Favourites of 2018

While January 1st is all about looking ahead to a new year, it is also a day to gaze back. I am celebrating a year of reading that was not as vast as usual but full of quality and meaningful reads.

Which books stand out?  Which titles still enter my thoughts? Which books would I consider rereading? Which books have I read to multiple audiences? What are the books that spoke to me the loudest? Books full of wonder. Inspiration. Humanity. Sorrow and hope. Books I recommend highly. Books I am pleased to celebrate here.

The 18 books that made the final cut? I chose across multiple genres.

18 books and no more than 18 words of raving. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2017. Each year it has been the same: Favourites of 2016 (16 books, 16 words)  Favourites of 2015 (15 books, 15 words), Favourites of 2014 (14 books, 14 words), Favourites of 2013 (13 books, 13 words) and (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. Each year, I get one more book and one more word to play with!

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

“Where did your name come from?” A wonderful way to learn so much.

A House That Once Was written by Julie Fogliano with illustrations by Lane Smith

No longer a home but definitely a house full of secrets, stories and imagined memories.

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët 

Witness what it is to be an upstander. There are all kinds of ways to respond.

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love 

Be who you are. Find your community. Feel loved. All the feels.

Julian is a mermaid

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

Sometimes it is all about being heard.

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julie Morstad

A fantastic biography of a wonderfully creative individual and how she perceived the world.

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World written by Susan Hood and illustrated by 13 extraordinary female illustrators

Nonfiction perfection – inspired poetry, additional information and incredible illustrations. Introducing readers to inspiring female role models.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Root for Mason Buttle as every kind of grief soaked kind of bad luck gets thrown at him.

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Just a beautiful, heart wrenching title. Written as a diary to a mother that died in childbirth.

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

Find hope, courage and an important reminder of what it is to be a citizen of the world. Outstanding.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang 

Immigration. The sacrifices of immigrant parents. Poverty. Discrimination. And the will and spirit of a one young girl.

Lousiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Take an emotional walk alongside Louisiana Elefante as she tells her story. Served with chocolate marble cake please.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

Ivy’s family survives a hurricane but that’s just the beginning. Family. Loss. New love. Amazing!

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

A testament to a racist & troubled history. Family ties. Beginning friendships. Modern day mystery is woven through history.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Chaya is a courier in the Jewish ghettos. Everything is about danger, life and death and unthinkable choices.

Resistance

No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen

Such a story of friendship and family dynamics is told while exploring aspects of poverty, mental health & homelessness.

No Fixed Address

In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

Beautiful writing takes us through the hard and heartbreak of the grieving process – sometimes overwhelmingly muddled.

In Sight of Stars

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

When first love is complicated by the rest of the world and their racist and stereoptypical perspectives.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Please share your own favourites of the year . . .

Wishing everyone a 2019 full of new favourites and lots of reading!

 

#MustReadin2019

For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books that you want to commit to reading in 2019.

10? 20? 30? more? It’s up to you

Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and from any category: adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc. .  All that matters is that they are books you want to be sure not to forget as that TBR list continues to grow! These aren’t the only titles you will read over the year, but a list to help guide your reading. A list to lure you back to a reading path you have set for yourself. Many, many new books will tempt you! Go ahead and read them but having a list like this ensures you will not forget some titles you were determined to read. That’s the intention and spirit of this challenge.

It would be wonderful to have you join the community!

#MustReadin2019

If you would like to create and share a list on your blog, contact me on twitter (@CarrieGelson) or leave a link in the comments and I will add your list to the #MustReadin2019 lists below. Everyone is welcome! I will update regularly so if you are just seeing this now – go make a list! We’ll be waiting for you.

Three updates seemed to work best so we will continue this again. If you also leave me your twitter handle (if you are on twitter) I will send you a reminder. For those not on twitter, please mark these dates in your calendar. Update posts can be shared on or around these dates – just leave your link in the comment section of my post and share it on twitter using #MustReadin2019

Spring update: Thursday April 4th, 2019

Fall update: Thursday September 5th, 2019

Year end update: Thursday December 26th, 2019

Update posts are purely optional!

They can take whatever format you wish: highlighting your favourites, reasons for not reading, simply a list of what you have read, etc. You can search for #mustread2018 on this blog for update examples.

Ready for some inspiration?

Check out the lists.

Mine (Carrie Gelson) is here: My Must Read Titles for 2019

Kathleen Sokolowski joins us with a list of 24 titles: #MustReadin2019

Linda Baie (who has been making must read lists with me since 2014) shares her list: MustReadIn2019

Leigh Anne Eck has 15 amazing titles on her #MustReadin2019 list

Lisa Maucione has made a list full of middle grade titles and professional reads: Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2019

Christina Carter (CeCe Librarian) joins us for a second year with these 16 titles: #MustReadin2019/My Reading Challenge

Kendra Limback is back with a large list and a new plan: Must Read in 2019

Kathie MacIsaac joins us via twitter with her list of 15 titles 

Jill Merkle has a great list made up of new release picture books and chapter books shared here: #mustreadin2019

Michelle Simpson is back with an impressive list of 36 titles: Must Read in 2019

Aaron Cleaveley has 64 titles on his list! 64 on his list of intentions (realistically to try and read most but not all): Must Read in 2019

Crystal Brunelle always has wonderfully diverse lists to share: #MustReadin2019

Nancy Castaldo joins us via twitter with this list of 10 titles: #MustReadin2019

Cheriee Weichel has a huge and interesting list broken into fiction and nonfiction titles: Reading Goals for 2019

Michele Knot is back with one book a month (great system!). Here is her list: #mustreadin2019

Carrie Pearson joins us via twitter with this inspired list: #MustReadin2019  Can you guess her theme?

Jennifer Green is back for year two! Her list is here: #MustReadin2019

Elisabeth Ellington made her list again by  a brilliant method – crowdsourced from the other #MustRead lists: #MustReadin2019: The List

Shaye Miller joins us for the first time with this list: #MustReadin2019

Shelly Moody joins us again with these 12 titles: Must Read Titles for 2019

Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers are back with both of their lists shared here: Kellee and Ricki’s #MustReadin2019 lists

Ramona Behnke is back with 12 wonderful titles: #MustReadin2019

Akilah who blogs at The Englishist is back this year with 15 titles: #MustReadin2019

Trina Haase joins us for the first time with this list: #Mustreadin2019: My List

 Michelle Olson joins us this year with this list: My Must Read List 2019

 

 

 

My Must Read Titles for 2019

For those readers and list makers, nothing is more exciting than January! The time to make an amazing list of books to read for the year!

Where will our reading lives take us? What adventures and emotions will we experience through the books we read? Always, there are endless possibilities.

So many books. Limited time.

New books to distract us from other books.

A must read list ensures not all are forgotten!

#MustReadin2019

Join the #MustReadin2019 community!

To read more about the challenge and add your list, read here.

MustReadnovels

Here are the 30 titles I am going to try and read over this year. As always these titles will represent only a portion of my reading. My goal? To read most of these. I use this list like a road map of where to turn next when I come to a pause in my reading choices. It is always waiting to guide me. But it also waits patiently when I am distracted by new books. Often, I am.

Making a list like this – a To Read list – also allows us to reflect on the reading that we want to do. I know I want to emphasize middle grade novels. I didn’t read as much as I usually do in 2018 so my list has more titles that are published in 2018 or earlier (19 titles) and fewer 2019 releases (11 titles).

Here is my list:

Published in 2018 or earlier

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

The Soul of an Octopus

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing

After Zero by Christina Collins

After Zero

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Hey, Kiddo

The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

The Dollar Kids

Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor
Wonderland by Barbara O'Connor

Harbour Me by Jacqueline Woodson Read January 6th 2019 5 stars

Harbour Me by Jacqueline Woodson

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena  Read February 11th 2019 4 stars

A Girl Like That

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway Read February 17th 2019 5 stars

Far from the Tree

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

Lu by Jason Reynolds

Lu

All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan Read January 22nd 2019 4 stars

All that I can fix, chan

From You to Me by K.A. Holt

Girl sitting on pier and lookingat the river

Sweep The Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

Sweep

Tight by Torrey Maldonado

Tight

Wild Blues by Beth Kephart Read January 29th 2019 5 stars

Wild Blues

(Time Castaways #1) The Mona Lisa Key by Liesl Shurtliff

The Mona lisa key

The Last (Endling #1) by Katherine Applegate

The Last (Endling #1) by Katherine Applegate

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang  Read March 2nd 2019 5 stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Published in 2019 

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman The Bridge Home

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

The Lost Girl

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Dig by A.S. King

Dig, King

Song for A Whale by Lynne Kelly

Song for A Whale

Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Read March 7th 2019 4 stars

Shouting at the Rain

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

OtherWordsHome

The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith

Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Where the Heart is by Jo Knowles

Where the Heart is

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St James by Ashley Herring Blake

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St James

What novels are at the top of your TBR list? Please share! 

 

We are citizens: A place to begin to talk about our membership in the world #pb10for10 2018

Picture book 10 for 10 is here!  This is one of the best days of the year to share picture book love and to increase your knowledge of picture book titles.

This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Thanks to both of them for the work they do to promote this wonderful day of picture book sharing!

This is my 7th year participating in this event. In 2012, I shared ten beloved titles. In 2013, I went with a theme: Connections across the generations. In 2014, I shared ten “go to” titles on various themes like generosity, courage and forgiveness. In 2015. I highlighted favourite historical fiction titles. In 2016 I chose books that may inspire philosophical discussion.Last year my list included 10 titles I described as beautifully quirky.

This year my list reflects my thinking about how I want picture books to support our discussions and thoughts about what it means to be a citizen – in our classroom, in our communities, in this world. When we look up the word citizen in the dictionary, there is a lot in the definition about being an inhabitant, a member of a group or society and about having certain legal and protected rights. In basic definitions, there isn’t much included about responsibilities to others.  I am wanting to begin to explore the idea of our global citizenship – beginning with who we are and how we treat others and getting ready to think about who we are in the world. What are all of our rights? What are our responsibilities?

How do we treat those around us? How do we develop our capacity to understand our role in a bigger world?

When I started to research definitions of global citizenship, I found many words and ideas that spoke to what I want to explore and foster in our classroom this year.

What is global citizenship? Who is a global citizen?

“An ethic of care for the world.”  Hannah Arendt

“It is a way of living that recognizes our world is an increasingly complex web of connections and interdependencies. One in which our choices and actions may have repercussions for people and communities locally, nationally or internationally.” From the IDEAS for Global Citizenship website

” . . . someone who sees himself or herself as being part of an emerging world community and whose actions help define this community’s values and practices.” from The Global Citizens’ Initiative website

I teach primary students and believe that these children are fully capable of examining and talking about world issues. But we need to begin with the immediate  (ourselves) and examine how we interact in the specific world around us. These conversations will allow us to begin looking further to talk about our connections globally.

More books will come. A lot more books. But we will begin here.

We will read They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel to remind ourselves that we all view things from different perspectives and that these perspectives are shaped by our experiences and our feelings of comfort and fear.

We will read Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers to remind ourselves that we share this planet with a huge variety of people and other living things and that we can be awed by the amazing but that we are also bound by responsibilities to care for all inhabitants of this Earth.

We will read Why Am I Me? written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko to explore questions about our personal identity and to celebrate our diversity and connection.

We will read Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein to understand that kindness is not only contagious but that kindness passed on grows and strengthens.

We will read When we Were Alone written by David A. Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett to honour personal histories and to talk about resilience. Our history connects us just as deeply as our present. Experiences continue to shape relationships and identity.

We will read Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford to remind ourselves to forgive and that we may need help practicing forgiveness.

We will read The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin so that we can talk about how our voices cannot be silenced and the incredible power of speaking up.

We will read Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love to talk about self expression and to remind ourselves “that anyone can be anything they want to be,” (as one of my students explained this year after hearing this book)

We will read The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein so that we can talk about helping and protecting wildlife as we go about our lives and interactions. This book will allow us to talk about how courage is in doing what you know is right even when you are told not to do it.

We will read I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët to witness what it is to be an upstander. Because we know when we witness something that is wrong and there are all kinds of ways to respond.

Follow along on twitter using the #pb10for10 hashtag. All posts will be linked on the Google Community Site for Picture Book 10 for 10

pb-10-for-10What titles would you add to this list?

Happy picture book reading!  

Spring Update #MustReadin2018

It’s time for our first #MustReadin2018 update!

Are you making progress with your list? Distracted by other titles? Have grand reading plans? Please share!

This year, my list is again 30 titles strong. I always have the goal of trying to read at least 20 of the books on the list. Often, new books lure me away from these reading plans but I love having a list like this to ground me.

I am doing okay with my reading – so far I have read 9/30 titles which is close to one third of my list – 4 months into a reading year and that seems pretty good to me.

Here are the titles I have read so far. Listed in the order that I read them.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (MG)

A family to fall in love with. You will be rooting for the Vanderbeekers from the first pages.

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

I learned a lot with this book. Absolutely compelling.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (MG)

Aven Green is some kind of amazing. Born without arms and adopted by encouraging, loving parents as a toddler, Aven seems fearless. But life is a constant challenge as you face your own fears and help your friends confront their own.

The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh  (MG)

This title is all about navigation and coming out the other side. Friendships. Identity. Individuality. Facing fears. Following your heart and your instincts. Taking risks. LOVED all of the characters!

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess  (YA)

This truly is a story of rock and roll, fathers and sons, addictions and recoveries, loves and loss. A beautifully executed novel in verse.

Knock Out by K.A. Holt  (MG)

This is the story of little Levi – just a baby in House Arrest – now growing up and ready to have his own story. But when you have always been the one to protect, how do you find your way and engage with the world in big and brave ways?

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (MG)

Yes! This title was every bit as compelling as The War That Saved my Life. Ada is an unforgettable character.

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart  (MG)

Not at all what I was expecting and quite like nothing I have ever read. High energy, fast paced and wonderfully endearing.

 Wishtree by Katherine Applegate  (MG)

I just think about this book and smile. It’s amazing.

I also read and loved Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King (YA) which was on my #MustReadin2017 list and I never got to it. So glad I finally picked it up. It was the first novel I read in 2018 and I really found it engaging.

If you have been participating in #MustReadin2018 and written an update post, please share using the #MustReadin2018 hashtag!

Leave your link in the comments if you have written a post. Please try to visit a few of the other #MustReadin2018 bloggers/readers and get inspired! And of course, everyone loves comments to know that you have visited!

Want to know more about #MustReadin2018? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read lists. This is a community of inspiring readers!

Next update will be on September 6th 2018!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

 

Nonfiction 10 for 10: Wandering through Wonders

This year for nonfiction 10 for 10, I invite you to wander with me where questions and wondering takes us. Start with a topic and let the questions happen. How do we find out more? Usually, there’s a book for that!

Thank you to Cathy Mere from Reflect and RefineMandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning  and Julie Balen of Write at the Edge for hosting this meme. Click here to read all of the top ten lists shared.

This is my sixth year participating in this meme!

In the first year of #nf10for10 I shared favourite nonfiction titles – many that I have used with my class over the last few years in a variety of ways.

In the second year, I chose to focus on nonfiction picture book biographies that feature inspiring women.

In my third year, I shared nonfiction titles that allow us to think about something from a completely new or different perspective.

Year four was about travelling the world through nonfiction picture books.

Last year, my list focussed on ocean life and ocean exploration.

Nonfiction 10 for 10Recently in my classroom we read a book about the moon as part of our Mock Caldecott unit. This book led us to many, many questions. As the children were busy wondering, I was busy thinking about books on my bookshelf that might help us to begin answering some of the questions and to explore some of the wonders more deeply. Some have just been published. Others have been on my shelves for years. We are still in the middle of our exploring so part of my wandering from book to book is imagined: What might we wonder when we read about . . . ? The first few books are the titles where we began.

If you read

If You Were the Moon written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim (2017) 

you might have some questions about gravity. So you should probably read

Gravity by Jason Chin (2014)

 Gravity Nonfiction Picture Books Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to NonfictionYou might also begin wondering about space and our galaxy. Reading Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson (2014) is a fantastic place to begin.

Maybe you have questions about how the world was made and how everything came to be. How did it all begin? How is the world put together? What is inside the earth? The questions are endless.

There are a few places you can turn

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield (2017)

The Story of Life: A First Book of Evolution by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams with illustrations by Amy Husband (2015)

Earth Verse Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M Walker and William Grill (2018)

This might lead to questions about specific landforms. A perfect book to turn to here is

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin (2012)

Island  Nonfiction Reading Ten titles for older readers There's a Book for That

Some of you might be more interested to learn about all things tiny and microscopic rather than huge and majestic things like islands.

Tiny Creatures: the world of Microbes by Nicola Davies with illustrations by Emily Sutton (2014) is the book for you!

But some of you might want to head back into the past and talk about early life forms. Small things that emerged from the sea? Or gigantic creatures that roamed the Earth like dinosaurs!

Born to Be Giants: How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World by Lita Judge (2010) is the ideal title for the dinosaur enthusiast.

This book might lead us to wonder what else might become extinct? Thee are many books about endangered animals. This is one of my favourites, full of truths and hope:

Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild is written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Stephen Walton (2015)

Counting Lions: 2015 Gift BooksWhat are you wondering about now? Your questions can lead us to more incredible nonfiction titles!

 

#MustReadin2018

For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books that you want to commit to reading in 2018.

10? 20? 30? more? It’s up to you

Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and from any category: adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc. titles.  All that matters is that they are books you want to be sure not to forget as that TBR list continues to grow! These aren’t the only titles you will read over the year, but a list to help guide your reading. A list to lure you back to a reading path you have set for yourself. Many, many new books will tempt you! Go ahead and read them but having a list like this ensures you will not forget some titles you were determined to read. At least that’s the plan 🙂

If you would like to create and share a list, contact me on twitter (@CarrieGelson) or leave a link in the comments and I will add your list to the #MustReadin2018 lists below. Everyone is welcome! I will update regularly so if you are just seeing this now – go make a list! We’ll be waiting for you.

If you want to use the image above in your sidebar, here is the image URL code: https://thereisabookforthat.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/mustreadin2018.jpg

Three updates seemed to work best so we will continue this again. If you also leave me your twitter handle (if you are on twitter) I will send you a reminder. For those not on twitter, please mark these dates in your calendar. Update posts can be shared on or around these dates – just leave your link in the comment section of my post and share it on twitter using #MustReadin2018

Spring update: Thursday April 5th, 2018

Fall update: Thursday September 6th, 2018

Year end update: Thursday December 27th, 2018

Update posts are purely optional!

They can take whatever format you wish: highlighting your favourites, reasons for not reading, simply a list of what you have read, etc. Here are last year’s update posts on my blog as an example: springfallyear-end. Other bloggers do much more creative things than me.

Ready for some inspiration?

Check out the lists.

Mine (Carrie Gelson) is here: My Must Read novels of 2018

Aaron Cleaveley shares a long Must-read-in-2018 list

Lisa Maucione shares her list here: Books I Plan to Read in 2018

Michele Knott shares her efficient system in this list: #mustreadin2018 list

Linda Baie shares her list here: #MustReadIn2018

Laura Mossa joins us for the first time with her list: My Must Reads in 2018

Jill Merkle shares a list of 2018 releases here: #mustreadin2018

Kendra Limback shares 40 titles on her list: Must Read in 2018! The Fabulous 40!

Two lists in one place from Kellee and Ricki of Unleashing Readers: Kellee and Ricki’s #MustReadin2018

Crystal Brunelle has a fantastic list inspired by this list 46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018   Crystal’s list is here: #MustReadin2018

Hannahlily Angus shares a detailed list here: Must Read in 2018

Leigh Anne Eck joins us again with this list: #MustReadin2018

Holly Mueller shares her list here: #MustReadin2018

Akilah from The Englishist includes her #MustReadin2018 as part of her wonderful Goals for 2018 post

Tricia Pfeil shares her smile worthy list here: #MustReadin2018

Cheriee Weichel shares her comprehensive lists here: #MustReadIn2018: Fiction, Nonfiction and Indigenous Authors

Dani Burtsfield joins us for the first time with her list: #MustReadin2018

Michelle Simpson shares her longest list to date: Must Read in 2018

Jennifer Green joins us this year with her list: #MustReadin2018

Bev Baird adds her #Must Read in 2018 list

Christina Carter (CeCe Librarian) joins us this year with this list: Must Read in 2018

Elisabeth Ellington contributes this list: #MustReadin2018: A Crowd-Sourced List

Shelly Moody joins is with her list: #MustReadin2018#MustReadin2018

Ramona from Pleasures from the Page joins us with a baker’s dozen: #MustReadin2018