Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/30/12




It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
After doing the meme for a couple of weeks, we realized this would be a fun meme to start up with a kidlit focus - anyone reading and reviewing books in children's literature - it can be picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, you name it in the world of kidlit and it's in! We have loved being a part of this meme and we hope you do too! We encourage everyone participating to go and visit the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and to comment on as many posts as you can. We love talking books and believe in sharing and discussing what we're reading. We hope you join us!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Jen Says: I didn't get nearly as much read last week as I had hoped. I was stuck in a funk trying to reread Hurt Go Happy all week. I finally sat down Friday night and Saturday night and was able to finish it. I loved it so much more this time. I enjoyed it the first time but I didn't like Joey's mother. I think the memory of how much I disliked her made it hard for me to reread it. Once I decided I wanted to read it again and judge it again, I was able to read it and enjoy it. It really is a great book. I realized that I still don't like Joey's mom, but it made me appreciate Joey so much more as a strong female protagonist. She is awesome. I started a few pages of Night Circus but that's it because I spent most of the week slowly rereading Hurt Go Happy.

On audio, I did much better. I finished up Stargirl on Monday morning. Loved hearing John Ritter narrate. I started Fire away and loved it even more this time. Kristin Cashore is amazing. I love her female characters and I love her male characters. I even love her antagonists, they are so interesting. I can't wait for Bitterblue. I started a tiny bit of The Outsiders

Kellee Says: Had a busy reading week, but a slow finishing week. As of right now, I have only finished one novel- Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I ended up loving Liesl and how love for her father drove her to be so brave.  

Reviewed Last Week:
See You at Harry'sThe Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Just click on any picture above to go read the review

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Jen Says: I have loved rereading in April but I am so excited to get back to new books! I am so ready! I am going to stick with The Outsiders and finish that on audio and then I'll be putting in The Big Splash by Jack Ferraiolo. I am also going to stick with Night Circus this week, too. I will be starting Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger and Marty McGuire Digs Worms by Kate Messner. I'm sure I'll be juggling these new reads as I work through Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I am lucky enough to be going to the International Reading Association Convention in Chicago this week so I'm not sure how much reading I'll actually get done even though I'll be talking books nonstop. 

Kellee Says: I started a couple of other books and will finish some, but may not finish others. We'll see! I know I am going to finish The Hero's Guide to Saving your Kingdom and I hope to finish The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Both are so good, in different ways, so far. Hopefully I will have a more successful week this week. 

This Week's Reviews:
  Check back throughout the week to hear about these books. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Please link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
 and 

Read Along on I-94 - Rereading Part 4 - Cloudette

Thanks for joining Colby and I as we have reread some of our favorites that he chose this month. 
You can catch up on our previous chats here: 

JEN: We have made it to the end of our month of rereading! It has been so much fun to take time to revisit favorites and to be able to talk to you about them. Thanks for joining in on the It’s A-Okay to Reread in April Challenge. The last book we are discussing this month is Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld. How can you look at the cover of this book and not love it? I love it.

COLBY: Tom Lichtenheld is brilliant. I’m so excited to talk Cloudette.

JEN: Here’s what you had to say about Cloudette on GoodReads: “I am a giant Duck Rabbit fan, and this book by Tom Lichtenheld makes me so happy that he is a children's book author. Cloudette is a book about a fun-loving cloud that doesn't feel like she belongs in the sky that she lives in. She wants to make a difference, but she cannot figure out her place.”   

COLBY: I’m always up for a story about an underdog. I remember cheering the first time I read Cloudette. It’s such a fun read.  

JEN: The message in Cloudette is so strong. It is so easy to feel like I am just one little human being on this planet teeming with of gobs of people. Sometimes I feel like one little me can only make so much of a difference but this book reminds me that if I put my mind to it, I can accomplish a lot. And what I accomplish may only touch a few people, but it still makes a difference somehow. Books are such an amazing venue for sharing these brilliant ideas. I have learned so much about myself and others and the world from reading and talking about books. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all the characters and the stories I carry around with me in my heart. Look at what Charlotte and Ivan have taught us about speaking up for yourself and others and trying something when it seems like there may be no hope. Look at what Auggie has taught us about kindness and compassion for others. Look at what Marty teaches us about acting outwardly with respect for others when you might feel another way inside. Look at what Bear and Rabbit teach us about messing with bears and their precious, pointy, red hats...  

COLBY: Ha! I love what we’ve learned from all of those characters. Especially Bear and Rabbit. :)Talking about the message and theme in stories are some of my favorite book conversations with fourth graders. It’s fun to see what they take away from books. I love when they take away something totally different from what I took away. It’s always fun to have those conversations. A great book is able to touch different readers in different ways. I think Cloudette is a great book.  

JEN: I have noticed that when I read picture books with older students, recognizing the message and theme is really important. My older students like to be read to but talking about the overall message and then about what they can take away from the message and how they can apply it to their own life is what seems to be critical in reading picture books with older students. I love when they have a different understanding of the book from me! It’s through these discussions of great books that we grow as readers and as people.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's A-Okay to Reread in April - Week 4

April is nearing its end and that means my month of rereading is coming to an end, too. It has been a great month of rereading but I am excited to get to my TBR that has waited until May. The first books I am going to read are Kate Messner's Marty McGuire Digs Worms and Tom Angleberger's Fake Mustache. I'll be listening to Jack Ferraiolo's The Big Splash. Here's how I did with my rereading list!

Jen's April Rereads:

Time Traveler's Wife *finished reread 4/6/12*
Wonder (audio) *finished reread 4/4/12*
Graceling *finished reread 4/20/12*
Charlotte's Web (audio) *finished reread 4/9/12*
Hurt Go Happy (I skipped it in my video, sorry!) *currently rereading*
Marty McGuire #1 *finished reread 4/20/12*
Little Princess
Finnikin of the Rock (audio) *finished reread 4/16/12*
Night Circus *currently rereading*
 Fire (audio) *finished reread 4/27/12*
Maniac McGee (audio) *finished reread 4/9/12*
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (audio) *finished reread 4/20/12*

Backups (If I have time):
Outsiders (audio) *currently rereading*
First Part Last (audio) *finished reread 4/3/12*
Stargirl (audio) *finished reread 4/23/12*

Jen's Deep Thoughts on Rereading:
I am truly amazed at how much I have loved this month of rereading. Before this month, I would have told you that I don't reread. The one book I have had the desire and patience to reread in the past is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Otherwise, I had reread a book to teach it or to read aloud with students or to see if my memories of it from my childhood were still the same today. In the last few years, I reread The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and The Babysitter's Club series by Ann M. Martin. My purpose for rereading these was to see if they were as great as I remember. I have also recently reread Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle to see if they were still as confusing to me now an adult as I remember them being when I read them in school. I still cannot identify with Holden and, while I respect A Wrinkle In Time more now, there were still parts of it that confused me and I felt it was on the uber side of sci-fi.

My purpose for rereading some of the books on my list this April was to compare my memories from when I read them as a child. Charlotte's Web, Maniac Magee, Charlotte Doyle, and Outsiders did not disappoint me. I loved them as a child and I loved them still now. I was glad to revisit them and have the story clear in my head after such a long time.

The other books, I have read more recently and simply wanted to reread for fun - to be able to immerse myself in the stories again and bask in the amazing writing of some of my favorite authors. I have loved rereading every single one...except for Hurt Go Happy. I really enjoyed this book the first time but this month I was in love with rereading my favorite fantasies and I just wasn't in the mood to reread it. Nothing against the book. Part of it was that I had a busy week and didn't have much time to read, but I also felt myself not excited to read it. I finally picked up Night Circus last night for a change of pace.

I have done a lot of rereading this month! I wasn't sure I would get through it all and I'm still not sure...but I'm pretty close! I don't think I'll get to Little Princess but I have started the others and I am going to try my best to get through the ones I'm currently reading right now. I can do it!

Thank you to everyone who reread along with me in April and for sharing your rereading revelations! Please let me know in the comments if you are completed the Rereading Rules!  or the Rereading Rockstar! challenge. Leave your e-mail in the comments and I will send you your button!!! You win!


Rereading Rules!
Reread 1 novel (MG or YA) and 3 picture books or chapter books.
Write at least 1 blog post or 1 comment that shares your rereading experience.
Any book that you have read before - 
whether it was 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago counts as a reread! 

Rereading Rockstar!
Reread 2 novels (MG or YA) and 5 picture books or chapter books.
Write at least 2 blog posts or 4 comments that share your rereading experience.
Any book that you have read before - 
whether it was 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago counts as a reread!  

 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kite Day

Title: Kite Day 
Author: Will Hillenbrand 
Illustrator: Will Hillendbrand 
Publisher: Holiday House 
Publication Date: February 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: On a windy spring day Bear and Mole decide to fly a kite. But when a storm rumbles in, the kite string breaks! The two friends tear after their kite and find it in a tree, protecting a nest of baby birds from the rain. 
What I Think: Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the energy that comes with the growth happening this time of year. I have always loved being able to get outside again and the excitement of finding the perfect weather for flying a kite. Kites have always been fun for me but are extra special because I sewed my own kite for a project for my high school math class. It was the most fun I have ever hard working on a project. My parents both helped me a lot and we went to a kite store and the fabric store to pull it all together. I am still extremely proud of my kite to this day. (Can you tell?)

This book is all about the perfect kite day, two industrious friends, and one special kite. The watercolor artwork brings the simple text to life. I was looking for a good mentor text to show my students sentence structure and how words work together in a sentence, and this book is exactly what I needed. I used the text in Kite Day to help my students develop a sense of sentence and how parts of speech work in a sentence. We laid out samples of the text that I had on sentence strips and looked for similarities in sentence structure. We recognized that some sentences are simply noun + verb and then we looked at how adjectives can be added into a sentence and where we are most likely to find them. We did the same with prepositional phrases and direct objects. I did this with older students who had learned grammar and parts of speech before but I found that this was a task that really made them think and examine the text in a new way. Next students were asked to write their own sentences for the story by following the different sentence structures we recognized from the text and then to revise the sentences by adding parts of the sentence to make it more complex.

Sometimes what might look like a story written with simple text is exactly what’s needed to look at language and writing. Beyond the writing and the illustrations, this book has such a sweet message. As an optimist, I am constantly looking for the good in every situation and this book is an example of this and would also be a good discussion starter about this topic.
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 12
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 3  
Read With: Expository text about building a kite or weather, Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld, And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
Snatch of Text:   

"Bear collected.
Mole studied.
Bear snatched.
Bear measured and cut.
Mole drew.
They both constructed."

Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Predictions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Sentence Structure, Personal Narrative, Expository, Descriptive 
Writing Prompts: Write a simple sentence that models the authors style in Kite Day and then write sentences that expand on the sentence and make it more complex by adding adjectives, prepositional phrases, or compound predicates. Write about a time in your life when you built something. Write about a time in your life when you flew a kite for the first time. (Maybe after the class flies kites together.) Explain the steps you need to take to successfully fly a kite - or maybe explain what can go wrong when you are trying to fly a kite! Design and describe a kite that represents you as a person. 
Topics Covered: Friendship, Integration - Science/Weather, Family, Motivation, Construction - Making Something
Jen *hearts* It:
 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Humming Room

The Humming Room by Ellen PotterTitle: The Humming Room
Author: Ellen Potter
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February, 2012
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Goodreads Summary: Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life. 

As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.

Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a 
tragic secret. 

Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write.
What Kellee Thinks: Take The Secret Garden throw in some folk tales, a dash of mysterious characters, and a handful of Ellen Potter's luscious descriptions and you have yourself The Humming Room. Ellen Potter does a great job of capturing what we all loved about The Secret Garden- the secrets, the mystery, the hope; but she also added in her own touches through a unique setting on the St. Lawrence River and the folk tales that exist in this magical place.  I also loved Roo much more than Mary from The Secret Garden.  I understood why Roo was angry and acting the way she was while I always felt that Mary was just being spoiled and rude.  And Roo is a character that many will connect with.  Her subtle way of going about life and appreciating so many little things is a beautiful quality.  Also, some readers will connect with her need for isolation and her disconnect from other people- a quality that is not often found in a book and just might be what this reader needs.  Overall, a beautiful book giving homage to a wonderful classic.  

Sidenote: Love the symbolism of the heron.  I first realized what a solitary blue heron symbolized when I read Cynthia Voigt's A Solitary Blue. Such a beautiful animal and strong symbol. 
What Jen Thinks: I loved reading Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and A Little Princess as a child. I reread The Secret Garden in 2009 because I remember loving the story and wanted to remember exactly what the story was about. I’m glad I had so recently read the book because Ellen Potter’s The Humming Room is inspired by this book. I was able to recognize so many similarities. In both books, it bothered me how fast things happen at the end. It seems like so much of the book was spent figuring out the house and the secret that is hiding but then once the main character has discovered everything, the relationship with her cousin and her uncle goes so fast. I wish both authors had spent more time developing this part of the story. Also, is anyone else wondering about Roo's parents? I was so intrigued that I wanted to know more, I felt like this was only half explained.


What I really enjoyed about Ellen’s book were the differences between her book and The Secret Garden. In general, Ellen's writing is completely lyrical and, frankly, melodic to read. It gives the entire book a different feel that is unique to Ellen Potter. One difference that stood out to me was that she changed around the setting. I loved how Roo has a completely different house (on an island, no less) to discover. It was fun to read where her explorations led her. I love the idea of old houses with hidden passageways here and there. My favorite part was the addition of the folklore surrounding the island.  It was an added element that made the story much more interesting for me. Reading about Jack and about his friendship with Roo was the best part. I wish this part of the story could have been developed more…maybe we need another book, Miss Ellen!


If ever two books were made for practicing text-to-text connections, this is it. Ellen Potter has given teachers a reason to revive their recommendations of The Secret Garden, a classic, well-loved book, and then at the same time to recommend The Humming Room, a new twist on that beloved novel. I have enjoyed looking at how the two books are similar and how they differ and I can see how a student would be up to the same challenge. This would even make a great mother-daughter book club discussion.
Read Together: Grades 3 to 7
Read Alone: Grades 5 to 8
Read With: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt, Our Only May Amelia and Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, The Secret of Indigo Moon by G.P. Taylor, Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O'Dell
Snatch of Text: 
 "The water looked thick, like an expanse of angry gray muscle. 
It shoved at the boat mercilessly, tossing them about, making Roo feel helpless and angry." 

"She stood very still for a moment, listening. No, not listening exactly. It was more like sensing. 
She tested places in this way. In some places the air felt very full.  These places smothered her; 
too many people came and went. She preferred the places where the air felt wispy, 
where everything passed through lightly and carefully." 
Mentor Text for: Figurative Language, Characterization, Adaptations, Symbolism, Theme, Descriptive, Setting
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were nervous to take a risk. How did you overcome your apprehension? Was it worth it to take the risk or did you regret it?
Topics Covered: Death, Grief, Family, Isolation, Nature, Animals, Hope, Friendship, Folklore
  
We Both *heart* It: 

and 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

See You at Harry's


See You at Harry'sTitle: See You at Harry's
Author: Jo Knowles
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Summary: As Fern enters middle school, everyone in her family is dealing with their own problems. Her father is worried about the business, her mother only pays attention Fern's baby brother Charlie, her sister Sara is miserable working at the family diner while all of her friends have gone off to college, and her brother Holden, who she is normally close to, is dealing with his sexual identity. In the middle of all of this, Fern feels ignored- well except by Charlie who is always following her around and annoying her. The only person keeping Fern sane is her level-headed and optimistic best friend Ran. He almost makes her believe that everything will be okay. But then everything changes and even Ran cannot believe that all will be well.

What Kellee Thinks: This book is brilliant. Jo Knowles has taken a story that seems like a coming of age story and made it about not only her, but her family and so much more. Now, I don't want to say too much as the devastation in the book was not what I expected and I want to allow you to feel the same shock as I did. What I thought this book was going to be about ended up being a subtext to what the family must really wade through. 

I read this book in one sitting and the emotions I felt through this book were such a roller coaster ride. I cried for about 1/3 of the book, I laughed often and was so very proud by the end. My heart was exhausted by the time I finished. 

I love this book very much. I will give you three reasons. 1) Very rarely (like only 2 other times) has a book made me laugh out loud and cry within pages of each other. 2) Fern is a young girl that is so relatable and likeable that you can't help loving her and her voice. 3) This book is beautifully written and will stay with you for a long time. 

What Jen Thinks: As a mom, I was so mad at Jo Knowles while reading this book. I was completely blindsided by the unexpected happening. It caught me off guard and it made me so sad. Looking back, there were some clues, but I really think most readers won’t suspect what happens in this book. As a reader, I am amazed by how Jo is able to bring readers into the heart of the main character. I was just as shocked as Fern and then my emotions seemed to mirror hers as I continued to read the story. It is a true feat that Jo Knowles has accomplished to bring readers into this experience. She did a great job of writing Fern’s emotions as she deals with what happens.

As a teacher, this was a book that I couldn’t really booktalk. I was telling a 6th grade student about it each day as I read more…until I got to the “unexpected happening” and then I couldn’t tell her anything else about the book. I had to tell her she would just have to read it if she really wanted to know what was going to happen. There was nothing else I could tell her without giving it away. Of course, as soon as I was finished, she was desperate to read it herself. And she did and she loved it. She devoured it.

Most of the books that I award five stars or five hearts to are books that have really touched me emotionally. If an author has written a book that has the power to make me cry, then it’s a five star/heart book right away. Usually I have connected so much with the characters that their story brings me to tears. Sometimes their story hits closer to home than others. I think lots of readers will identify with Fern’s story in somewhere along the way.

I wish I could tell you more about the story other than it was very well-written and that it will most likely make you cry. Doesn’t that just sound like a book you have to read so you can find out what happens to Fern and her family? You know you do!
Read Together: Grades 5 to 8 
Read Alone: Grades 6 to 10
Read With: Getting Near to Baby by Audrey Couloumbis, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Frannie in Pieces by Delia Ephron, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Snatch of Text: 
"When we finished sniffling, my mom adjusted herself in the bed so she could look at me. 'Fern,' she said softly. 'Do you know why I named you Fern?'
I nodded looking at the drawing of the girl on the cover of the book. 
'Why?' she asked. 
'Because Fern is one of your favorite characters?'
'And why is that?'
I shrugged. 
'Because Fern cares,' she said. 'From the moment you were born, I could tell you had a special soul. I knew you'd be a good friend. A hero.'
I looked at my chest and tried to feel my soul buried in there, deep in my heart. 
'It's true,' my mom said. 'Not everyone would share a sandwich with Random Smith.'
I smiled, feeling my soul stir a little." (p. 3)


"Holden is always running off in a huff, and I am always the one searching for him and bringing him home. Holden's named after the main character in The Catcher in the Rye. I wasn't supposed to read it until I'm older, but I snuck my mom's paperback copy out of her room last year. The pages were all soft from her reading it so many times. The book is about this boy who's depressed because he things everyone he knows is a phony, so he runs away. I understand why my mom liked the book and all, but I personally think is was a big mistake to name your kid after a boy who tries to kill himself, even if he is thoughtful and brilliant. My favorite parts in the book are when the main characters talks about his little sister, Phoebe. Sometimes I think I'm a little like Phoebe to our Holden. Because in the book she's the one he goes back for. And that's sort of like me. Only I have to go looking for him first." (p. 25-26) 
Mentor Text for: Voice, Plot Development, Making Connections, Dialogue, Characterization, Descriptive Writing, Predicting
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you wanted attention from you parents but had to compete with another sibling or you parents' job or something else that took their attention from you.
Topics Covered: Family, Identity, Friendship, Sexuality, Grief

 *Thank you to Jo Knowles for sending us each a copy of the ARC to review for the blog* 

We Both *heart* It:
Join us on May 8th for a very special interview with 
See You at Harry's author Jo Knowles as well as a giveaway.
 and 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

World Book Night 2012!




World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books in the U.S., the U.K., and Ireland on April 23, 2012. Tens of thousands of people will go into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks. For more information about World Book Night, please go to www.worldbooknight.org.


This year I applied to receive books to give away for World Book Night. I was so thrilled to be accepted. There were 30 different books to choose from. I chose my top three and was assigned The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie to give away. I really love this book. I think male and female readers would enjoy it but there are definitely some boy discussions in this book that would especially appeal to the males. I learned a lot about life on a reservation. It made me really sad at times but also had me laughing out loud. I listened to the audiobook and Sherman Alexie himself read it. It was hysterical. You can read my review from Banned Books Week to read more about why I love this book.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
 “At once humorous and stirring, Alexie's novel follows Junior, a resident of the Spokane reservation who transfers out of the reservation's school -- and into a nearby rich, all-white farm school -- in order to nurture his desire to become a cartoonist. Junior encounters resistance there, a backlash at home, and numerous family problems -- all the while relaying his thoughts and feelings via amusing descriptions and drawings.”  -Barnes & Noble
I gave the books to students at the high school that I work at. I have seven schools and one of those happens to be a high school this year. My student, Nathan, is a freshman there. I have worked with Nathan since he was in 7th grade and have watched his reading preferences change. I think he'll like this one. I delivered my books to his English teacher on Friday. I wrote a letter to the students explaining World Book Night and then stuck some bookmarks from Gae Polisner's The Pull of Gravity and trading cards from Vordak The Incomprehensible: Rule the School by Vordak the Incomprehensible in each book. 
I kind of feel like a book angel because I didn't actually hand the books to the kids myself. The English teacher I worked with was very thankful to be able to give the book so her students. She thought about which students she thought would appreciate the book and for whom the book might make a difference in their day or their year or their life. It was fun to hear about some of the students she thought would enjoy getting the book. 

Isn't this such a great event!? I think it is so cool that this is possible. It's great for older readers to get some love and get some free books. Love it! Thank you World Book Night and all of its sponsors for making this happen. I'm glad to be a part of it. 

 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/23/12



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
After doing the meme for a couple of weeks, we realized this would be a fun meme to start up with a kidlit focus - anyone reading and reviewing books in children's literature - it can be picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, you name it in the world of kidlit and it's in! We have loved being a part of this meme and we hope you do too!  We encourage everyone participating to go and visit the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and to comment on as many posts as you can. We love talking books and believe in sharing and discussing what we're reading. We hope you join us!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Jen Says: I did pretty good last week with audiobooks - I finished Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. It's a superb fantasy read and I recommend it to anyone who likes Kristin Cashore's Graceling or Fire. I then listened to The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. I'm excited to hear what John and Colby think of it when they get to it in their Nerdbery challenge. I really enjoyed it but I do think it would read better. The narrator was a little stiff and dry for me. I recommend reading this one instead of listening to it. I have also started Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli on audio. Love this book! It's read by John Ritter, a pleasant surprise.

Reading-wise, I finished reading Graceling and finished Marty McGuire (#1) by Kate Messner. I am working on rereading Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby. I also read some picture books Bawk and Roll by Tammi Sauer was cute and The Three Questions by John Muth (based on Leo Tolstoy) brought me to tears.

Kellee Says: I did better this week than I thought I did. I finished 4 novels: 
  • Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, which I liked, but I wanted to like more than I did. I reviewed it on Goodreads if you want to see what I thought: my review
  • This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel which is a prequel of Frankenstein and I really liked it. Oppel is an amazing writer and I've enjoyed everything I've read/listened to of his. This one will probably get a TMT post because it is an awesome companion to Frankenstein
  • The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann which is a fun book which actually fits the blurb "Hunger Games meets Harry Potter".  It is a crazy dystopian fantasy filled with adventure.
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young which is a dystopian adventure that took me a while to get in to (the dialect and author's style of writing took me a bit), but then I couldn't put it down.  It is a definite mentor text for characterization and world building as well as unique choices in style and punctuation, so I'll being doing a post for it in the future. 
I also read the newest Lunch Lady graphic novel: Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes which is a great addition to the series and a great math cross-curricular book (add it to the pile with Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace and Babymouse: Dragonslayer).  

Reviewed Last Week:
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny RorbyThe Outside of a Horse by Ginny RorbyLost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyMarty McGuire Digs Worms!Marty McGuire (Marty McGuire #1)
Just click on any picture above to go read the review

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Jen Says: I'm super excited to get in my car today to finish listening to Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. It has really spurred me to want to listen to Love, Stargirl next because I think I love that book even more. I do have Fire by Kristin Cashore to listen to first. I am going to try listening this time just because it is so long and I need to devote my reading attention to books that I can't get on audio but we'll see if I like the audio of Fire since I wasn't a huge fan of the Graceling audio. After I finish Hurt Go Happy, I'm planning on reading Night Circus (this is an adult book I am excited to reread and savor). I'm also hoping to reread Little Princess and that will mean I have reread all the books I had wanted to reread in April! We'll see how much reading I can get to this week!

Kellee Says: I'll be picking up Liesl and Po, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and The Apothecary. Cannot wait to read all of them. 


I'm also currently listening to *gasp* an adult book: Dirty Job by Christopher Moore which was recommended to me by Cindy Minnich (@cbethm) so I have no worries about its awesomeness. 

This Week's Reviews:
   See You at Harry'sThe Humming Room
Kite Day: A Bear and Mole Book
Check back throughout the week to hear about these books. 


Announcements:
We have some announcements for you! 

We are gearing up for our two-year blogiversary here at Teach Mentor Texts! As part of our celebration, we are making a video about what reading means to us. Anyone can participate! Send a video of how you finish the statement, “Reading is...” You can send your videos as an attachment to Jen at jen@teachmentortexts.com or to our Dropbox by clicking this link: http://db.tt/EgZ4NIfi  


For some examples, please visit our Reading Is... video post.


You can be creative, but your video should be less than 15 seconds so we can include multiple videos. Try to keep your ending to the sentence between 1-10 words. Videos will be edited to ensure they will fit into our montage.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and videos with us!

Also, it is the last day to vote for TMT in the Independent Book Blogger Awards- just hit the VOTE button in the sidebar to vote for us.

So, what are you reading this week? 
Please link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!

Happy reading!
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