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.
You may find more complete information about what I am reading at Goodreads or by clicking on the Goodreads widget along the side of my blog.
The Past Week:
Pipestone was the memoir of Adam Fortunate Eagle. He shared about his time at the Pipestone Indian Boarding School. It seemed that part of the reason he wrote it was as a response to those people who have shared primarily negative experiences of the residential schools. He tried to present a balanced view. He shares positive things about his time there such as the love and care from some of the staff members and camaraderie with other students. He also shares negative things like some of the events that resulted in the deaths of students. This is definitely a young adult or adult book as he pulls few punches and life was sometimes pretty raw. One thing that stood out to me was that back then there was a whole different style of taking care of children and not just at these schools. Parents and caregivers of all kinds were much less aware of what children were up to and gave children a lot more room to experiment and be unsupervised. Times have certainly changed in that regard. I would say the percentage of helicopter parents is definitely much higher now than back then. Overall, I appreciated this perspective.
Speaking of memoirs, My Friend Dahmer was another, but in graphic novel format. From my Goodreads review, "I feel like I need a shower for my brain. On the one hand, this must mean that the author did a good job. I felt the book. On the other hand, I just want to say, 'Ick, ick, icky, ick, ick.' This was an incredibly sad book. Too many lives were ended or royally screwed up. The author did a good job with research and giving an even handed view of what happened for the most part, but this was just a sad twisted life to report." I had horrible dreams after reading this and still shiver with ickiness thinking about it. It also just seemed somehow wrong to be hearing details from someone who claimed to be a friend of Dahmer, but yet by my definition, he wasn't actually a friend. I was uncomfortable with this book on many levels. The research details at the end added a lot and definitely helped explain some of the things that happened. You might want to skip the whole thing entirely if you want to sleep peacefully.
Astronaut Academy was fine, but not really my cup of tea. I am still a comparative newbie to graphic novels and have not read nearly as many of them as required to be considered any kind of judge so perhaps this one is awesome and I am missing the reasons. I felt like I had to meet too many characters in a short amount of time so a lot of space was taken up with many brief intros and not a lot of content. Maybe a lot of first volumes are like that when there is a large cast. I think that there are several students at my school that would enjoy the action and creativity though.
I really enjoyed Navigating Early. I would say it was my favorite this week. It was a beautiful story of friendship, grief, and the strength of family love. It had an intriguing mystery type of feeling to it. There were many scattered pieces that slowly began to click together. The only thing keeping me from giving it five stars is kind of related to the "fitting together" though. There were many times when I just stopped believing that all of these connections were even possible. They made sense at the end for the most part, but I still couldn't completely suspend my disbelief throughout. It honestly reminded me of The Life of Pi and how I felt like it was a cool story, but a little on the tall tale side.
The Long, Long Journey, a non-fiction picture book, was another wonderful look into the lives of migrating birds in a shorter & more simple format than Moonbird. It would be great paired with excerpts from Moonbird and/or the novel Wild Wings.
I enjoyed the picture books from this week, but was strangely underwhelmed by Up, Tall and High. It seems that I was a little hard to please this week. I might just be in an extra picky mood.
The Coming Week:
I am still reading the YA biography Charles and Emma with my ears and am also finishing up the fantasy/sci-fi/adventure The Cloak Society. I still have a few books from this week's pile that I didn't get to: Almost Home, Ichiro, and several others. I will hope to have time to read those and maybe a few surprise picks too. What will you be reading? I hope you have a great reading week!