It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.
If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.
The Past Week:
The Past Week:
If you haven't heard yet, Colby Sharp and Mr. Schu are at it again with their Saturday videos for the Geisel Challenge. It's always fun to hear their responses to the books especially when they can do a video together. I really love There is a Bird on Your Head which was the winner for 2008. Elephant & Piggie are the best. Their facial expressions make me belly laugh. It was cool to see two non-fiction texts in the group too. Bumblebee Bat is in a question and answer format and would be a perfect non-fiction book to share with young students and I agree with Colby that it would make an excellent mentor text for nonfiction writing. Vulture View has a great eeew quotient. We are informed that they enjoy food that reeks. First the Egg is a miracle of design and is also a circular story. Jazz Baby is a ton of fun with all kinds of onomatopoeia going on and inspiration for making noise and moving. I am having a blast with this challenge.
I was out of town for an EdCamp on Saturday and I read a lot of these picture books when I went to visit the library in Eau Claire. I like to visit a bookstore or library when I visit someplace. It was a great day since they were having a book sale there, but they also had some fun books on display. I love sunflowers so to be like the SUN made me smile. The Favorite Daughter got tears out of me. His daughter Yuriko is being teased at school and her name is being mispronounced. She is feeling a bit caught between cultures. The story is taken from Allen Say's past and is made more special because it includes real photographs of his daughter. I think it is an excellent book to share on its own, but especially to demonstrate the mixed-race experience as one that can be difficult, but also has rewards. Mama Built a Little Nest was a fantastic non-fiction text about the various kinds of nests that birds create. The text has two parts. One section is a brief rhyme and then the other part is a short bit of information about each bird. Gobble You Up is an adaptation of a trickster tale from Rajasthan in India. It would pair well with There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly or other trickster stories and the art is gorgeous.
I found How I Discovered Poetry to be fascinating. I usually enjoy memoirs and to have it in the form of sonnets made it doubly impressive. I reviewed it over at Rich in Color on Friday. Poems to Learn By Heart is another nice anthology. I can't help but wish that she included a few more accessible poems and didn't rely quite so much on the classics. I really appreciated the new one done by young people "Voices Rising." The book seems to be published for young people, but it is a little on the high end for elementary students. I adored John Muth's artwork, but again it really looks like it is for little kids, but the poems inside are not at least not that they would likely read on their own. It could be great when used by parents or teachers with their children though one or two poems at a time.
I read this because Mitali Perkins was coming to the area to speak. I shared her visit and a picture here. Rickshaw Girl is a great example of a young girl pushing up against prescribed gender roles in her community with additional themes of family and friendship. I loved it and am so happy that I ordered it for the library.
Young Adult & a Crossover
The Port Chicago 50 had my jaw dropping. It reminded me of the feeling I had as I read Courage Has No Color. It's amazing how many indignities that people have faced as a result of racism. What is more mind-blowing is the response that many people in power have when they are called to account. They don't even deny the injustice, but refuse to do anything about it because it would be too difficult to change the situation or it's always been this way and they aren't going to rock the boat. I think that students would be moved by this text for sure. Luka and the Fire of Life was a romp through the world of story in the guise of a video game. Rushdie wove in a wide variety of mythologies from all over the world. It's the first time I made it through one of his books. Perhaps that is because I listened to it or more likely because it was written for a younger crowd. House of Purple Cedar was about a Choctaw family and many of the more interesting episodes of their lives generally from the granddaughter's perspective. I wrote this on Goodreads, "Tim Tingle is a fantastic storyteller and brought me into the lives of Rose and her family. There were some harsh situations, but there is also a lot of love and some humor too. The primary issues that come to light are racism and domestic violence. The overarching theme though is one of family and love of many kinds."
The Coming Week:
I just started Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac and I am part-way through Death Spiral. I plan to start Grasshopper Jungle after those. I have a lot of bookstacks around the house to dig into and I should have a little extra time since we have a five day weekend for the holiday. I am hoping that means that I will have many, many books to share next week. Happy reading!