Monday July 15th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

IMWAYR

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 reads! Checking out all of the blogs that link up is a wonderful way to discover new titles.

I just realized that about a year ago today July 16th, 2012 was the first time I participated in the It’s Monday What are you Reading? meme. I have learned so much in this year of being part of the #IMWAYR community. My Mondays would not be the same without sharing my reading from the week and learning about great titles from others who participate.

This week we were away on an almost week long family trip so most of my reading was novel reading. But here are three picture books that were new to me:

Dot written and illustrated by Patricia Intriago There is a lot to this book revealed through much simplicity. Concepts and opposites are covered and much is left for thought and imagining. This book will make its new home in my buddy reading bin – what a wonderful title to share.

Dot 2

The Red Book written and illustrated by Barbara Lehman I loved the magical and fantasy elements to this wordless book. The connection between characters and the book (as a real part of this very book) was intriguing.

the red book

Phooey! written and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal Many details to explore in this book with such old fashioned feel. The message is a simple one – you will find boredom if you are convinced it is following you. There is so much happening via the illustrations in this story it is difficult to summarize. My favourite detail – a sign at the fruit stand that reads: Navel Oranges: Extra Bouncy. Fantastic sound effect noises: boing, whoop. zip, ploink, klump, etc.

phoeey!

I also finished a number of MG and YA novels:

Doll Bones by Holly Black This might have been my favourite novel this week. I cannot wait for it to come out in paperback so we can purchase multiple copies for our student book club. So much to wonder about, question and reflect upon. Even though I was prepared for creepy (and creepy was delivered) I would also describe this book as tender and vulnerable. It is an adventure novel full of mystery, intrigue and hauntings but it is also a story of friendship and a story of the journey from childhood to the beginning of young adulthood. What lies ahead and what is left behind? Absolutely captivating.

Doll Bones 2

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson Challenging circumstances for a young boy left at a campsite by his mother. He experiences much confusion over doing what he needs to do to keep himself safe and protecting his life with his mother. I found Jack’s turmoil very believable. His loyalty to his Mom and their life was always front and center despite the fear and obstacles he faced. A compelling story that I read in one sitting. 

Small_as_an_Elephant

Almost Home by Joan Bauer I so wanted to love this book and I just didn’t. I found the character of Sugar just too sweet. But I seem to be in the minority. My ten year old daughter read it and loved it and I see on Goodreads that this book has a number of excellent reviews. Something about this title just didn’t ring true for me. And I didn’t love the poetry . . . Not all titles are a match despite one’s positive anticipation.

almost-home

Torn Away by James Heneghan This was the most recent story I read aloud to my children. Published in 1996, this novel details a young boy’s grief and anger after his Mother and young sister are killed in a bombing while celebrating a birthday lunch in Belfast. He is sent (without any degree of willingness) to Canada to live with his Aunt and Uncle and he rebels against the idea of settling with a family, determined to return to Ireland to join the IRA and seek revenge for the murders of his family. Forces readers to explore the importance of family and connection. An emotional read.

torn away

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn I saw this title on Sarah’s (from YA Love) blog post about favourite titles and it caught my eye. It is a very upsetting story about an abusive relationship between two teenagers told through the diary of Nick who realizes with his first romantic relationship, that he has been influenced by his father’s violence in ways he wasn’t expecting. This is a story of aggression and ugly controlling actions. Important that the reader can experience the point of view of the abuser but yet the role is never romanticized. Definitely see this as an important book for high school students to read and discuss.

breathing_underwater

What’s up next in my reading life?

I am almost finished Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Tonight I begin a new read aloud with my children –  The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.

Next up for me: P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-GarciaA Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean and Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

22 thoughts on “Monday July 15th, 2013

    • I can imagine that Small as an Elephant would be wonderful as an audio book. I found it to be a story I just couldn’t walk away from. Think it would have great kid appeal.

  1. Hi Carrie, Doll Bones and Small as an Elephant, I have major love for both titles. I wouldn’t feel too bad about not meshing with Almost Home. I got that book and after reading the flap I wasn’t that interested in beginning it. So, I’ve never read it! I think it’s great that you are up front about it not being to your liking 🙂 We can’t love everything we read! Have a great week. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on Calpurnia!

    • It will be a while before we finish Calpurnia but I am very excited to be reading it with my kids. True – we don’t all love everything – I enjoyed Hold Fast and One for the Murphys so much more for books that explored themes of homelessness and foster care.

  2. You’ve got some great books listed. I loved Doll Bones, even though the cover kind of freaked me out. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel funny when I don’t like books that others really like. It makes me wonder what did they see that I didn’t. But I think that it is good to let our students know that it is ok not to like a book. Thanks for sharing!

    • Good point – we need to model that not every book speaks to us in the same way and that responding to a book isn’t always about being a cheerleader. Makes the ones we love mean even more. I was so pleased with Doll Bones – I wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t heard so many positive reviews in the #IMWAYR community.

  3. Doll Bones is waiting for me at my library right now. I hope to get to it soon. Phooey looks absolutely adorable. I really loved Small as an Elephant. We did it as a class read aloud last year. I live in Maine so it was fun to track Jack’s journey to places we knew.

  4. Doll Bones might have to wait, so many to choose from! I enjoyed hearing about Breathing Underwater and Torn Away-what challenges children face! I loved Half-Broke Horses and Calpurnia Tate-hope you enjoy both! Thanks for the rec on Goodreads too!

    • My pleasure – I thought it would be a book that you would particularly like. Loved Half Broke Horses! We are going to be a while with Calpurnia Tate but excited to be reading it to my kids!

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