Monday, April 9, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Since it is Spring Break for me, I got quite a few books read over the past week. Just the way I like it. :)

Newbery Challenge: I read Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze and actually was surprised that I enjoyed it more than I expected. It wasn't earthshaking, but it was also not hideous like some of the other "multicultural" early Newberys have been. Another was Invincible Louisa. That one was a re-read because I went through a Louisa May Alcott phase in upper elementary and middle school and read all of her novels and several bios. I enjoyed it this time too though it seems Meigs hero worshiped a bit.

Caldecott Challenge: I only read two Caldecotts over the past week. I read the Girl Who Loved Wild Horses which isn't awful, but it would be better if the author had included source information. I also read The Village of Round and Square Houses which again, wasn't awful, but wasn't fantastic either. 

Picture Books (Fiction and NF): A Party in Ramadan by Mobin-Uddin was really good. It showed a girl trying to keep her Ramadan fast in spite of attending a friend's birthday party where there will be food.  The Odd Egg by Gravett is great with a surprise ending - maybe not best for pre-school since they may be startled. Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom is a fantastic way to introduce the underground railroad to young children. I am Different Can You Find Me? is a great look and find type book that has world languages as its content. Finally, Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns? is a gorgeous book with fantastic photographs of patterns - both manmade and natural.

2011 Nerdy Nominees: After this week, I only have 5 more left!! I read the YA book The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic which was really appropriate as this is the week of the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Paired with a re-watching of the movie, it was pretty incredible. I loved the constant switching to different perspectives. The iceberg's voice was (forgive me) chilling. I loved that it was included. I also finished Wither by DeStefano which was a great dystopian book.

Graphic Novels: Luz Sees the Light was a bit preachy, but it was okay. I definitely preferred the biographical Fatty Legs: A True Story about a woman's residential school experience years ago as an Inuit.

Middle Grade: Crow by Barbara Wright was absorbing historical fiction. I can see this one potentially winning awards.

Young Adult: I think my favorite book over the week was The Running Dream. Somehow the main character really tugged at my heart. Why We Broke Up was okay, but I got annoyed sometimes by the melodrama. 

For Next Week: I plan to finish up Dobry and start Caddie Woodlawn. I will also finish up Blue Jasmine by Sheth and might finally get to The Genius Files. Then who knows. I have a huge stack waiting for me. Happy reading!


  1. LOVE The Running Dream. That was one of my very favorite books I read last year. Such a powerful story. Really enjoyed Crow too. Like you, I can definitely see it possibly winning awards. Just seems like the type of well-written, emotionally engrossing, historical fiction that awards committees enjoy.
    I wasn't as high on The Watch that Ends the Night as you were (all the multiple voices kept me from connecting well to any of the characters) but I totally agree about the iceberg's voice. That was my favorite part of the book. Chilling, indeed.
    I really want to read Invincible Louisa now!

  2. Thanks for the comments. I have enjoyed chatting with you as I read. It seems we are reading many of the same books. :)

  3. Spring break is so great for reading! You really read a lot! I have the audio of Watch That Ends the Night. I will have to finally read it once May rolls around. I have heard great things about Running Dream lately and now I really want to read it and I want to go run. I am excited to read the second Genius Files. The first book has me excited for the series. :)

  4. I have heard a lot of good things about the Genius Files. I figured it was time to find out for myself. I am getting ready for another 1/2 marathon so the Running Dream was certainly inspirational.

  5. I remember reading Caddie Woodlawn years and years ago. I remember enjoying it at the time, but I think I was about 10, so may not have been the best judge ;) I'll be interested to hear an adult's perspective!

  6. I read Caddie again just before we moved to Wisconsin and found that like Little House, I really enjoyed many things about it, but found the cultural aspects troublesome in relation to the Native Americans. I don't remember exactly, but will likely have specifics to point to soon.