thanks for sharing the picture books. I love Nicola Davies books but have not read the ones you mentioned so I will have to try to get copies. The Duck and Goose book looks great and I have to get a copy of Peace.
My students really love these Nicola Davies titles and like sharing them with their little buddies in the K class when we have buddy reading
Wow, Carrie, you always have so many and such great recommendations. Crow was one of my favorite books last year, but I did not give it to my 10 year-old. My older daughters loved it! I can’t wait to find Peace and maybe you’ll get me into the Divergent series. They might have to wait for the beach, though. Hope you feel better.
Melanie – I hear you with Crow. While I want my own children (also ten) to experience this book I would rather wait a year or two and do it as a read aloud. There is a lot in this book that would be enhanced by lots of discussion. But, what a book. My husband also read it and loved it. Peace is just a lovely title. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Hi Carrie, I’ve been meaning to find Sleep Like a Tiger myself – it’s Zagarenski, after all. I discovered her artwork when I reviewed Red Sings from the Treetops – she has a unique distinctive style all her own – and totally unforgettable. I really should find this book soon. The Peace book also does sound like something that I must find and buy for myself. My eye was caught by CROW as well and the characters’ names. I should find it and read it soon. I always get that feeling whenever I visit your blog, I have to check out our library database to see if we have these titles here. Do feel better, Carrie! 🙂
Thanks for the well wishes Myra. Today I woke up feeling better. Peace is definitely a read it, and then must own it book. I can see myself pulling it off the shelves and sharing for years. The message is always current and crucial. Sleep Like a Tiger is just gorgeous. Yes, her style is . . . wow! Happy you found some book inspiration in stopping by 🙂
I really need to pick up Everybody Sees Ants. I recently read and loved Ask the Passengers. A.S. King jumped to the top of my must read list after I discovered Please Ignore Vera Dietz. She has an amazing way of writing tough topics without wallowing in melodramatic depression. http://wp.me/pzUn5-1pL
I just requested Please Ignore Vera Dietz from the public library. Agreed – King just lays it out, no wallowing, just real. Hope you enjoy Everybody Sees the Ants.
Well, the books pile up-I’ve seen enough recommendations for the King books that I need to read one. And, I’ve had Crow for a long while, but still haven’t read it. It sounds very good. I love your idea of collecting board books to use with buddies. I think I will share that with those who have the youngest buddies. And-I noted Sleep Like A Tiger-terrific people! Thanks Carrie!
Thanks Linda. I do think you would really enjoy author A.S. King. I continue to be impressed. The board books are such a hit. So many great picture books are now done in board format. They are perfect for when kids are turning the pages together and picking books up and placing them down quickly when selecting books to read. They weather all of the book appreciation shown to them!
Thanks for giving me more books that I need to read- Peace and Sleep Like a Tiger. I liked your review of Insurgent. Have a great reading week.
Thanks so much Earl. Peace is a really fantastic book. I haven’t shared it with my class yet and am really excited to do so.