Monday August 18th, 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 just had a wonderful week long holiday with family on Protection Island – just across from Nanaimo B.C. I had big plans for big reading. I ended up making my way partway through my book stack. While I got lots of reading done, I also did a few other things like . . .

Beach Walking 

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Crumble baking (there was an abundance of blackberries everywhere we walked)

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Garden Wandering (and some bee spotting)

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Wildlife visiting (my daughter’s close proximity didn’t phase this guy at all)

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I did start my trip reading – opening my first novel while the ferry was just pulling out of Horseshoe Bay.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

It was all novels this week. We were walk on passengers so no room for extra books.

I finished:

The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

I will start by saying that I cried through the last third of this book. Tears because of the beautiful writing and imagery. Tears because of being right in the middle of the grief. But also tears because healing arrives. The characters are fantastic. The setting unique. Just a beautifully done story.

 The Secret Hum of a Daisy  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

What a fun read! I read this to my children – a signed copy to our family that my husband and I picked up when we went to hear Kenneth Oppel talk about this novel at Vancouver Kidsbooks this spring. This would be an ideal classroom read aloud for upper intermediate classes. There is so much in this book: Canadian history of the railway, magic and mystery, huge amounts of adventure, an onboard circus, definite bad guys and teenage heroes! What more could kids ask for? How about some sasquatches? Avalanches? Tight rope walking? This book has all that too!

The Boundless  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

A really great middle grade novel. Not only does this book touch on important themes of friendship, family and grieving but the reader has the opportunity to be invited into the world of synesthesia via the character of Mia. Mia has the most common form of synesthesia – coloured letters and numbers but it impacts her in many ways. As Mia learns about her “diagnosis” she is able to embrace the things she loves about how she interprets the world.

 A Mango Shaped SPace  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

This young adult novel was dark and complex – holding secrets just out of reach until its final pages. I had read Charm and Strange earlier in the year and knew Kuehn would be an author I would read again. What can I tell you here that won’t give away the plot? Not a lot. This is a thriller – lots of mystery, psychological drama, flashbacks and sorrow. I couldn’t put it down.

 Complicit  #IMWAYR There's a Book for ThatNext up? I am almost through A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and then plan to read Revolution by Deborah Wiles. I think my children and I are going to start The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. And after a week without, I plan on diving into a large pile of picture books so stay tuned . . .

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 59/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 387/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 97/65 complete


30 thoughts on “Monday August 18th, 2014

  1. Hi Carrie, love seeing your pictures of your trip. Looks like a gorgeous place. I have “Secret Hum”-up next! I’ve never heard of the Kuehn books-hopefully can read at least the first one sometime so I can recommend them. I’m glad you enjoyed A Mango-Shaped Space. I’ve had more than one student connect to it because of their own synesthesia. Have a good week. I see that there’s a little hope for the strike mediation in the news!

    • Linda – you are so sweet to follow our stressful BC Education situation. I try to be hopeful but this is the strangest August ever. Thank goodness my husband’s parents invited us away with them. We had a wonderful time and didn’t have to spend much money – we’ve had to cancel many summer plans because of our lack of income. Two teacher family . . . My husband has been busy picking up odd jobs so he really needed a rest. Stephanie Kuehn books are definitely YA – very dramatic and honestly quite upsetting but she’s a great writer.

  2. Loved seeing some vacation photos! You live in such a beautiful area. And your vacation sounds like just the type of holiday I most enjoy too. I’ve been compiling a list of books I’m going to purchase for my son’s 6th-grade reading teacher (in the hopes that he will read them aloud instead of the tired old Newberys from the 1940s that keep getting shared with these poor kids!) and The Boundless is going on the list. Might have to get two copies–one for me!

    • We really are so lucky on the coast to just be a few hours (and a ferry) away from the islands. We felt blessed to have such a wonderful family holiday. The Boundless would be a fantastic read aloud! Great idea to “influence” read aloud choices. I was on a hike a few weeks ago chatting with a little girl who goes to another school. She was telling me about which books her teacher read last year. All older. None all that great (because I am a huge fan of older amazing titles) I could tell that this teacher had just never branched out from the read alouds he had always done. Even guessed his age. New titles are energizing for everyone!

  3. Beautiful photos of your holiday escape! Loved the blackberry bowl! I am now eager to read the Hum of a Daisy – your review was beautiful! Also excited to read the Kenneth Oppal book – I’m a huge fan of his and he’s so darn cute! I think I have a 2/3 class this year – would The Boundless be a good fit or a bit too old? What have you heard about the strike? No news is good news, perhaps? Fingers crossed!

    • The Boundless will be too old. Much better for Grade 5 and up. But a really great story! You will love The Secret Hum of a Daisy. So beautifully done! Not sure on the news. Making me crazy.

  4. It looks like you had an absolutely lovely vacation. BC is absolutely a gorgeous part of the world. I still look back on my visit to Vancouver and Whistler fondly. I hope to go back someday. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the world. It might be second only to Berlin. 🙂

    I hope to get to reading The Secret Hum of a Daisy before the year ends. Or at least before the ALA youth media awards. 😉

    • It was a wonderful week away – we had so many great walks. And yes, Vancouver is very beautiful year round. I don’t even mind the rain. It becomes what you are used to! The Secret Hum of a Daisy is really a beautiful book. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. All four of the novels you read this week look amazing! I had not heard of any of them and so now I have four new books on my list. It looks like a very nice holiday…especially those blackberry crumbles…YUM! Have a great reading week.

    • So pleased you found some new to you titles! It is always fun to stumble across books that look appealing! Yes, we are addicted to crumble – tart blackberries, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon . . . So delicious!

  6. Oh my goodness it looks beautiful!!! I am so jealous of your vacation! And jealous of the amazing novels you read. 1) I LOVE Kenneth Oppel, and I will need to read this newest one as soon as I can get it. 2) I own Secret Hum, and I have been meaning to read it for months. I know I need to.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  7. Next time you go on vacation, I am going with you! It seems like such a beautiful trip! Thank you for recommending The Secret Hum of Daisy. I scoured my shelves and couldn’t find it, so I am going to get it from the library. You have excellent taste, so I trust your judgment! I hope you have a wonderful week. ❤

    • You would be most welcome to come along with us. My daughter would love to help out with your little guy and read him stories. Too bad we aren’t even in the same country 😦 Big praise – your trust. Thank you!

  8. Hi there dearst Carrie – love all of the vacation photos – so relaxing! I am escaping the humdrum of daily work through your pictures – wonderful reading time with the beach and family for company. The Secret Hum of a Daisy does sound like a must-read. I borrowed Charm and Strange but returned it unread since I didn’t have time to really enjoy it – will probably take another look when I visit the library. Her new one Complicit also looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing all this.

  9. Looks like you had a lovely vacation! Looking forward to reading some Stephanie Kuehn now, always looking for great YA stuff! Here’s hoping we’re back at work soon to share this stuff with the kids!

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