Monday April 1st, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

IMG_1587I missed last week’s Monday reads blogging and the #IMWAYR community as I was away on a holiday with no internet access.

But lots of time for reading! And read I did . . .

This was our daily beach walk that did interrupt many quiet hours of reading ūüôā So peaceful!

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share your own reading!

This is my reading for the last 2 weeks! (Bolded that so nobody thinks I didn’t eat or sleep and crammed all of this reading into one week!)

More time to read allowed me to cross off three more titles from my 20 must read novels in 2013 list. 11 done. 9 to go.

Many novels consumed:

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper¬†Although hard to read at times – the subject matter is heavy – the slave trade and the horrific treatment of slaves . . . I couldn’t put this title down. Read it in a day and was lost in the story. Tragic but full of hope and resilience. Reminded me of the adult novel The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. In Copper Sun,¬† we follow Amari, a fifteen year old girl, stolen from her village in Africa and taken aboard a ship sending slaves to the Carolinas. When she is sold and brought to a rice plantation, she meets Polly, an indentured servant also living there. The two girls have an opportunity finally to escape but their path to posible freedom seems almost impossible. What a story.

coppersun

Shine written by Lauren Myracle¬†This book catches you quick and holds on tight. Part of what pulled me through the pages was the mystery element to the story. Just who was¬†responsible¬†for such a violent and upsetting assault against Patrick, Cat’s best friend who seems to have been attacked because he is gay. But there is much more to this story than a simple “who done it?” theme. It explores addiction, small town hate and poverty, family secrets and loyalty that endures.¬†

shine

How it Ends by Laura Wiess¬†There is something about this book. I finished it almost a week ago but it continues to weave its way into my thinking. Many stories are intertwined within this novel. First, that of seventeen year old Hanna. We also follow the story of her elderly neighbours and their history in Hanna’s life. But another story is offered – told on audiobook that Hanna and Helen (the neighbour) listen to together. This story and Helen’s history are what keep tugging at me. There are tender memories, issues of aging and illness, regrets and moments of extreme and simple joy all mixed up with such sadness, true horror and much grief. The teenage tribulations of Hanna were okay but these other layers of the story really captured me. Very emotional read.

how-it-ends_

Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson I was so happy to settle back into the world of Hattie! Such an honourable, honest and likeable character. I want to purchase both Hattie novels and put them aside for my daughter to read in a few years. They are must reads I think, as Hattie has such character.

hattie after after

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake This book was a very pleasant surprise. I had seen this title on 2013 lists but hadn’t heard many details. I was completely engrossed in the story of Georgie, a young girl who when faced with news of her sister’s death refuses to believe it. Even when there is a body. And a funeral. Georgie is some girl – thirteen years old and full of spunk. She is a sharpshooter (whoa this girl and her gun . . . ) and¬†possesses¬†a keen mind. Her sister’s disappearance is a mystery to be solved and she sets out determined to find answers. Not going to spoil anything by giving away plot points but will highly recommend this book for those who love mysteries, adventure and historical fiction (Placid, Wisconsin 1871 is the setting).

one came home

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens¬†We happily finished this dramatic story over the holiday. I have been reading this aloud to my children. What adventure! Also much mystery, fantasy and even humour. I think I appreciated how well written this book is precisely because I read it aloud. The dialogue was so much fun to read. We can’t wait to read the second book in this trilogy.

ermerald-atlas

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr¬†So much of this novel is bittersweet. A sad story of a girl defined by a reputation that plagues her. I really like Sara Zarr as an author. Her book How to Save a Life¬†is one of my favourites novels I’ve read in 2013.

story of a girl

Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone¬†I love stories that highlight intergenerational¬†relationships¬†so loved the connections between Louise and her grandparents. Some wonderfully quirky characters in this middle grade novel but some definite sadness as Louise begins to face memories of her mother’s death.

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. We listened to this as an audio book (read by James Avery) on the driving parts of our holiday. It hooked the entire family Рwe loved the story, the history and the hilarious expressions.

BudNotBuddy

Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon Hale Princess Academy is one of my favourite middle grade stories so I was thrilled to get my hands on the sequel. I am a big fan of Hale and her style of fairytale inspired fantasy.

palace of stone

Three other titles I have loved in this past few weeks:

Penny and her Marble by Kevin Henkes Oh Henkes is so on to a good thing with Penny. Think this might be my favourite title yet. Seriously hope Henkes keeps creating new characters and new titles. He is an absolute master of the illustrated story.

PennyMarble

Infinity and Me written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska Loved this book and the questions and wondering it inspires.

?????

Beach by Elisha Cooper¬†I find Cooper’s books so beautifully simple and soothing. Snippets, small moments and observations of a beach day. Would be a great text to model how a story can be told in doodles and descriptions.

beach-by-elisha-cooper-cover

I am currently reading The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen as a read aloud to my children. We are very excited because I purchased tickets to go see Jennifer in mid April here in Vancouver. Our whole family are fans and so we are all going! Yippee!

I just started One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. This book has been on my TBR shelf for some time so looking forward to reading it!

What are you reading?

Monday February 4th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join¬†Kellee and Jen‚Äôs meme¬†to share all the reading you have done over the week ‚Äď everything from picture books to young adult novels! Connecting with the #IMWAYR community is such a great way to hear about fantastic books ‚Äúnew to you.‚ÄĚ

I had a big weekend of reading. Part of it was that I fell into many books I just couldn’t put down so I was able to read more novels than usual in a work week.

The Spindlers written by Lauren Oliver This was a title I have been reading to my children as a nightly read aloud. An interesting fantasy title about the world Below – full of drama and action and slightly scary parts. Liza has to rescue her brother’s soul that has been stolen by the Spindlers and the rescue mission is full of risk and odd, magical creatures, many of them¬†menacing. The idea that her little brother’s soul was stolen was creepy enough to warrant a request from my son not to read it right before bed. This lasted just a few nights until the adventure was too addictive and we had to read this book nightly! A really gripping fantasy story for the middle grade crowd.

The Spindlers

Glory Be written by Augusta Scattergood Set in¬†Mississippi in 1964 in the heat of summer and the heat of the civil rights movement. This is a story of one strong girl, her family, her friendships and her drive to make sense of the prejudice and fear around her. The letter Glory sends to the local paper to question the town’s decision to close the pool is absolutely brilliant. What voice and what conviction in such a young girl. I had wanted to read this story for a long time and it is now in the hands of my ten year old¬†daughter¬†who is devouring it.

Glory Be

Dying to Know You written by Aidan Chambers¬†I picked this book up and could not put it down. Yes, I was intrigued by the story and the characters but it was the style of writing and the fact that Chambers tells this story through the voice of a nameless 75 year old narrator that just held me. The narrator’s voice was so strong, so vulnerable, so lyrical – I just loved it. Of course, read this book because the storyline is very clever but the writing will wow you. A young adult realistic fiction title.

dying to know you

Ordinary Beauty written by Laura Wiess¬†Not a book to dip your toe into – you need to jump right in and be with the character as she tells the story of her painful, abusive childhood full of neglect. Sayre’s mother is an addict and she is dying. Sayre’s life story is told alongside her present day dramatic struggle on a wintery night to reach her mother’s bedside and confront her feelings about what is happening. This story is extra raw for me as I have taught students whose lives have many similar elements to Sayre’s childhood – extreme poverty, horrible living conditions, exposure to things children should not even conceive of . . . A hard book to read but what a story . . .

ordinary beauty

Books I am starting this week: Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky is next up for our student book club. I haven’t read this title yet so will be reading along with the kids. With my own children, I have just started reading The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens. This is a book I have wanted to read for a while so am excited to share it with my children. Next novel up for me? Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King – this just arrived for me at the public library. I requested it after loving King‘s Ask the Passengers.

Picture books I enjoyed this week included many nonfiction titles:

Hello Oscar! a Zoe and Beans story by Chloe and Mick Inkpen I keep seeing Zoe and Beans books at the public library and decided I should finally read one Рvery sweet little illustrations Рlovely for story time with the younger set.

HelloOscarCover

A Perfect Day¬†by Carin Berger¬†Perfectly depicts the wonder and magic of a snow day. Love this illustrator’s style.

a-perfect-day-coever

Speaking of snow – I highlighted some nonfiction snow books on my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday post, including this title, The Story of Snow. Read this post to hear more about these snow books.

story-of-snow

Adopt a Glurb by Elise Gravel I really enjoy so many of these Balloon Toons titles! This one is especially quirky and hilarious. Can see this being hugely popular with my students.

adopt a glurb

I Have a Dream¬†by Dr Martin Luther King Jr with paintings by Kadir Nelson.¬†I shared this with my own children and we had very thoughtful discussions. Kadir Nelson’s beautiful art makes Dr. King’s words so accessible and powerful through the intimate experience a well done picture book can create.

i-have-a-dream

Have a happy week of reading everyone!