Sunday, August 25, 2013

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.

The Past Week: 

Young Adult

Whew! Sold was a tough book to read. Child sex trafficking is not the easiest topic to deal with, but McCormick did a stellar job. Strangely enough, The Fire Horse Girl touched on trafficking too. Sold felt like it should be happening way in the past and sometimes I would forget that it was more recent. They would refer to the television and I would realize that this sort of thing is still happening. It's overwhelming to think about it. To think that there are other girls like Lakshmi out there right now crushes my heart.

The Fire Horse Girl had more action than I had anticipated, but that was a good thing. I enjoyed Jade Moon's ability to remain true to herself in spite of the expectations of everyone around her. I loved that she fought for herself and others.

Peanut was a title that came up several times during last month's #bookbootcamp so when I saw it available at the library I grabbed it. I have to say I cringed through a good chunk of it because the main character is pretending to have a peanut allergy to get attention and be "special" at her new school. Ack! I just kept waiting for it to all fall apart. It kept me interested, but frustrated too.

Picture Book

I loved  that I found this picture book folktale, Tougi the Toad Finds His Smile, at the Hmong ABC store in St. Paul. I have bought many books there, but this one was new. It's a fun folktale about a toad who wants to be the most powerful being around. The illustrations are fantastic. I am always excited to find more literature with Hmong culture. In the story there are a few people and they are wearing traditional clothing too. 

Middle Grade Non-fiction

I knew of many of the people that are profiled in Peace Warriors, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu, and Dalai Lama. What I appreciate though is that there are two women included that I had not really known about before. I had heard the name Dorothy Day when I volunteered at a shelter, but did not know why a homeless shelter would have that name. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was a name that I had never heard at all. This is quite an inspirational book and really shows how one person really can make a huge difference in the world.

Middle Grade Fiction

I will write a more thorough review later, but I really enjoyed The Garden of My Imaan. Very quickly I realized that there was a glossary and I found out that imaan means belief.  I began reading and just didn't stop. Earlier this year I read Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam, and this book helped remind me of the things I learned then. It would likely be helpful if a non-Muslim is reading this book to have the non-fiction book nearby as a resource if there are questions.

The Coming Week:
Since my digital copy will expire next week, I think I will finally get to The Boy on the Porch. I knew that I still had time, so I was always reading something else first. It is coming down to the wire. I was also supposed to read Spy School for #bookbootcamp since we are doing mysteries, but I don't think I will get it finished by tomorrow evening since I haven't even started. Ack! But wait, I just looked and it is available at the library that is in walking distance. Yay!

Have a wonderful week filled with reading! What are you reading?


  1. Hi there Crystal, thanks for sharing all these titles. Sold had quite a mixed response during the Asian Festival of Children's Content here in Singapore two years back. One academic/educator recommended it during her session while another author (who happens to be Muslim) shared during her own session that it does not fully capture the Muslim experience. So quite a controversial book that raised multiple thoughts/ideations/perspectives. My eye was caught by Peace Warriors - will be on the lookout for that one.

    1. I was wondering about the cultural aspects. It's so hard to know if things are represented accurately when you are looking in from the outside.

  2. I loved The Garden of my Imaam, too. Sold sounds like an important read, but perhaps a bit too heavy for my sixth graders. So sad that this still happens.

    1. Yes, sixth might be a bit too young for Sold. Tough issue.

  3. I'll look for The Garden of My Imaam, but couldn't find Tougi the toad anywhere-sad to say. I still have not read Sold, too many other things on my list! Thanks for sharing about Peace Warriors, too-looks wonderful!

    1. Tougi is probably difficult to find aside from the Hmong bookstore - they do have a website if you are interested We have a significant Hmong community in our area so I am always on the lookout for great books to share with my students. Thanks for visiting.

  4. I love SOLD. Very difficult to read, but so worthy of praise! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a great reading week!