Monday March 18th, 2013

 It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Connect with the #IMWAYR posters and link up to Jen and Kellee‘s meme to share all of your reading from picture books to young adult novels.

I finished two novels this week:

Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky I read this book with my student book club – we decided to go with a different genre – something with mystery and suspense and even a little bit of bordering on terrifying . . . It definitely gripped the students and they were eager each week to talk about each part and predictions about what happened next. While this story certainly had creepy elements, it was not too over the top for intermediate age readers – definitely appropriately categorized as middle grade. I don’t want to give too much away but will hint at a few plot elements. Juniper goes in search of what seems to be the root of why her parents have changed and seem so distant. She meets a new friend Giles who reveals that the same thing has happened to his parents. The two children discover more than they bargained for when they find an entrance in an old tree. Wise birds, freaky balloons, a woodcutter, promises of  . . . Decisions you never thought you would consider . . .

juniper berry

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth This young adult novel touches on many themes: family, friendship, coming of age, grief – so it has emotions everywhere you look with lots to explore. Cameron is independent, surly even and her voice resonates as raw and real. When Cameron’s “born again” aunt discovers that Cameron is in love with a girl, she sends her to a Christian camp that will “fix her.” This is what drew me to the story because it just seems crazy that such prejudice exists and I wondered what would it look like imposed on a teenager in this context. Whoa. Parts of this story were very tough. There is one section of the story where Cameron is talking about how she is treated at this camp to someone from the state who is investigating. She hints at emotional abuse,

“- the whole ___ purpose of this place is to make us hate ourselves so that we change. We’re supposed to hate who we are, despise it.”

“I see,” he said, but I could tell that he didn’t at all. “Is there anything else?”

“No, I think the hate yourself part about covers it.”

Such a sad statement on society that places like this even exist. A powerful book.

Miseducation

Normally, I have many picture books to highlight. And this week I just don’t. I shared many stories with my class that were rereads for me and so I am not highlighting them here. And the new to me books just didn’t strike me as fantastic. Sometimes that happens.

I am off on Spring Break now so have a huge stack of novels I plan to read through – starting with Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson. 

Happy Reading everyone!