Monday March 18th, 2013

 It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Connect with the #IMWAYR posters and link up to Jen and Kellee‘s meme to share all of your reading from picture books to young adult novels.

I finished two novels this week:

Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky I read this book with my student book club – we decided to go with a different genre – something with mystery and suspense and even a little bit of bordering on terrifying . . . It definitely gripped the students and they were eager each week to talk about each part and predictions about what happened next. While this story certainly had creepy elements, it was not too over the top for intermediate age readers – definitely appropriately categorized as middle grade. I don’t want to give too much away but will hint at a few plot elements. Juniper goes in search of what seems to be the root of why her parents have changed and seem so distant. She meets a new friend Giles who reveals that the same thing has happened to his parents. The two children discover more than they bargained for when they find an entrance in an old tree. Wise birds, freaky balloons, a woodcutter, promises of  . . . Decisions you never thought you would consider . . .

juniper berry

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth This young adult novel touches on many themes: family, friendship, coming of age, grief – so it has emotions everywhere you look with lots to explore. Cameron is independent, surly even and her voice resonates as raw and real. When Cameron’s “born again” aunt discovers that Cameron is in love with a girl, she sends her to a Christian camp that will “fix her.” This is what drew me to the story because it just seems crazy that such prejudice exists and I wondered what would it look like imposed on a teenager in this context. Whoa. Parts of this story were very tough. There is one section of the story where Cameron is talking about how she is treated at this camp to someone from the state who is investigating. She hints at emotional abuse,

“- the whole ___ purpose of this place is to make us hate ourselves so that we change. We’re supposed to hate who we are, despise it.”

“I see,” he said, but I could tell that he didn’t at all. “Is there anything else?”

“No, I think the hate yourself part about covers it.”

Such a sad statement on society that places like this even exist. A powerful book.


Normally, I have many picture books to highlight. And this week I just don’t. I shared many stories with my class that were rereads for me and so I am not highlighting them here. And the new to me books just didn’t strike me as fantastic. Sometimes that happens.

I am off on Spring Break now so have a huge stack of novels I plan to read through – starting with Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson. 

Happy Reading everyone! 

10 thoughts on “Monday March 18th, 2013

    • Yay for spring break! Enjoy! Juniper Berry sounds fun and I think I’ll add it to the list of possible read alouds for my own kids. TMOCP sounds like such an important book, that sadly will not find its way into the hands of the ignorant people it needs to reach. Hopefully enough enlightened young people will take a stand against such nonsense!

      • Yes. I have a full 2 weeks off! We are actually heading down to your state! A San Juan Island rental to read, relax and have family time! Juniper Berry is borderline scary so skim it before you tackle it with your two in case they are at all easily spooked! TMOCP is a heavy book – as a parent it makes me so sad to think of children being rejected by their families for who they are. An important read.

      • Ah. The San Juans are one of my favorite places in the world. Enjoy the views, the quiet, and maybe even a good rain shower. 🙂

  1. Well, from the comments I see you’re off to wonderful places, Carrie. Have a super time. I’ve seen about Juniper Berry-will get to that sometime, I know. The MisEducation of Cameron Post is, while sad, welcome. You are not the first today to highlight a book about the prejudices of sexual orientation. Have you seen, or read, The Letter Q? It’s a wonderful & needed read. Thanks for sharing about both, & for answering the tweet earlier in the week-it helped!

    • Linda, thanks for the well wishes for our holiday time! I haven’t read The Letter Q. I just added it to my TBR list on Goodreads. It looks definitely like an important read. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Hi Carrie, Hope you are having a great time! I have finished 2 novels so far and am trying to decide what to listen to on our trip to the Okanagan later today. (I have Princess Academy on my Iphone and am leaning towards it) The Miseducation of Cameron Post sounds fabulous. I am wondering if you think it would be appropriate for our library?

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