Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#MustRead2014 Update

The fabulous Carrie Gelson over at There is a Book for That has started a reading challenge called #MustReadin2014. We each created a list of books that we "must read" in 2014. I included the Printz books since I started that challenge last year. I also added the books that were on the Best Multicultural Books of 2013 list created by The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature. Since the challenge was designed to whittle down our To Be Read lists, there are also books on my list that have been waiting for years. One has been on my list since the summer of 2010. My To Be Read shelf on Goodreads has well over 1,000 books on it, but I kept only 110 for by #MustRead2014 shelf.

My first update was posted back in April here and I had read 26/110. The second was in July and my total was 41/110. Now my total is up to 49/110. I slowed down significantly. This is because I started spending more time working on the other reading challenges that I am part of: The Africa Reading Challenge, The Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge, and the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge. Many of the books on my #MustRead2014 list are the Printz winners and honor books. Quite honestly, I was getting bogged down by them. Printz books are often dark and/or very bizarre. I can only take so much of that so I switched to reading the Pura Belpré winners and honors for the Latin@s in Kid Lit challenge and was having way more fun. Here are the books from the list that I have read since June.


The Round House was incredibly intense, but I was glad to read another of Louise Erdrich's books. She is a fantastic writer. She always draws me in and I feel like I am a fly on the wall. It was interesting to learn about the legend of Ponciano Guitierrez. It has a trickster quality to it as Ponciano uses his smarts against the Mountain Thieves. It's a fun story and would be a nice addition to a traditional literature unit.


The Creator's Game was a story about a boy who is on a la crosse team, but actually isn't very good at it. He starts to improve as he learns from his grandfather who is visiting him at night, though he is dead. I liked the story and the family interactions, but the illustrations were not what students would expect. I think students may skip the book based on the simplicity of the illustrations. 

Sugar was a fantastic experience. I loved this historical fiction set in the south during the time after the civil war. I did not know that plantation owners used Chinese labor until just recently. This was the second book I read this year that showed that experience. This was truly a multicultural book as we saw the plantation owner's son, a black girl, and Chinese workers learning about each other's cultures. If you don't know anything about Sugar, watch this excellent book trailer:


I started to get more deliberate about working on this list again, though you might notice a glaring lack of Printz titles. I may get back to them sometime. The two picture books were fun. I liked When Turtle Grew Feathers though some of the rhyming bothered me. I can see it being a great one to use in comparison with the Tortoise and the Hare. Tamalitos was a great poem with food. The illustrations weren't my favorite, but I do like any opportunity to pair books with food. Looks Like Daylight was excellent. I enjoyed hearing from more than 40 different Native young people. They share a great deal of wisdom as they tell of their experiences and dreams for the future.

I am hoping to pick up some more of the books on my list, but since I am still only at 49/110, it is highly unlikely that I will finish them all in 2014. I suspect that it will be the Printz books that keep me from my goal. There is always an opportunity for a #MustRead2015 list. Perhaps I should have started with a much lower number? I am still getting tons of books read, just not the exact set that I meant to read. I am easily sidetracked. ;)


  1. 110 was a very ambitious goal! I have a kind of ongoing in the back of my mind Printz challenge and try to read a few titles each year. Someday I'm going to be able to check that award off! (Though I'm barely reading at a pace to keep up with NEW Printz winners and honor books at this point!). I'd really like to read Sugar and The Round House--those are two books that might go on my #MustReadin2015 list! Haven't even finished this year's challenge but I'm already plotting for next year's! I chose 15 books this year and think I will choose more next year. I hear you on being easily sidetracked--I read all the time, just not always the books I intend to read!

    1. Plot away. Exactly, I read a ton, but not always what I intend. :)

  2. Always a #MustReadin2015 list - I just think of these lists as a way of having titles not get lost in the midst of so many books. But sometimes they get lost for wonderful reasons - like so many other great books! Now adding Sugar to my TBR list.

  3. I love the sentiment that there's always a 2015 list! Indeed! I always love coming to your blog and seeing such a diverse group of books. Thanks for sharing! Sugar is already on my TBR, but reading your summary makes me want to nudge it up a bit higher in the stack.
    My update: http://notforlunch.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/must-read-in-2014-update-3/