Sunday, September 29, 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.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf

The Past Week: 
Historical Fiction for #BookBootCamp

This month the focus was historical fiction. I read these three that were new to me and I re-read Inside Out & Back Again too. Inside Out is one of my favorites since in is a beautifully done novel-in-verse and the subject matter helps to share an immigrant experience that is somewhat related to that of many of the families in our school district. Here the author shares some of her book.

I got to read another novel-in-verse and The Lightning Dreamer was fantastic! I am so glad I finally got to it. I wrote a post about it and also shared it on Rich in Color for Hispanic Heritage Month. Here is the author reading excerpts from the book:

Paperboy was another great book for this week. I appreciated that the format was a bit different. There were very few commas and no quotation marks. This was a refreshing way to read. It also made complete sense as the narrator finds talking difficult due to his stutter. Quotation marks remind one of conversation and speaking and it seems that he left them out on purpose. This book provides a great perspective that isn't often shared and the author was writing from personal experience.

The other book was an audio book. I have been told that I missed out on some fabulous illustrations, so I will need to grab the book and flip through. On the Blue Comet was really dragging in the beginning. It did pick up once the train riding began, but there were a few things that bothered me. My biggest complaint was the repetition. The narrator explained his experiences many, many times to many people. He didn't always give the whole story, but even a bit was too repetitive for me. Had I been reading the book myself though, I would likely have just quickly skimmed those parts that repeated and I may not have been as bothered. With the audio though, I was stuck listening. I did enjoy parts of it and I found the storyline creative and interesting, but the execution wasn't my favorite.

It will be great to share these titles and find out about more great historical fiction at the #BookBootCamp chat.

The Coming Week: 
I am still reading through Interworld by Gaiman, but I am very close to abandoning. I put it down for now and started reading Salt by Helen Frost (one of my favorite novel-in-verse authors). I need to do a review for Rich in Color soon so will be reading a diverse YA novel of some kind too. Have a great week of reading!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Wednesday Dance

I know I am not the first to post this on a Wednesday, but it makes me smile every time I see a gif, picture or clip and today was no exception. I did some dancing today too. Wednesdays are one of my Zumba nights. That has been one of my favorite ways to de-stress and exercise over the past year. I'm so glad I went ahead and tried it again even though I felt awkward and silly at first. When we do a new dance that still happens sometimes, but it's fun anyway. We smile and laugh a lot.

I hope your Wednesday was great and your Thursday and Friday are even better. 

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist

Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute. -- image and summary via Goodreads

Reading this for #bookbootcamp today was a pleasure. I am amazed by the woman this story was based on - Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda (1814-1873). She was a feminist and abolitionist in a time when expressing those thoughts was certainly dangerous. Margarita Engle created this novel-in-verse to express some of those ideas. Here are some of the lines that grabbed me as I read.

[the 'she' is her mother who doesn't think women should read]
She sends me to my silent room, 
where I spend quiet hours remembering
the freedom
to read. 

Beyond these convent gates, books
are locked away
and men
the keys.

Some people
are born with words flowing
in their veins.

Just as often, poetry is a free
     of birds in air
                     and dipping
in surprising

So many people
have not yet learned
that souls have no color
and can never
be owned.

All I need
is paper, ink,
and the courage
to let wild words soar.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures for Trailer Tuesday

I am so excited that today is the birthday of the book Flora & Ulysses. Now we can all find out what the fuss was about. If you don't have it in your hand yet, here is a sneak peek. Enjoy!

Monday, September 23, 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.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf

The Past Week: 
Picture Books

I felt like I scored when I found these on the new book shelf at the library. I completely fell in love with If You Want to See a Whale. The illustrations are gorgeous, but the text is also very fun. My 15 yr. old thought it was just perfect especially since it didn't have any capital letters. Hello, My Name is Ruby was very cute. Ruby is wandering around introducing herself and being friendly to everyone even though they are very different from her. Inside Outside is a wordless book. The illustrations are a little busy for me, but the concept is cool with the peek-a-boo windows between the inside and outside.

Middle Grade

The raccoons in this book completely stole my heart. I adored these scouts of the swamp. Chap, the  human main character, was also endearing. I wish I could taste some sugar pies though. 

The Coming Week:
I am in the middle of the sci-fi book Interworld. I am also working my way through On the Blue Comet which I am enjoying a whole lot more ever since we left Cairo, IL and the action picked up significantly. I have a few books that should be delivered on Monday: The Lightning Dreamer and Paperboy that I am going to read for #bookbootcamp. Have a great week!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review: Real Boy

Title: The Real Boy
Author: Anne Ursu
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Pages: 288
Genre: Middle-grade fantasy
Review Copy: Edelweiss
Release Date: September 24, 2013

Summary: On an island at the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy. The city is called Asteri, a perfect city that was saved by the magic woven into its walls from a devastating plague that swept through the world over a hundred years before. The forest is called the Barrow, a vast wood of ancient trees that encircles the city and feeds the earth with magic. And the boy is called Oscar, a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow. Oscar spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master's shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in. 

But it's been a long time since anyone who could call himself a wizard walked the world, and now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the trees will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.... -- Cover image and summary via Goodreads

My Thoughts: After reading Anne Ursu's beautiful book Breadcrumbs, I was very excited to have access to The Real Boy. I was not disappointed. Ursu pulled me right into the Barrow. She built a magical world that welcomes readers in and invites them to stay. You can slip away to this land with the Shining People, magic smiths, and a sinister forest.

Ursu has a sly humor that is evident within the first pages, such as in the line "The apprentice's name was Wolf, because sometimes the universe is an unsubtle place." This along with the existence of Most Spectacular Goat Cheese Day make this a book sure to win more than a few smiles and giggles.

Above all though, Oscar completely charmed me. He tries so hard. He is often completely bewildered when he is engaged in conversation with people. He takes the words they say at face value, but doesn't always understand the other bits of communication that are delivered through sarcasm or other cues. He also loves to see everything neat, orderly and in its place. I can identify with the satisfaction that comes when looking at a room that has been straightened and organized. He is intelligent and a hard worker. I loved that he maps out the day in his mind before getting down to business. I had to admire him for his work ethic and his learning methods while empathizing with his challenges regarding communication. He keeps feeling like he can't do anything right. This is something that many readers can likely relate to no matter their age.

In The Real Boy, Anne Ursu has worked her own bit of magic especially within the friendship that blooms between Oscar and a young girl. I look forward to sharing this fantasy with many students in the future.

The School Year and Blogging

We are back to school and are having a lot of fun learning experiences. The first month of school brings a rather frenetic pace that is not helping my blogging. I have barely been completing my "It's Monday" posts, but not much beyond that. I am hoping to get back into a rhythm that will allow for more blogging without it being a burdensome task with negative feelings.

Dot Day activities were great. We summarized or read 
The Dot at every grade level, but some moved on to Ish

Those that have read both in the past two years also moved on to Beautiful Oops

Then we had creative time. They loved being able to make art in the LMC and I enjoyed seeing them engaged and expressing themselves in a way that I don't usually get to witness. 

Review: The Garden of My Imaan

Title: Garden of My Imaan
Author: Farhana Zia
Publisher: Peachtree
Pages: 230
Review Copy: Provided by Publisher
Release Date: April 1, 2013

Summary: Aliya already struggles with trying to fit in, feeling confident enough to talk to the cute boy or stand up to mean kids. The fact that she's Muslim is just another thing to deal with. 

When Marwa, a Moroccan girl who shares her faith if not her culture, comes to Aliya's school, Aliya wonders even more about who she is, what she believes, and where she fits in. Should she fast for Ramadan? Should she wear the hijab? She's old enough for both, but does she really want to call attention to herself? -- Cover image & summary via Goodreads

My Thoughts: There were many things I enjoyed about this book. First, the mix of formats kept things interesting. Zia provided a brief traditional story at the beginning followed by narrative and then there were also letters sprinkled throughout the text. Following her great-grandmother's advice, Aliya chose to complete her Sunday School assignment through letters to Allah. Second, I loved seeing the intergenerational interactions of Aliya's family. I especially appreciated that Aliya went to her mother, father, grandmother and great-grandmother expecting advice. It showed a beautiful respect and trust. As a person who hasn't experienced living with extended family (at least not for long periods of time), seeing how it might work was definitely interesting. Zia showed that Aliya liked some things about that situation, but that sometimes it was annoying - like when her great-grandmother required her to practice Urdu three times a week in addition to her piles of homework. Third, learning more about Islam and the wide variety of ways it is practiced was fascinating. I read and enjoyed the non-fiction book Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam earlier this year, but seeing those beliefs and practices through a fictional text made it even easier to see how it could look.

The glossary at the back was very helpful. There were two sections: one for the Arabic and one for the Urdu. There I found that imaan means belief. Aliya is struggling with her own beliefs. She doesn't know exactly what she believes and even if she does, she is not certain how to act on those beliefs. Aliya worries a lot about how other people see her. Regardless of culture, most middle grade students can relate to that concern. One of the reasons she worries is related to the bullying she sees. She doesn't want to stand out and give anyone another reason to pick on her. Marwa, the new girl, wears the hijab seemingly without concern. This gives Aliya a lot to think about. She wonders if other people are just braver.

Also, Aliya's mother explains what makes Aliya who she is -  "A tasty concoction of American and Muslim and Indian and sugar and spice and everything that is very nice." This book celebrates the idea that we are more than our race, we are more than our languages and religions. Many things shape us and contribute to who we become. We see this through Aliya's friends with their differing backgrounds too. 

Beliefs are obviously a central focus in this book, but bullying and getting along with others also plays a huge role. I loved that Aliya's father provides a "recipe for getting along." He says it's "A twist of good, a sprinkle of kind, and a dash of nice." 

I would highly recommend this as a class read aloud. I think many students who enjoyed Wonder would also enjoy The Garden of My Imaan. It is a wonderful contemporary middle grade story about a girl trying to find her voice, and she will likely win your heart as you experience her story.

Q & A with Farhana Zia via The Streetlight Reader
Interview via PaperTigers Blog
A Peek at the Creative Space of Farhana Zia via Jennifer Bertman after the picture book release: Hot, Hot, Roti for Dada-ji (another fantastic book)

Sunday, September 15, 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: This was an excellent week of reading. I enjoyed every single book I completed.

Picture Books

Kate Messner's Sea Monster is once again cute and engaging. Beautiful Oops is a fantastic way to show how accidents and mistakes can inspire creativity. Brief Thief is just flat out hilarious. Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great is so true. People are sometimes jealous and negative about others who are talented. In those times, we forget that we all have different talents.

Middle Grade

I checked this audio book out because I had a road trip and I had read most of the others that were available. I had no idea what it was about. Mimi's family has just lost their mother in an accident. The story is a look at the grief process in their family. It was touching, but I appreciated that it didn't feel like the author was trying to manipulate the reader with emotions. Mimi and her family muddled their way through their pain. I was excited to find out that there is a sequel because I wanted to spend more time with them.

Graphic Novel

I enjoyed learning about these three amazing women. The format was honestly a bit tricky for me. I lost the flow sometimes and didn't always follow closely enough to keep track of who was who. I would be reading along and realize that we switched to another person when I wasn't paying attention. I think this is because I still don't give the illustrations the time that I should when I am reading a graphic novel. 

I found Stronger than Steel pretty fascinating. I have to admit though that some of the science around DNA and the chemistry went over my head. I let it. When I think to hard about things like that my head hurts. I get it in a big theoretical manner, but it reminds me of the Dr. Who explanation of time being "a big ball of wibbly-wobbly...timey-wimey...stuff." I can't look at it too closely and I found the book educational in spite of not understanding every single bit.

The Coming Week:
I am on the second CD of On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells. I am very close to abandoning though. I have not really been captured by the story so I am not sure if I will stick to it. I am also reading InterWorld, but am again not enthralled. Maybe that is why I didn't finish them this week. 

I want to get started reading some books for #bookbootcamp which is historical fiction this week. I will likely start at least one of the following: Beholding Bee, Duke, The Lightning Dreamer, P.S. Be Eleven, or Paperboy.

What will you be reading? Have a great week!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review: Veiled Dreams

Title: Veiled Dreams
Author: Gill James
Publisher:  Our Street Books
Pages: 177
Review Copy: Provided by author
Release Date: July 16, 2013

Summary: Feisty fifteen-year-old Christina's parents don't like her biker boyfriend. They think he's too old and his hair is too long. She doesn't like her epilepsy but has to deal with it. An accident leaves her in a coma for several weeks. Whilst in the coma she visits another world where she starts to understand her own awakening sexuality and her illness. She also becomes more tolerant of other people, in particular of those who wear a hijab or burka. But Jan is still waiting for her at home and her new world is getting more real by the minute. Problems abound and she feels alone. She is still in love with Jan, but can she still reach him?

My Thoughts: My favorite part of this book is when Christina is in another world. Gill James does a great job in a brief amount of text transporting the reader to a different land. Christina obviously has many adjustments to make as she transitions to a new culture and her experiences are intriguing. Part of her learning involves wearing the veil and appreciating some of its benefits. Many things are terribly confusing for her in this alternate land, but she finds friends on her way and even a bit of romance. The whole adventure is on the exotic side and tension rises as the reader is unsure of whether Christina will be able to get back to her real life or if she will be trapped in this other world.

In Christina's real life, she was having difficulties dealing with her dating relationship. I found her to be immature and selfish. I couldn't really understand what Jan saw in her honestly, but the author didn't specifically show why he adored her so much, but simply stated that he did. In the other world, Christina managed to mature a little through the events that transpired, but I was still left feeling that she was not ready for a serious relationship. There have been posts online about whether characters need to be likeable. I found that Christina wasn't especially likeable in my mind, but I felt that she didn't necessarily need to be. Later in the story, I determined that she was so young that her behavior made sense even if it wasn't terribly attractive.

This book was written with a European perspective so I did notice a few terms that were unfamiliar. One that stuck out to me was the references to IB textbooks and the exams that go with them. It was certainly not essential for the storyline at all, but I did notice things that made me pause for a second as an outsider. I found that made the book more interesting to me rather than just being a distraction.

I would have liked the book to be longer so the transitions could have been less abrupt. The development of the relationship with her boyfriend and the romance in the other world moved very quickly among other things. Often I would have appreciated more depth. The pace did keep the story lively and engaging though, and the other plus is that the book can be read in a short amount of time.

Veiled Dreams has a relatively unique storyline with a dash of romance and fantasy if you are looking for a light, quick read.

-- Cover image and summary via Goodreads

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review: Shadows

Title: Shadows
Author: Robin McKinley
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Pages: 368
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Review Copy: Edelweiss
Release Date: September 26, 2013

Summary: Maggie knows something’s off about Val, her mom’s new boyfriend. Not only is he from the Old World, but he’s accompanied by huge, jagged shadows that dart and slither around him. He must be practicing some sort of illegal magic. Oldworld still uses magic, but in Newworld the magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie's great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago. Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He's from Oldworld too—and he's heard of Maggie's stepfather, and has a guess about Val's shadows. Maggie doesn't want to know . . . until earth-shattering events force her to depend not only on Casimir's knowledge of magic, but on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage. 

Continually surprising readers with magical twists and turns, Shadows features a memorable heroine, intriguing world-building and a fascinating blend of contemporary fantasy and science fiction.

My Thoughts: I appreciated that Robin McKinley had some diversity in this novel. There is a major character who is Japanese, Takahiro, and then a couple others that come from a foreign place that is called OldWorld. Because of her friendship with Takahiro, the main character, Maggie, often peppered her conversation with Japanese words. In the beginning it felt a bit awkward. They felt out of place even though the character explained why she was doing it. The words seemed to be there only to add a little bit of the exotic, but later, once the characters were more familiar, it made more sense. The purpose became more understandable and they were less distracting over time.

I also found some of the "sci-fi" vocabulary hard to accept. I guess it seemed that the setting was not so different from the present and McKinley was mostly relying on the futuristic terms to build the world or make it appear to be the future. For example, she used the word 'tops instead of laptops and webnet. Those words seemed forced in rather than organic.

The "shadows" or gruaa were what I liked the most, but they were the part of the story that was less sci-fi and more fantasy. The shadows give the story a depth and I think fantasy is what McKinley does best. I have enjoyed every one of Robin McKinley's books including this one, but my favorites are definitely the ones that are heavier on the fantasy. Her fantasy sparkles and enchants. 

This book ends with enough questions that a sequel would be possible. I would enjoy seeing more of this world and the characters she has created, but I am even more eager for another fairytale retelling or vampire book. I would recommend Beauty, Deerskin and t he Outlaws of Sherwood over this one, but I wouldn't tell anyone not to read it. A true fan of Robin McKinley will still need to read Shadows.

Monday, September 9, 2013

BookBootCamp for September

I have been enjoying BookBootCamp so far this year. This month we are focusing on Historical Fiction. The chat will be on Sept. 30 at 8 pm if you want to join.

Titles I May Read This Month 
Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco
Duke by Kirby Larson
The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Titles I Have Read Already
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Crow by Barbara Wright
Hattie Ever After/Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Once by Morris Gleitzman
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

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:

My husband became an Ironman yesterday, so this post is very late after a long weekend and travel. I was able to grab a few minutes to read three picture books this week. The Reader was definitely my favorite of the bunch. It is very sweet and made me smile as the reader plays with the dog and even reads to it before their bit of sledding.

The Name of the Star was a pleasant surprise too. I am not one for scary and/or creepy books, but this one, like Doll Bones, had an element of creepy to it, but didn't feel too frightening. It is one that I will need to add to my Boarding School Books list. I enjoyed the mix of history, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy. I love Maureen Johnson. She has a fantastic sense of humor - like with this quote, "I decided to deflect her attitude by giving a long, Southern answer. I come from people who know how to draw things out. Annoy a Southerner, and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death." 

The Coming Week:
I am almost finished with a middle-grade book called Mimi. I am listening to it on audio and I love it so far. I am also reading Personal Effects which is riveting. I need to re-read Inside Out & Back Again for Battle of the Books, but other than that, I am not sure what I will grab next. Now that the first week of school is past, my reading time should pick up again. What are you reading? Have a great week!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review: Profiles #6: Peace Warriors

Title: Profiles #6: Peace Warrriors
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Pages: 144
Genre: Non-fiction
Review Copy: NetGalley
Release Date: July 30, 2013

Summary: Meet six heroic social activists.

The next book in our six-in-one, full-color bio series will focus on Peace Warriors. Featuring men and women who have worked passionately to pioneer peaceful solutions to violent conflicts throughout history. Our peace warriors will include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Dorothy Day, and Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. Find out about their childhoods, where they went to school, what their families were like, and their major accomplishments. Six inspiring tales of courage and conviction. -- Cover image via IndieBound & summary via Goodreads.

My thoughts: It is nice to see a book focusing on people who are heroes based on something other than physical strength or celebrity. Readers quickly see that these are strong individuals who worked for change through influence. There were many commonalities with these six people as they made incredible change happen without violence.

These were some amazing heroes. I do wish that we saw a bit more of their foibles though. In a biography, I like to see that a person is definitely not perfect because then they seem more real. Also, when I can see their everyday issues, then their deeds seem more attainable for a common person. That said, it is still incredibly inspirational. It encourages that spirit of working for peace because readers will see how much one voice can do.

Though teachers are often looking for lengthier biographies for reports, I think this format, a collection of related biographies, would be a great mentortext for a similar project - one that could shake up the old and a little tired biography assignment of reading one 150+ page book about one person and writing a report. It might be nice to have students find people who have something distinct in common like this.

Pinkney's narrative is interesting and full of rich detail.  I especially appreciated learning about Dorothy Day and Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, two women I was unfamiliar with before reading this book. I will be happy to add Peace Warriors to our collection.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Books I Loved This Summer

Books I Loved This Summer

I met my goal of reading at least one book a day during summer break (an avg). 
Here are some of the books I enjoyed the most.

Chapter Books/Graphic Novels

Picture Books


Thanks to Jennifer Reed (@libraryreeder) for inspiring me to put this list together. 
She made a list of her favorites here.

Last Minute Scrambling

This weekend is the countdown. I am cramming in as many things as I can that I didn't get to over the summer. Some of these were done now due to procrastination: see cleaning & shopping.

  • School Shopping with daughter
  • Lesson planning
  • House Cleaning (resulted in 4 big bags for Goodwill, full recycle bin, 2 huge trashcans full)
    • bedroom closet
    • bedroom
    • son's old car - inside - eeek
    • daughter's bedroom (w some assistance)
    • son's bedroom (he's at college)
    • refrigerator
    • bathroom drawers
    • laundry
  • Nice birding/bicycling tour
  • Multiple Dr. Who episodes
  • Movie outing with hubby - The Butler
  • Running
  • Blog posts - book reviews
  • Reading
Whew! I am tired just thinking about it. I am looking forward to getting back into the school rhythm and I really love having everything organized and ready at home so I don't have to worry that chaos will be created immediately. It will probably take at least a week or two to go back to its original crazy state. 

The school library is that way too. I reorganized the storage area & shifted a few things in the library too. Isn't it great to walk into an orderly space? I keep asking my own children that question and they don't seem to agree. Or they don't want to because it would give me ammunition. :)

I am excited to see everyone, staff and students, tomorrow. This year will be one more learning adventure for all of us. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 1, 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:
Picture Books

Crankenstein was cute. I have felt cranky many a time & have witnessed children with that affliction on many occasions. It is all too relatable. 

Carnivores is the story of carnivores of the animal persuasion who are trying to become vegetarian with hilarious results. 

My favorite picture book of the week though was Journey. It is a bit reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Gorgeous illustrations tell the story without need for words. This will be a fabulous inspiration for creativity and celebrating imagination.

Middle Grade

I enjoyed The Boy on the Porch and I reviewed it yesterday on the blog. It was written more from the perspective of the adults who found him rather than the boy. 

Strangely enough, Better to Wish was through an adults eyes. The main character was telling about her memories so she shares stories from her childhood, teenage years, and even into adulthood. I think there are some students who will enjoy both of these.

The Coming Week:
I will probably be doing a lot of re-reads as I share some of my favorite picture books with students for the first week of school. I will try to get to E.M. Kokie's Personal Effects. It is on our high school state Battle of the Books list. With it being the first week of school, I don't have high hopes for reading. It will be a busy and tiring week so I may not get a lot of reading accomplished. What will you be reading? Have a wonderful week!