Newbery Challenge: This week the big finish was with The Trumpeter of Krakow which wasn't half bad. It had a bit of mystery, adventure, royalty, alchemy, and love. It still might not hold the attention of modern day elementary students, but it was better than many we have read so far.
Caldecott Challenge: I quite enjoyed So You Want to be President. It was filled with random facts about presidents and the presidency. The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship was amusing. The Glorious Flight was entertaining and educational too. White Snow, Bright Snow made me wonder if we would get snow this month since the calendar in that book said March. The illustrations weren't my favorites. Drummer Hoff was certainly bright and bouncy, but a bit strange. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was fun. The final one I read this week was Marshmallow. That bunny is really adorable.
STEMS Books: I was lucky enough to go to a STEMS resource afternoon to look at all kinds of great books. All the Water in the World is fantastic. I also liked Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships. It reminded me of A Friend Like You by Askani which I like a smidge better. I saw a lot of other great books, but didn't get to read them all. I did order many of them so will get to them later this year.
Picture Books: We had a big treat when Linda Urban read Mouse was Mad to my first grade class. I finally read The Goodbye Cancer Garden which was really an excellent view of the journey of a mom with cancer and how her family works through the treatments together. Rhyming Dust Bunnies, Nothing but the Truth, and Listen to My Trumpet were part of World Read Aloud Day celebrations. Cheech the School Bus Driver was one I buzzed through while window shopping. It was okay. Invisible by Katja Kamm was a rather unique and quite bizarre little book. Things become invisible as they pass into a background that matches them. A Few Blocks was quite creative artistically. Brother Sun, Sister Moon was just beautiful. Crafty Chloe made me smile and The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore was just a neat experience.
2011 Nerdy Nominees: Roots and Blues: A Celebration was worth the wait. I love Arnold Adoff. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was creepy and it completely sucked me in. How to Save a Life had me a little conflicted because I was getting tired of some of the teen voices and that doesn't usually happen. Maybe it is because I have two teens in my home, but I wanted a break. Eventually though, the voices ceased to bother me because the story took over.
In honor of Women's History Month, I read Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World. Amazing women and well written.
Two more books this week were Kristy's Great Idea (Babysitter's Club Graphic Novel) and The Three Weissmanns of Westport (adult fiction). I liked the graphic novel, but the Weissmanns was another one where certain character voices became annoying.
For the coming week, I plan to read Vanished by Sheela Chari, Hitty (for Nerdbery), and the new Marty McGuire. I will also read Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Other than that, I will likely hit a few Caldecotts too. I never realize how many books I read until I post this, then I am a little shocked at the number. I wonder if the trend will continue. I so love to read.