Monday, January 11, 2016

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:

Our Mock Caldecott and Pura Belpré

Last Week in Books:
Dreamquake and Tales of the Madman Underground were the final two books I was reading for the #NerdPrintz Challenge (hosted by Kathy at The Brain Lair & promoted by Brian Wyzlic) that I began back in 2012. It took me four years, but I finally finished all of the Printz winners and honor books. I liked both of these books, but after reading all of the books, I am still relatively convinced that if you want to win a Printz, it is best if you write a dark, complex, mature and maybe even rather bizarre book. I liked what Hannahlily at Dismal Whimsy wrote about one potential Printz honor book, "sounds like just the relatively-obscure-book-by-a-respected-but-not-famous-author-about-super-serious-and-mature-themes that gets Printz honors." I enjoyed many of the books, but found some to be very puzzling choices from the committees. I am really looking forward to hearing the 2016 announcements of the ALA Youth Media Awards.

My Beloved World was a fabulous memoir from Sonia Sotomayor. I had read two picture book biographies so I was very interested when I saw it was an audio book that was available. She has had a very interesting life and I really admire her ability to face challenges head on and go after what she wants. 

Captain and the Case of the Missing Bananas was quite a strange little book, but I think it will have silliness appeal. It is a mystery, but has some bathroom humor to go along with it. I found the illustrations fun. 

America, My New Home is a collection of poems express feelings and thoughts of a child after moving from a village in Jamaica to the big city life of the U.S. The poems show some of the losses like being a nameless person in a huge city instead of a beloved well-known member of a small community. The poems also show new experiences like going to the circus and seeing artwork by world famous artists. The young girl shares her fears as she stays in the apartment alone while her mother takes classes at night. She also lets readers experience the joy of her new friendship. This would be a great book to pair with the wordless picture book Here I Am by Patti Kim which is also an immigrant story, but told in a very different way. 

Aaron and Alexander caught my eye because I recently listened to the musical Hamilton. Between the information in the musical and this picture book, I have a lot of questions now. Obviously for the musical, some license was taken with interactions, but there were distinct differences. Now I want to do more research. The picture book was a simple way to explain what had to have been a rather complex relationship. 

The Coming Week:
I am smack in the middle of two books right now, Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (really enjoying it so taking it slowly) and Control by Lydia Kang (ILL so will likely finish it first). I  started another audiobook, Let's Just Say it Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton and it's amusing. The next novel I will pick up is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. My plan is to see Junot Diaz speak in early February so I need to get started on that one. I read This is How You Lose Her last year, but that's the only one of his books I've read. It's over 300 pages, so I should get that going. Aside from that, I also plan to read American Ace by Marilyn Nelson for review at Rich in Color. It's supposed to be released tomorrow. It's another novel in verse and I really loved How I Discovered Poetry the last one of hers that I read. That's the plan, but as usual, I may not stick to it. I hope you have a wonderful week filled with great books.

Challenge Update: 
Goodreads Challenge - 13/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2016 - 6/225 (goal = 50% of my books by or about POC)
LGBTQIA Challenge - 0/21-31
ReadPOC Challenge - 4/125


  1. I haven't read too many of the Printz books, since I don't have those students, it's just not a priority. But it's always very interesting to me to see what wins, definitely some I want to get to now!

    1. I had to giggle. I don't have teen students either, but YA has been my favorite since middle school. For a long time I only read elementary, but decided that all of my reading doesn't have to be for school. I should be able to read some just for fun.

  2. So interesting about the Hamilton information. The writer/actor/creator of the stage production was interviewed on 60 Minutes this past week, fascinating. I had also read the picture book, so you're right. Now I need to get a better biography! I didn't know Marilyn Nelson had a new book out, will certainly look for it. I wonder about the Printz, I read Bone Gap, think it's very creepy, & have not even heard of the honor books.But in past years I have. I'll work on reading some in the next year, nearly always enjoyable! Have a great reading week!

  3. Your comments about the Printz are SPOT ON. I can't agree with you more. I've noticed the dark, bizarre picks. Some are very, very bizarre, too. So which book would be the best of the Printz, if you had to pick? I assume you can't pick just one, but I'd be curious to hear which stand out!

    1. I just looked, and here are my favorites: A Wreath for Emmett Till, Airborn, Jellicoe Road, Aristotle and Dante, The Book Thief, and John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth.

  4. Your students did great on their mock awards!! They were so close! I'm impressed :)
    I look forward to reading Burn Baby Burn--I love Medina's voice.
    I agree with you about the Printz. That is why I like the Walden Award better because it takes into account kids. (And Airborn, A&D, and Book Thief are some of my favorite Printz books also.)

    Happy reading this week! :)

  5. The Printz honour list sounds exactly like the kind of books I wish to read - heavy going, occasionally dark, with mature themes, and bizarre. I always get taken by bizarre. Haha. I would most likely look into reading through that list as well. :) Thanks for sharing your reading journeys.