Monday August 19th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYRJoin 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!

The picture books I loved this week . . .

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

A story of friendship, prejudice and courage set in the American South in 1964. Beautifully written – lyrical text and honest emotions, this book is one of the best historical fiction picture books I have read. Would be ideal to pair with other picture books and novels also dealing with this time period such as The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine and Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood. 

Freedom Summer #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse  A companion book to Mirror Mirror full of more brilliantly and beautifully crafted poems inspired by fairytales. Forward or backwards – simply amazing. 

 Follow Follow #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems Who can help but root for Piggie and her incredible perseverance? Creativity and imagination help Piggie do the impossible (sort of . . . ).

Today I Will Fly! #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems Anticipation can make even the simplest of surprises very dramatic!

I Will Surprise my Friend #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Some amazing nonfiction titles

No Monkeys, No Chocolate written by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young with illustrations by Nicole Wong 

What a rich engaging information story book. The reader is quickly wooed by a page of delicious desserts and treats with chocolate as a main ingredient . . . but where does chocolate come from? We travel to the rainforests of Central and South America and learn the very complicated series of natural events that make it possible to harvest the cocoa bean. Packed with information told through beautifully detailed illustrations, easy to follow text and the humourous commentary of two tiny bookworms in the corner of each page. I learned so many things from this book that I was rereading it for a second time within minutes of finishing it. A book I cannot wait to share with my students this fall.

Read a fantastic review of this book on Margie Myers-Culver‘s blog.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Even an Octopus Needs a Home by Irene Kelly 

This book reveals the huge variety of homes built by animals around the world. From treetops, to coral reefs, caves, burrows, and sandy shores – this book is full of unique animal homes and details of how they are built. Did you know that monk parakeets weave their nests onto the nests of another nesting pair? So that the result can be a colony of parakeets living in an apartment like nest possibly as large as a car? Or that redhead ducks don’t build a nest at all – they simply lay their eggs in the nest of another duck and let the unsuspecting new mother duck hatch and raise the ducklings? So much to learn about animal habitats!

Even an Octopus Needs a Home #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I read somewhere in some review that this was a YA romance book for those people not typically wowed by romance stories. This is true. Strangely, this title is completely centered on one of the most beautifully told young love stories I have ever read, yet “romance book” is not the way I would start when describing this title. It is about teenage angst. About social cruelty and bullying and ignorance. It is also a book that reveals that relationships exist for so many reasons – some of them truly because of love, some of them out of desperation and a series of bad decisions. This is the story of poverty that typically isn’t told. It is about judgement and courage and genuine care. It is about finding the amazing in someone who does everything to hide it. It is about being young and vulnerable and confused. It is about adults who mess up and inflict so much that is not okay on the children. It is about abuse and fear. And ugliness. 

And then, it is really about love. And thank goodness, because what an emotional ride. No guarantees of happily ever afters with a handsome prince. Full guarantees that you will laugh, shake your head, feel your stomach turn and just smile. Wow.

Eleanor and Park #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown

A rare adult read.

The Longings of Wayward Girls #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? We’re off on a before school starts trip and in my bag I have packed . . . .

  • Rules by Cynthia Lord
  • The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes by Kelly Easton
  • Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
  • When Llfe Gives you O.J. by Erica S. Perl
  • Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum
  • Cinder by Marissa Myer
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • and maybe a few more  . . . 🙂

Happy Reading Everyone! I will be posting again in two weeks for #IMWAYR

24 thoughts on “Monday August 19th, 2013

  1. I will never get tired of reading people’s responses to Eleanor & Park! I’ve been wanting to read Marilyn Singer’s poetry books for awhile now. They seem interesting!

  2. You have been very busy reading. Rules is very good and well paired with Out of My Mind. I am such an Elephant and Piggie fan. They are among some of my favorite read alouds. I am going to look into Even an Octopus Needs a Home. It’s attractive and appears to be a good choice for science and social studies topics.

  3. Wonderful picture book titles as per usual – I’ve been neglecting nonfiction titles, that’s for sure, thank you for sharing a few that I am inclined to pick up from our library. I haven’t read Eleanor & Park yet, but the two other gatheringbooks ladies have read it and would probably be reviewing it for our coming-of-age theme. I envy your before-school-starts vacation! I know I had a five week vacation, so no cause for complaint, really, but yeah, well. Good luck though on reading The Book Thief while vacationing! 🙂 Let me know how that goes. 🙂

  4. I just started Prairie Evers last night and I really like it so far. Loved Rules as well. Have you read Touch Blue, also by Cynthia Lord? Another good one, similar to One For the Murphys. Enjoy your trip!

  5. Carrie, your blog is becoming a $ drain for me! Every week, you post about several books I want to go buy right now. I think I’ll get Freedom Summer and No Monkeys, No Chocolate for my son’s classroom (that’s my new way to justify new book purchases: “I will donate this to my son’s classroom. That room needs more books!”). Eleanor & Park is in my TBR stack right now. Hoping to get to it soon. Thanks for the reviews!

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