Monday, March 5, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Whew! It's been quite a week. I had an exhausting event on Friday and Saturday to prepare for, but recovery was nice as I was able to just read for most of Sunday and catch up.

Newbery Challenge: I finished Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon which was the 1928 Newbery winner. I actually enjoyed this one, but am really not sure that young children would be the right audience. I liked the cultural aspects that I learned throughout the story of this boy and his pigeon in India. This seems to give an authentic picture of life near the Himalayas.

Caldecott Challenge: It was a slow week for the Caldecotts.  First I read Blueberries for Sal the 1949 winner, which is one of my all time favorites. The pictures are fabulous, but it is just such a wonderful mother-love story and a great view of the natural world. Interesting too was that I read a New York Times post about the lack of such views in recent children's literature just this week. The second Caldecott I read was If I Ran the Zoo. See my not so positive review here.

2011 Nerdy Nominees: I have slowly been chipping away at these over the past few months. I really enjoyed the ones I hit this week -  Graphic novels Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory and Feynman.  Feynman got a little complicated, but as he seemed to point out often, we don't always have to understand everything. I also got to experience Elephant Scientist another fabulous book in the Scientist in the Field series.

Seuss books: In my classes I shared Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street, There's a Wocket in My Pocket, and I Can Read with My Eyes Shut. All of these were met with smiles and laughter.

Random Non-fiction: The Boy Who Bit Picasso is a great introduction to the man and his art told through a child's perspective. I loved it.  Black and White: The Confrontation of Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor was intense. It reminds me of how bad things have been for some people and how courageous some people have been in the face of injustice.  Finally, I did read one adult book What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love. It was a little like reading a People magazine, but with more depth.

Random fiction: I read quite a few family books. Sunday is for God is a look at a family and their typical Sunday routine. It is a quiet, peaceful, and homey book.  I was finally able to read The Great Wall of Lucy Wu and I really loved it. It is a family book. It is a growing up book. It is a wonderful middle grade novel.  And the last one I read of the week made me cry. A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story shows a father coming home for the New Year celebration. This is happy, but it is also sad because he is a migrant worker and this is the only time of the year that he is with his family. The pictures are beautiful and the story more so. 

For this coming week I plan to start The Trumpeter of Krakow for the Newbery Challenge, I will read some more Caldecotts, and I mean to read a few more 2011 Nerdy Nominees like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, How to Save a Life, and Roots and Blues: A Celebration among random books that come my way.  I am also looking forward to hearing a lot of good readers on World Read Aloud Day so I will get to experience some books that I am not necessarily expecting.  Have a great week reading! 


  1. Holy cow! That's a lot of book...and a lot of books I have not read or have barely hard of even. I love being able to learn about new books I think Miss Peregrine's Home looks interesting but I keep forgetting to add it to my TBR. Off to do that now!

  2. This is a little on the random side of things, but when I taught 5th grade, I always read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! the day before our big standardized testing period began in May. I always like seeing that book listed because it's lesser known but has such a great message for the classroom... you are NOT just a number on a test.

    1. Excellent idea. Nice way to loosen them up & remind them that they know how to think. Creativity trumps Dreary Flobbertown.