Jen & Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts host a meme every Monday that invites people to share the children's and young adult books they have been reading over the past week and what they plan on reading the following week.
This week was a good one for Newberys. I love, love, love, Claudia in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. She is a girl with a plan - a fabulous plan. I remember going to the Los Angeles Museum of Art on a field trip after reading this book and just imagining how Claudia did it all. The High King was also pretty fun. It was a trip down memory lane as I thought back to my earlier reading of both this and The Mabinogion (Welsh legends) that Alexander used in writing this series. For more on this visit my previous post here. Sounder was a less pleasant read, but certainly was powerful. I just really have a hard time with those sad books. It has made me cry each time I have read it. I am also not sure how I feel about Armstrong and how he chose to write the book without names and from the sharecropper perspective. I am not sure that he had the best point of view for it, but really, I will have to think about that some more.
The McElderry Book of Mother Goose: Revered and Rare Rhymes was okay. I enjoy Mother Goose most of the time, but this particular collection didn't really catch my fancy. I am not entirely sure why, but maybe there just weren't enough of the ones that I love. Cousins of Clouds: Elephant Poems was a fun exploration of elephant facts. The poetry was nice, but not out of the ordinary, but I did like the combination of poetry with the non-fiction.
Middle Grade Novel
Three Times Lucky was highly recommended to me, but it was another book that didn't quite grip me. It took a long time for me to finally get past the feeling that the characters seemed unreal. I enjoyed the humor of Mo, but she just wasn't believable. She seemed too funny, too precocious, and the lines were just too snappy for me to settle in. Eventually, I just accepted the book as humor and moved on to the mystery.
I re-visited Crossing Bok Chitto and still find the illustrations and the story very engrossing. This is a fantastic tale of friendship, bravery, and a bit of magical realism. Loved it.
I also had fun reading Joseph and His Little Overcoat. The collage was very entertaining and the cutouts added a uniqueness to the book. The story was very cute. Of course, I had to wonder if the author of I Had a Favorite Dress had read this once upon a time and was inspired. They would be fun to pair together.
I almost forgot, I also read the newest Elephant and Piggie book, Let's Go For a Drive. This completely made me thing of John Schu and his road trip with his friends Donna and Ivan and all of the things they collected as they prepared to go. I had to wonder if he had read an ARC of this before writing about "Every Road Trip Needs..."
I am nearing the end of Lies My Teacher Told Me, but still have a ways to go with Other People's Children, and Courageous Conversations About Race.
The Coming Week: Hopefully, I will finish up some of the books above. I have just started the next Newbery Summer of the Swans (another re-read). I have a few Caldecotts on hold at the library to pick up this week and I finally got Shana Burg's Laugh with the Moon today. It should be a good week. Happy reading!