Monday, May 28, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

With my son graduating from high school this past weekend, I didn't get much reading done, but I actually did more than I expected.

Newbery Challenge: I managed to make it through Adam of the Road. It is set in medieval times, a setting I particularly enjoy, so this one was pretty good for me. I found Adam's adventures along the road entertaining.

I shared Lane Smith's books about the Happy Hocky Family with my 5th grade students during some unexpected free time. Lane Smith just cracks me up with his bizarre humor, but he isn't for everyone.

The Napping House is hilarious and had my 1st grade book clubbers laughing heartily for our last meeting.

Finally, I did finish off a book I had started the week before, but this one was not kid-lit for a change. Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman was part of my 1/2 marathon experience. I started reading it in the car on the long drive home afterward. It was fiction that didn't require a lot of thought, but kept my interest.

For next week: I am looking forward to reading Johnny Tremain and maybe Rabbit Hill too. I have a few books on hold for me at the library that I will pick up tomorrow like See You at Harry's and a couple of others. I have downloaded Drama, the new Princess Academy book and the newest Amulet from Netgalley so I will hopefully get to those too. If not this week, then the next because Summer Bookaday starts for me next Tuesday. I'm pretty excited about that. If you want to know more about Donalyn Miller's fantastic Book-a-day Challenge, click here. Have a great week of reading!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Since my son is graduating at the end of this week, I have not had much time to read, but did get to a few of the books on my TBR list. My favorite of all this past week was The Humming Room inspired by The Secret Garden. The author created a brand new story with whispers and hints of that long lost garden. I loved it.

For the Newbery Challenge, I managed to listen to Call it Courage while tidying the house for our party and during a lengthy car trip. It was fairly decent compared to some of the early award books. Survival stories go over pretty well most of the time. The Matchlock Gun was a quick, but rather horrifying little book. Again, a bad job of representing Native Americans.

Silly Sally is always fun especially when paired with Jim Gill's fantastic song The Silly Dance Contest so I had a blast reading it with the first grade students and dancing our hearts out.

Being Wendy was a nice book about individuality. Not my favorite, but it was okay.

Up for the next week: Maybe not much. We will have guests this week and graduation, so I may get a few Don and Audrey Wood picture books read at school tomorrow for first grade book club, but other than that, I can't make many plans.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

End of the Year Craziness

I feel like I am running in so many different directions that I am going to fly into pieces. I am fortunate enough to belong to a great staff that supports each other and is understanding as we negotiate schedules to fit in last minute author Skypes, public library presentations, and assorted activities.

I had so many plans, projects, and activities bubbling in my mind throughout the year and many of them happened, but there are also little dreams that never came to fruition. The end of the year is a bit stressful every year as I try to fit in just one more thing.

We had a great time with author Kate Messner yesterday. I will post some pics later. She did an awesome job with our third graders. Her writer's workshop was inspirational and very fun.

Next week my lunchtime book group will even get to Skype with Laurel Snyder about her book, Bigger Than a Breadbox. So we are still getting a few last hurrahs.  Hopefully, the students have learned a lot during our LMC time this year. I will have to sit down and reflect on the year and plan for the next. Maybe what I didn't get to this year can happen next year.

This year is especially stressful as our oldest child is graduating from high school. What an emotional roller coaster that has been. It is awesome to see him becoming an independent young man, but yikes, it is sad to say goodbye to his childhood. So off I go to his last choir concert of high school.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Wahoo! I am back on a roll. I was able to read quite a few books this past week. There were so many, that I am going to do this the quick way. 

This huge stack of books put a dent in my TBR fortunately and got me moving on the Newbery Challenge again. The Little Yellow Bottle, Junkyard Wonders and A Lion Called Christian got tears from me. It was especially true when I tracked down the reunion video of the men and the lion they had cared for. Whew. Amazing.  Another one I really enjoyed was The Unforgotten Coat. It inspired a lot of wondering and thinking. The photos were really great. It would be wonderful to read with a group of students that are interested in photography. God's Dream was another standout book. I enjoyed both the message and the illustrations. A surprising book was Frog and Fly. It is kind of Hatbackish. Not very Disney-like. 

I was very sad to hear of Maurice Sendak's passing and spent a bit of time re-reading many of his works and meeting some for the first time. So glad that the Colbert Report interviews happened in time. What a creative and fantastic man he was.

For this coming week, I will finish Call it Courage & Matchlock Gun and maybe even Adam of the Road for Newbery. I am also pretty excited because The Humming Room came in the mail today so I will probably read that one too. Here's to another great week of reading!

Monday, May 7, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Once again, I was swamped with schoolwork for my class, so I didn't get to read very much this past week, but I did get some great ones.

Middle Grade: I finally got to read Fake Mustache and it was quite the adventurous romp. It is a lifting-the-spirits kind of book that I needed mid-week.

Picture Books: I really scored at the bookstore this weekend! I bought Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.

The Duckling is once again absolutely adorable and understandably frustrating to the Pigeon.

Pete the Cat is of course his laid back groovy self again. The punch line is fantastic!

Newberry: I also made a little headway here. I finished Roller Skates which has a feisty and fabulous main character. Lucinda races along living life fully. I love her, but wish that the book didn't have so many negative racial/economic comments. They weren't always outright awful, but there is a patronizing tone towards people of diversity or with economic challenges. Lucinda is very open and accepting of everybody and cares fiercely for people, but the book is just very dated in the way her class knows best.

The White Stag was not a favorite for me, but at least it wasn't terribly long or boring. It just wasn't my thing. It was historical warrior stuff. I couldn't help but think of the Pevensie children chasing down the white stag in The Chronicles of Narnia though so that was one positive.

For Next Week:
I am reading Unwanteds (A 2011 Nerdie nominee), Thimble Summer (Newbery) and Why Culture Counts (Professional). I would like to finish all of those and the poetry book that I am reading Poetry Out Loud. I would also like to read some of the brand new books that just came in at my school library. It has been hard not to take home piles of them, but I just have too much to do. Happy Reading!