If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.
The Past Week:
Migrant by Jose Manuel Mateo and illustrated by Javier Martinez Pedro made my jaw drop. The unusual format - a codex that folds out accordion style with intricate illustration really captured my attention. I got lost in the details of the illustration. Beyond that, the story of a migrant family facing the dangers of leaving their small village to cross into the U.S. gripped me even with so few words. I am not sure that libraries are going to buy it given the unusual format, but it will be on the shelf at my school. I found a wonderful review of it at Hyperallergic if you want to see the full illustration and know more about the book.
Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Qin Leng made me smile so much. Hana has started taking violin lessons after spending time with her grandfather in Japan who plays. Now she feels she is ready to be in a talent show. Her brothers are not so sure since she has only had three lessons. She has a surprise for them though. This is a wonderful book to use with primary children particularly in a music class.
Haiti: My Country is a gorgeous book. The illustrations are portraits of Haitian school children and are beautifully done. The poetry is written by Haitian teens. The poems revolve around home, nature and Haiti. They are full of hope and life.
Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made it from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues by Matt Taveres - wow that's a long title. I don't watch baseball, so to me, Pedro was just a name. Through this picture book biography, I learned more about Pedro and really appreciated learning about his relationship with his older brother. It's a wonderful story of family and persistence.
Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer's Alphabet by Chris Barton was super fun. I think that gaming readers will love reading this one. The illustrations are fun. I loved the definition of joystick even though it made me feel old, "A crude device used by ancient civilizations-by your dad, your mom, even your grandparents...."
Picture This by Lynda Barry was a great inspiration for creativity this week. I wrote about that here and here. For elementary level teachers/librarians this is not a children's book really. I don't think there is anything in here that is adult in nature except the prevalence of cigarettes, but it wasn't written for children. One of the lines resonated with me, "You have to be willing to spend time making things for no known reason." That's what I did the past few days. I made a few fun collages, and a drawing too. I also liked these two questions, "What if drawing was a way to get to a certain state of mind that was very good for us? And what if this certain state of mind was more important that the drawing itself?" There are still a few more activities that are suggested in the book that I want to try. Here are some of the things I made for no known reason:
All the Answers by Kate Messner was an ARC that I picked up from the publisher at ALA Midwinter. It was a story that drew me in and made me care about the characters. I loved that there was the addition of magical realism threaded through this family story. I read the story straight through and enjoyed every minute of it. Who wouldn't want a pencil that had all of the answers? In some ways it reminded me of Bigger Than a Breadbox and I think readers who enjoyed that will love this one too.
The Coming Week:
I found the first Octavian Nothing book to be quite a struggle and this one is turning out to be the same. I think the storyline is interesting, I think I just find so much telling and so little action and dialogue to be boring. I feel shallow and like a lazy reader to admit it, but that's the way it is. I am listening to this second one on CD while doing other things so that I can hopefully stick with it since it's one of my "must read" books for this year having gotten a Printz award. I'm just at the very beginning of all of the other books. I'm also about to start a re-read of Gabi for a review. I am not sure if I will finish all of these, but will give it a good shot. Have a great week filled with reading.
Reading Challenge Update
Diversity on the Shelf/Diverse Books - 52/100
Goodreads - 106/520
#MustRead2015 - 10/53
Diversity Reading Challenge - 6/12