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. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.
These were some of the picture books that we read during our family reading night. They all have cakes or cupcakes as part of the story. I was so happy to find Mrs. Biddlebox. I am NOT a morning person and would love to be able to drag in the ickiness of a morning and bake it into a cake. The illustrations are by Marla Frazee so they are beautiful.
This was actually the shape and size of an easy reader, but had only one sentence on a page (though it was bilingual so I guess it had two really). It was quite funny though brief and I'll be ordering it soon.
How it Went Down was an excellent young adult novel that explores racism and violence within a situation very much like those in our newspapers. I reviewed it over at Rich in Color. Dumpling Days was my favorite read of the week - a family story centered around food. Perfect.
The Meaning of Maggie wasn't what I was expecting. I didn't realize it would be about a family dealing with a medical issue. I had seen the trailer and thought it was a school story or rather just a story focusing on a meticulous and ambitious young girl. I did enjoy it to a certain degree, but the main character kept confusing me. She was eleven and intelligent. She loved learning and had plans to be president. Maggie's precocious. The contradiction is that she is often very innocent and unknowing. Sometimes her voice is more like a second or third grader and at others it's more like she's a teen. Her father has an illness that scares her and the whole family is hiding the seriousness from her (why?) and for the longest time, Maggie doesn't use the library (that she loves) to find out about it. Finally she starts investigating, but long after it makes sense with her personality. There were a few other things that caught me like the native american comments around Thanksgiving. They made sense with an eleven year old's understanding, but didn't seem necessary so I am not sure why they are there. I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. There were too many things that knocked me out of the story. Another thing was the Take Your Daughter to Work day. I don't remember that in the 80s. I looked it up and it didn't start until 1993. I wondered if the author set the story in the 80s to keep Maggie from easy Internet access to the information her family is hiding. The book is okay, but maybe just doesn't work as well for adults that might question such things.
The Coming Week:
I am almost finished with City of Bones. I have enjoyed it, but I'm not sure if I will continue with the series since I have so many other books waiting. Oops, before publishing this, I went ahead and finished this one. I don't want to redo the picture though. ;)
Wonderbook is heavier reading that I expected, but the illustrations are fantastic and break it up a bit. A Girl Called Problem seems good so far. I keep trying to read Foreign Gods, Inc. but whenever I stop reading for any reason, I have a hard time remembering to pick it up again.
I am also about to start Darkroom: A memoir in black and white by Lila Quintero Weaver. I have had it on my to read list for quite a while and finally grabbed it this weekend.
I will likely read other things, but I am not sure what they will be. Happy reading to all!
I've seen someone else discuss the issues you had with The Meaning of Maggie. There are so many titles, I think I might pass this by, Crystal. Thanks for the YA How It Went Down. I went to your other blog & read the review. I've bookmarked it! Hope you have a good reading week!ReplyDelete
I will probably still recommend The Meaning of Maggie to students who like realistic fiction with serious topics. There aren't that many stories around this particular parental illness so it will be in my library even though it wasn't my favorite. ;)Delete
I am going to see Holly Black and Cassandra Clare tonight! I have to say, if you didn't LOVE City of Bones I would skip the rest of the series. It kind of goes downhill after she decided to make a trilogy a 6 book series. I do, however, highly recommend her Infernal Devices trilogy. I thought that was much better. Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Wow! I hope you had a great time with Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Ha! My daughter said the same about City of Bones. She lost interest in the second book though she enjoyed Infernal Devices. Maybe I should have just started with that series instead like she said. :)Delete
Thanks for the review on the Meaning of Maggie. I've heard good things about it, but it's always good to hear when someone doesn't like the book, or as much, either! Good perspective.ReplyDelete
Yes, I saw that there was a mixed bag of reviews on Goodreads. I love the cover and trailer and I have readers that are eager to read it too.Delete
Your Meaning of Maggie review was interesting. I actually loved the book, but I appreciated what you said about it. I listened to the audio of Dumpling Days and loved it. You shared some titles that are knew to me. Happy reading!ReplyDelete
I know lots of people did love it. I actually had a friend in elementary whose mother had the same thing as Maggie's father. I spent a lot of time in their house and really had a hard time wrapping my head around the family secret though I think some of my students will love it and not think twice about that and the other issues.Delete
I just got How it Went Down and was excited to see your review. I am looking forward to reading it. I hope you have a great week!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I think How it Went Down is going to be one that could be used to inspire a lot of discussion.Delete
It is so interesting when you go into a book thinking one thing and then it is something else. It always makes liking the book just a little bit harder.ReplyDelete
Happy reading this week! :)
Exactly! I think you're right and that may have been a contributing factor. Thanks for articulating that.Delete