Monday June 30th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


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 novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

I will admit that reading is a little strange lately. I have no idea when I might be teaching again due to this lengthy labour dispute between B.C. teachers and the employer with no end in sight. Thanks to all who read and offered messages of support with my recent post: Standing on the Sidewalk. It feels a little bittersweet when I find a book I love – I found last week I was taking books to the picket line and sharing them with the children there with us (my children and those of my colleagues). For me, so much of what I love about books is the possibility of the magic that is created when an amazing book meets a group of students. I so miss my students. Sigh.

The picture books I enjoyed this week:

Whose Nest? by Lynette Evans with illustrations by Guy Troughton

Such a fun and interesting title. Guess which creature belongs to which nest from a few sentences of hints and a peek at the nest. Lift the flaps to discover who uses the nest – from birds, to reptiles, to small mammals. The group of children I read this to (ranging in age from 5 to 11 years old) were all enchanted.

Whose nest? #IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Gravity by Jason Chin

I love everything Jason Chin does and this book was no exception. Simple text conveys all young children need to understand about the concept of gravity. Stunning illustrations do much of the work. More information in the back of the book gives extra details for inquiring minds.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Dizzy written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Sean Qualls

The story of Dizzy Gillespie. I grew up in a house full of jazz so was intrigued by this biography. The illustrations are fantastic and the text conveys the energy of Dizzy’s rise to fame. How he came up with his unique style is so interesting.

Dizzy #IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Red Kite, Blue Kite written by Ji-li Jiang and illustrated by Greg Ruth

This was probably the wow of the week for me because I most wanted to rush it into a classroom of children and share it. Rich in truth and history (based on the story of the author’s family friend), this book is set during the Cultural Revolution in China. It is the story of father and son –  separated by distance and circumstances, they stay connected through kites in the sky. Heartbreaking but full of hope. Such a beautiful book.

Red kite, blue kite #IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Symphony City by Amy Martin

This book is a little bit challenging to connect with – on my second read I ignored the text and just payed attention to the illustrations. Sometimes, I think a book would be better as a wordless title. This book fits that category. Illustrations are full of wonder and a seventies vibe.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Girl of the Wish Garden written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Nasrin Khosravi

The back story for how this book came to be is so interesting. The illustrations were first published in a Farsi version of the Thumbelina story and the author used the pictures as the inspiration for this retelling of her own Thumbelina story. Certainly not the Thumbelina story that may be familiar, but definite threads of the well known tale are present here. This book is all about magic, mystery and fantasy elements. Did I love it? Not completely but found the illustrations stunning and would be interested to read the text aloud with children to see their response.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Finished one novel: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina

What a book. Loved the power of the female characters – their resolve, their vulnerability, their strong characters. A book about bullies and walking in fear. But more importantly, a book about finding strength from many places to begin walking on. Highly recommended YA realistic fiction.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? Enjoying The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel as a read aloud with my children. I am reading Cress by Marissa Meyer (one of my #MustReadin2014 titles)

A reminder for anyone out there with a #MustReadin2014 list, think about sharing an update on your blog for July 1st, 2014. Share using the #MustReadin2014 hashtag. I plan to share a list of the titles I have read since the last update. So excited to see what everyone has been reading and loving. I will host a link up here. Here is my Spring update – I confess I have only read four titles from my list since this post but have grand plans for a summer of reading!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 45/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 307/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 17/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 76/65 complete


28 thoughts on “Monday June 30th, 2014

  1. Another PBB to add to my Pinterest Board – whee! Love all the titles you have here. I know what you mean about The Girl in the Wish Garden – the illustrations are simply beautiful. I have to find Red Kite Blue Kite – it sounds like it would fit our upcoming theme nicely! I’ve been meaning to read a Meg Medina book for a long time now, hope I can read this one soon.

    And Fats would be posting a #mustreadin2014 update tomorrow!

  2. Love the picture books and will have to look for the Thumbelina one. I have a few girls that are fairy tale obsessed thanks to The School for Good and Evil. I’ve passed over the Meg Medina book so many times at the bookstore. Appropriate for 7th and 8th graders?

  3. Hopping over from mummumstheword.wordpress to visit on my participation in this meme for the first time! I have to check out Red Kite Blue Kite. Sounds like a fascinating read!

  4. I just received my held copy of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass, so I am very excited to see your positive review. Hooray! Thanks for sharing the review. I am even more excited to read it now! Happy reading this week!

  5. Well, despite the craziness you still read a lot of great books! I was really impressed with the amount of information Jason Chin put about gravity in such simple text! Keep reading and stay positive 🙂

  6. I really loved Yaqui Delgado. I was so surprised by how nuanced it was–as well as by how many different themes and issues Medina was able to incorporate without compromising the elegance and coherence of the work. Absolutely loved the image of you carrying your picture books to the picket line and doing a readaloud right there! The cover of The Girl of the Wish Garden is gorgeous. I have a middle-grade by Krishnaswami checked out from the library right now that I really need to get to…. I was very impressed by Dizzy. Loved Sean Qualls’s illustrations and appreciated a PB about African-American history that could be colorful and bright in places. Will be thinking about you this week and hoping for resolution.

    • Thanks for your support Elisabeth. Almost surreal this situation. My bank balance brings it back to reality of course – my husband is a teacher too. We have lost many thousands of dollars. Don’t like to think about it! Medina is a fantastic writer and I found this novel absolutely compelling.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about the labor disputes you’re having at your job. I can’t imagine how frustrating that is.

    I, too, loved Red Kite, Blue Kite and thought it was such a powerful title.

    Interesting observation about Symphony City. I felt the same way about The Lion and the Bird. It felt like words were completely superfluous to the story and could’ve just been told wordlessly.

    • It is absolutely devastating to tell you the truth – but trying to remain optimistic. Not knowing when I am back in my class feels terrible. Thank goodness for the escape of stories . . .

  8. As always, amazing picture books! Thank you!
    Wasn’t Yaqui powerful? It is one of my favorite YAs I’ve read this year.
    I hope you find a resolution soon re: your job. I know it must be horribly stressful!

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  9. I still haven’t read Gravity, but I think I have ordered it so I will get to it. It looks amazing. I adored Yaqui Delgado and Red Kite, Blue Kite. Those are two fabulous books mostly because of the relationships. Have a great week and I will be posting a #MustReadin2014 update tomorrow. 🙂

  10. Great titles! Gravity looks like it is right up my alley… I’ll have to request that. I’m trying to get myself doing more blogging again, but I’m heading into another really busy season (I’m running an online writing camp and going to a teacher conference over the next few weeks).

    I also adored Yaqui, even though it isn’t my usual fare. So well done! I wish I had some older students so I could read and discuss it with a group.

    I’ve been following your labor issues on Twitter… so awful! We had some problems this year (we went without a contract all year after a freeze last year) but we finally got it all sorted out. It’s far from perfect, but at least we’re in the classroom. I’ll keep thinking of you!

    • Thanks Maria. I think that it is so sad that it all boils down to – can we still be in the classroom? But it kind of does. It is breaking my heart to not know when I might be teaching again. In the meantime – doing what I can. Trying to read lots. Blog lots. Keep my mind off of it all. But honestly, I am not very good at this . . .

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