Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen & Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts host a meme every Monday that invites people to share the children's and young adult books they have been reading over the past week and what they plan on reading the following week.

You may find more complete information about what I am reading at or by clicking on the Goodreads widget along the side of my blog.

Past Week:
Newbery Challenge

This was another great week of Newbery reading. I especially loved the re-reads. It is funny, but I enjoyed them more than the two that were new to me, Kira-Kira and Criss Cross. It may be that because they were familiar, I rated them more highly. I'm not sure about that, but regardless, all were pretty great. 

I remembered the opening to The Graveyard Book very vividly. That is an excellent chapter to hook a reader. If I read that chapter aloud, there are always many students that want the book immediately. The wonderful thing is that though things slow down for awhile, there is still much to appreciate throughout the book. Both this book and Kira-Kira managed to get tears out of me this week. Kira-Kira was not what I expected, but was a beautiful story of love between two sisters. 

Criss Cross was slow, quiet, quirky and a bit timeless. I found it somewhat disjointed, but liked it nonetheless.

Lucky wins my heart every time I meet her again. She is fun, strong, and creative. Her scientific endeavors are impressive and the snake scene is hilarious. Love that girl. Another strong and lovable character is that adorable Despereaux. Just hearing the title or seeing the cover of the book makes me smile.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! was a bunch of fun too. Medieval times have always been fascinating to me. Using a wide variety of voices and perspectives truly gives an incredible glimpse into the daily life of that time. 

What is exciting for me is that within one week, I will complete the Newbery Challenge. I have only a few more left to read and plan to finish on the day that ALA announces the Youth Media Awards. It should be a fantastic day with the awards announcements and finishing up such a long challenge. I will have to think of something fun to do to celebrate. :)

Picture Books

These were a random mix of books that I grabbed. I love the poetry of Langston Hughes, and Bryan Collier's illustrations of I, Too, Am America were a new way to look at this poem. I had completely different images in my mind before. I appreciated the explanation at the end and it helped me enjoy the book even more on re-reading it. 

The Lonely Pine was interesting to a degree, but not a stand out. It reminded me that I still want to see the Northern Lights someday.

I hadn't known much of Booker T. Washington's story, so Fifty Cents and a Dream was informative and very interesting. I would like to read a more complete biography to learn more about him now. The other biography that I read was Noah Webster and His Words. The definitions scattered throughout the book added a nice touch of humor. It is fun that I read these two books in the same week because Webster's speller was mentioned in Fifty Cents as one of the books Booker T. Washington used as he learned to read.

The Coming Week:
The most important thing for me this week is finishing the Newbery books. I will read When You Reach MeMoon Over Manifest, Dead End in Norvelt and the yet unnamed winner that will soon be announced. Wahoo! Have a great week of reading. 

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