Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading?

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.

Last Week on the Blogs:

Reading Last Week:
Picture Books 
Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley stands out from the rest. The cover didn't really draw me in (maybe because I'm not an animals as people fan), but the story and the art inside won my heart.  By Mouse & Frog by Deborah Freedman was cute, but it was a little longer than I needed it to be somehow. The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi was dreamy. I loved stepping into this world. There were echoes of Mr. Tumnus bouncing in my head while I read. Let's Get a Pup! Said Kate and How the Sun Got to Coco's House by Bob Graham were nice warm family books. I'm still really happy that Graham presents a family with parents who have tattoos and multiple piercings.

I've also been re-reading lots of picture books for our Mock Caldecott and Mock Pura Belpré. I've read Drum Dream Girl to almost every class now and played the drums too. I think this is the first time I've ever played bongos. It's been a lot of fun.

Middle Grade
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby was a much more complicated book that I had anticipated. I listened to it on audio. Joey is deaf and her mother doesn't want her to learn sign language and that was extremely frustrating as Joey is trying to become independent. There was a whole other component of animal rights though that had more frustrating situations. I liked the book well enough, but found some of it very difficult to hear and some of it a little unbelievable.

I am Malala was also one I listened to on audio. I had started a version of this book for older readers and was actually bored. This version was nicer because it didn't include as much dry history at the beginning. Malala is a fascinating person and I appreciated hearing her story.

Young Adult
All American Boys was my favorite YA of the week. Jason Reynolds is an awesome writer and I was looking forward to this one. He and Brendan Kiely did a fantastic job here. The book deals with an instance of police brutality involving a black teenage boy and how it affects those involved and beyond.

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger is one I read in my attempt to read all of the Printz awards. I enjoyed it in the beginning and because it was a pretty quick read for a Printz, but I liked it less as it progressed. The relationship mess felt too contrived. I have only 18 more award/honor books to go though. Yay!

Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainardis a nice collection of stories. Most of them felt like they were written for adults though - possibly college age, but not teens so much. The cover art and even the introduction really seemed like a book written to be a college text. As with many short story collections, there were several that were amazing, but it was quite a mix. There was a glossary so even readers unfamiliar with Tagalog could look things up if necessary, but I found that most words were understandable through context anyway. I appreciated this look into Filipino culture.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo was not necessarily the best written book I've read, but it was extremely helpful. The first section is mostly an argument of how effective the process is and why you may want to do it. I found much of this repetitive, but the actual instructions and motivation she provided later got things done in my house. I spent time tidying on Friday and popped out of bed on Saturday eager to get at it again.

I picked up In the Name of Sorrow and Hope by Noa Ben Artzi-Pelossof because recently I read A Bottle in the Gaza Sea by Valérie Zenatti and it seemed that this book may shed more light on Palestinian/Israeli issues. This memoir focuses mainly on the life and assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the author's grandfather. Now even more than before, I would like to see more from the Palestinian perspective.

The Coming Week: 
We have two days of school this week and then it's winter break so I am anticipating lots of time for reading. I have several ARCs that I have been holding onto for vacation: Hour of Bees by Lindsay Eager, Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, and Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina are in my stack. Other than that, I am also hoping some ILLs come in because I have three more books to read for #MustReadin2015: Canary by Rachele Alpine, Control by Lydia Kang, and Boarding School Blues by Clifford E. Trafzer. I wish you all a great week of reading.


  1. Your lists are filled with some books of interest and for all ages. Some I have read, but some are new to me. I hope your ILLs come in! Time is creeping up! : )

  2. How on Earth do you find the time to read all of these books? I am so jealous of you. If I started right now and didn't sleep, I wouldn't get to as many books as you. (And that is without a child.) I just read so slowly! I am listening to I am Malala right now, but I think it is the adult version. I am finding it difficult to understand the reader, but I am enjoying the story. Happy holidays!

    1. I really do read quickly. Shorter novels take me about the same amount of time as a movie. You should see my youngest child though - about twice as fast as I am.

  3. Wow, Crystal, so many, many books. I don't think I'll read all my "must reads', but am reading Winger this week, on my list! I do want to read all American Boys and noted Meg Medina's new book somewhere this week. It sounds good. I have 'The Life-Changing Magic. . .' & still want to read & do! Maybe a new-year's resolution? Have a wonderful rest of the week, end of school & holiday break.

    1. Life Changing.... would make a great new-year's plan.

  4. I love Hurt Go Happy! It is one of my top 10 books ever probably :) I'm glad you liked it, but I'd love to chat to you about what you struggled with.
    I plan on putting All American Boys on my #mustread2016 list because I know I want to read it.

    Happy reading and holidays this week!

  5. I'm about 47th on the reserve list for the tidying book, but still looking forward to it. I'm at the point where my basement is full of furnishing for apartments, but my daughters aren't quite out of the house yet.

  6. I read hard love I want to go. It was OK. After reading your comments and others today on All American Boys, I went and added my name to a reserve list at our local library. I probably should have put the tidying up book on my Christmas list, but I'll just wait for that one from the library too.

  7. I've heard so much about All American Boys recently - it's all pretty eye-opening for me, living outside the United States, I wonder if readers in my country would read books like this with a different eye? Could be interesting to compare thoughts someday :)