It’s Monday! What are you reading?
I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer and I am not surrounded every day with little readers, what can I do? Choose favourite, not yet shared moments of course! From the classroom 2014/2015 archives: Mr. Putter and Tabby love shared 🙂 Because sometimes, life needs to be all about tea and neighbours and cozy cats.
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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.
This is my annual July novels only #IMWAYR post. Every summer, my family and I (sisters, husbands, parents, grandparents and children galore) travel a few hours out of the city and spend a week making kids happy. Lots of sorbet and gelato, swimming multiple times a day, lake appreciation, farms and goat cheese and quirky small town places. I also pack a pile of novels and try and read as much as possible. This week it was these titles, all 5 titles were 5 star books for me:
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
How do you read a book like this and not be changed? I couldn’t put this book down. I felt like I may not have blinked. As I read this I was convinced that humanity is the most beautiful and the most horrible thing all at the same time. And when it felt the most horrible, this was a hard, hard read. I am grateful for Beah’s memory, his ability to tell his story, his sharing of hurt and pain and absolute mind numbing despair. A must read novel.
Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley
Well. Where to start? This book is about so many things. It is a love story. It is about racism and judgement. Prejudice and fear. It is about characters who you will root for in times that don’t support them. It’s about football. If you love the sport, you will appreciate it. If you aren’t that interested, it’s about these characters playing football. And you will read about these characters doing anything. Highly recommended.
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
Reading about the Penderwicks is soothing. It’s celebratory. It is like coming home after a long trip and being absolutely charmed by the known, the ordinary, the nuances of family. I love every little detail on every page. If you too are a Penderwicks fan, then story details don’t matter, reuniting with these characters is as wonderful as you hoped it might be.
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
The courage of a student, the compassion of a teacher, the celebration of spirit. Loved this little gem of a book. And a big shout out to the character of Albert – you are my kind of super hero!
One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
I am such a fan of Beth Kephart’s writing. I get lost in her words. I reread for beauty, not clarity. I am okay with confusion. I am reminded that the world is a beautiful place, to be aware of all of my senses, to see what I might have been missing. This is a story of Nadia. A neurological disorder removes her from her own narrative. So she weaves (literally) stability and reality into nests, takes refuge (strangely) in stolen and beautiful things and races away from her own fear of what is happening to her. Set in Florence. Rain, blossoms, cups of tea. Gorgeous, gorgeous story telling.
Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:
2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 35/80 complete
Goodreads Challenge: 229/415 books read
#MustReadin2015: 14/24 complete
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 47/100 titles
Diverse Books in 2015: 25/50 books read
Up next? I spotted The Paper Cowboy by Kristin Levine on Kellee’s #MustReadin2015 update last week and just picked it up at the library. Other titles in my “will be reading soon” pile include Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff and Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose (both on my #MustReadin2015 list)
Wow to having reading time! Love these titles, can’t wait to read A Long Way Gone, will have to see when I’m prepared to read it though…
Such an important book. Worth it – even though it is tough.
When I read books like A Long Way Gone, as difficult as it is to read them, I feel compelled to continue because in so many ways it’s like bearing witness. Fish in a Tree didn’t really work for me, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been hearing really good things about this new Penderwicks novel. I’m going to have to get it. There is something timeless about that family.
Bearing witness. Exactly. And yes, also to the timeless quality of the Penderwicks. I would love them to invite me to dinner.
Looking forward to Call Me By My Name. It sounds very good, Carrie. I’m glad you’re having a good vacation with the family & the reading time. Enjoy!
Call me By My Name is a really important read. I do hope you like it.
Love the picture with Mr. Putters and Tabby-such a terrific early chapter book series. I like your up next list as Lisa Graff and Caroline Starr Rose (love May B) are favorite authors of mine.
I do have lots of great upcoming titles! There is a lot of Mr. Putter and Tabby love in my room. Hoping to hook a new group of readers on this book series in the fall.
We just can’t say enough about Fish in a Tree. It is an unbelievable book and one that middle grade readers shouldn’t miss. Thanks for telling us about One Thing Stolen – your description sold that book.
I hope you read this title and love it! And agreed about Fish in a Tree.
Wow! A Long Way Gone looks like a very important read. I am glad you like Fish in a Tree! Excited to read it to my class during the Global Read Aloud!
I think I am going to have a younger group in the fall so will likely be reading Year of Billy Miller for GRA – if it changes, I would also love to read Fish in a Tree!
I KNEW Fish would find a special place in your heart! You’re the type of teacher who will feel along with that book. It is one of my heart books.
And as you know, I’m so glad you liked Call Me. I think it is an underrated, really good book!
Boy soldiers frustrate and fascinate me. I’ll need to pick that one up.
Happy reading this week! 🙂
P.S. have you read Never Fall Down?
P.P.S. your week away sounds superb.
Never Fall Down is on my TBR list. Yes, Fish in a Tree is a very special title. Feel for the kids who don’t know that “smart” is so much more than “school smart”
Loved, loved, loved Fish in a Tree. Can’t wait to read it with the GRA!
It is another special title by Hunt!
A Long Way Gone is one of my favorite books of all time. I taught it for six years, and it created so many avid readers. I met him at an NCTE, and he was such a kind soul. I look up to him.
That meeting must have been very special. What a story he shared. Thanks to you for recommending this title to me.
We have a copy of Beth Kephart’s Going Over – but not this particular title – how amazing that you got to read five novels! Wow! I could only manage three while I was at the beach for a week! I should have included A Long Way Gone in my booklist for the new course that I am teaching! Will definitely pin these titles so that I don’t forget.
I really think Kephart is so talented – have you read any of her books? I was on a reading mission and really enjoyed reading these titles!