Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/31/12



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 had so much fun connecting my favorite 2012 books with my favorite 2012 songs in my 2012 Book Remix yesterday. I can't believe this year has come to an end and all the awesomeness that has happened this year! This week I finished Mindset and made it almost to the last CD of The Talent Code. Both are great reads that I would recommend to teachers. Fascinating and totally applicable brain research and insight into what motivates and ignites people. I also read some of Bird by Bird for Teachers Write and it's awesome. Very honest and funny, I'm looking forward to reading more.
     I also finished Sean Griswold's Head! It was great! I am a definite fan of Lindsey Leavitt now. I'm excited to read more of her books...including her 2013 book, Going Vintage...wish I had an ARC. Anyway! It was a great reading week!

Kellee Says: I love breaks. Not because I don't like my job, but because I can do #bookaday! This week I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to read, but luckily I have another week! 
     The big highlight of my week was that I reread the first 3 books of The Giver quartet and finally got to Son. MAN! The ending was SO good. I will definitely do a post about The Giver quartet now that I am done. Another high point was that I found a 2012 book that I almost missed and that I really enjoyed, The Last Free Cat by Jon Blake, which is a dystopian that is different than most of the ones out there. Also, I am a sucker for a book about a cat lover. I started listening to The Spiderwick Chronicles and got through 1.5 of them - so far so good.  Additionally I read The Glass Collector by Anna Perrera, a contemporary historical fiction novel taking place in the poverty-ridden outskirts of Cairo, and Teen Boat! by Dave Roman & John Green, a whacky graphic novel that my students will love, and enjoyed them both. 
     What I wanted to end with was another special moment of the week. My father is an art enthusiast (runs The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN) and he found a special picture book called The Cat and the Bird by Geraldine Elschner which is inspired by the artist Paul Klee that he gave to me for Christmas. I read it immediately, but even before I began, there was a message from my dad that made me just tear up! It was such a sweet gesture and was a great picture book as well. 

Reviewed Last Week:

Just click on any picture above to go read the review

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Jen Says: I'm planning to finish up Bird by Bird and The Talent Code. I did start Hide and Seek and I'm excited to read more. I love Kate Messner's strong characters. I also want to read Outliers. Overall, I'm so excited to start some more 2013 books! Yay! Here's to another great year and hopefully to more friends, continued friendships, and new fun in 2013. Huzzah!

Kellee Says: We'll see where this week goes! I have a pile of books to chose from and I have no rhyme or reason to them. I know I will read Hattie Ever After this week, but next to that we'll see what I choose! Happy 2013 TMT readers, fellow bloggers and book lovers!!! 



This Week's Reviews:
This week we are going to welcome the New Year by: 
Recapping 2012 Book Challenges
Choosing and Sharing Our 2013 Book Challenges
Kellee's Favorite Non-2012 2012 Reads
2013 Books We Are Looking Forward To
Jen's Bookish 2013 Un-Boring List 
Check back throughout the week to hear about these books. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you please try to comment on at least the three blogs that posted before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!
 and

Jen's 2012 Book Remix

It's almost the end of 2012! Looking back at all the reading I did and all the adventures I've had this year has been a lot of fun. It's amazing how many exciting things we did in one year. I wrote an Un-Boring List for 2012 and I almost did everything on the list...but I did some really cool stuff that wasn't even on the list. Overall, it was a great year.

The end of the year means it's time to do a best of 2012 post. I've noticed lately that as I'm reading a lot of times a song will pop into my head kind of like a soundtrack for the book. I thought it would be fun to pair my 2012 books with some of my favorite 2012 songs. 


House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser
1. Gotye and Kimbra's "Somebody That I Used To Know"

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Every Day by David Levithan
2. Fun.'s "Some Nights"

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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
3. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"

Katherine Applegate was a joy to meet at this year's Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast.

 I'm so glad we got to know Ivan through this book! I was devastated to hear of his passing.

Of course, Call Me Maybe came to mind instantly thanks to Colby Sharp's Johnny Tremain Newbery Challenge video from this summer...if you haven't seen it (I don't know how...) it's a must-see! 

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From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
4. Fun. and Janelle MonĂ¡e's "We Are Young"

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Wonder by RJ Palacio
5. Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

Meeting RJ Palacio with my student Michelle was one of the highlights of this year for sure!

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth
6. Adele's "Set Fire To The Rain"

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
7. One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful"

We participated in John Green Week this year and here is our preview review!

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Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani
8. Phillip Phillips's "Home"

Colby and I started our Reading Along I-94 Book Club after NCTE last year. 
Discussing Same Sun Here was one of my favorites!
Reading Along I-94: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
9. Imagine Dragons' "It's Time"

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This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
10. Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

I can't believe I actually met and got to have pizza with Jon Klassen so I was able to post My Interview with Jon. That's pretty wild. I can't even believe it still. It's really really wild. 

At NCTE last year, I Want My Hat Back was so much fun and we celebrated this year with Our NCTE This Is Not My Hat Video. The red hat and it's antics wasn't staying in Vegas.

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Drama by Raina Telgemeier
11. Owl City and Carly Rae Jepson's "Good Time"

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See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
12. Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath"


This book was another one Colby and I read for our Reading Along I-94 book club
...it was a perfect book to read and discuss. 

Reading Along I-94: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


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Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
13. Owl City's "When Can I See You Again"

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Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

I had to end with this book because a chicken yodeling video is just the exact way to end this 2012 book review. Believe me, you want to click the link above and see this man yodel...with chickens. 

Colby and I reread this book to look closely at Tom's craft as an author - awesome.

Reading Along I-94: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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Thanks for reading through yet another 2012 end-of-the-year book list! 
Have any songs popped into your head as you have been reading? It doesn't matter if it's a book or song from 2012 or not! Please share!

 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sleep Like a Tiger

Title: Sleep Like a Tiger 
Author: Mary Logue 
Illustrator: Pamela Zagarenski 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 
Publication Date: October, 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny–like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski’s rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem. 
What I Think: I love when books get it right in terms of text and illustrations. It's like a picture book home run and this book is exactly that for me. I love how the story starts with a sweet little girl who just isn't sleepy. As a parent, I can totally relate to this part of the story! How many times have we tried to put kids to bed either to have them say they aren't sleepy or to have them get out of bed every two seconds for a drink or to be tucked in again or because they are itchy...or a hundred other excuses. I love how the parents in this book treat their daughter and answer her questions. (If only I had that much patience at bedtime.) The whole book is rich with descriptive language that just oozes night-time calm. The mixed media artwork is so great. I think I've come to the realization that I adore mixed media when it comes to picture books if it's done right and goes well with the text. In this case, I truly think the mixed media adds to the imaginative elements in the book and helps readers visualize what the text shows the readers. Other books that I love with mixed media are: The Book of Sleep, Balloons Over Broadway, and 11 Experiments That Failed and M is for Mischief.
     I do have to add that I have read Runaway Bunny because it was a board book we were given when Peanut was born...but I'm not a fan. The rhythm and premise of the story is sweet but it kind of creeps me out and there is one line in particular in there when the bunny turns into a sailboat that really creeps me out. I would definitely recommend this book as a baby gift along with The Book of Sleep if you're in need of a baby gift.
Read Together: Grades K - 3 
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5 
Read With: The Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na, Sophie's Fish by A.E. Cannon, Yes by Jez Alborough, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet, 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill, M is for Mischief by Linda Ashman
Snatch of Text:  
"'Do whales sleep?' she asked.
'Yes. They swim slowly around and around
in a large circle in the ocean and sleep.'

'Tiny snails?' she asked.
'They curl up like a cinnamon roll inside their shell.'"
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing, Identifying Literary Elements 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Similes, Onomatopoeia, Descriptive, Mood, Imagery, Rhythm
Writing Prompts: Write a descriptive piece about an animal or a person sleeping. Try to capture the quiet mood of someone or something sleeping and to incorporate literary elements like similes and onomatopoeia.
Topics Covered: Family, Sleep, Childhood, Imagination 
I *heart* It: 
 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cadillac Chronicles


Title: Cadillac Chronicles
Author: Brett Hartman
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Publication Date: October, 2012
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Goodreads Summary: Sixteen year-old Alex Riley’s top priorities in life are to find his long-absent father and a girl with a decent set of breasts. But his mother has a knack for sabotaging his plans. To advance her political career, she takes in an elderly black man named Lester Bray. Lester arrives with a vintage Cadillac and an old man's personality. It takes only a week for Alex's mother to ask Lester to leave. That makes Alex angry. On the morning of his eviction, Lester and Alex set out on a road trip, ostensibly to find the boy's father in Fort Lauderdale. But the two don't just head south. They also cross through un-navigated political, racial, and personal territory. A wild ride, Cadillac Chronicles explores what it means to—finally—find a real friend.
What I Think: This is a book that surprised me. I'll admit that I definitely judged a book by its cover and when I decided to read this book, I assumed it was going to be boring. I am so glad that I still chose to jump in and I am so happy to be able to share this book with others. 
     Alex is a boy much like many of the teens we know- a loner, over medicated, depressed, yet brilliant and talented and no one sees it. Also, he has a mother who just doesn't see that he should be a priority. Lucky for him, his mother's need for publicity and acceptance brought him face to face with a man that changed his life. 
     Even reading this summary, it almost sounds cliche and didactic, but it is more than that. It is a road trip book that doesn't fit into the fold of other road trip books. I am a fan of road trip books because they are definitely a way to help characters unfold and for hope, realization, epiphanies, etc. to play a part and although this book does do that, it's clicheness ends there. 
     And what makes this book so special? Lester Bray. Lester Bray is the man that changes Alex's life. Lester is a man that outside of our story, changed many lives. He is so real that I feel like I know him and also makes me wish I could. 
Read Together: Grades 11 to 12
Read Alone: Grades 9 to 12
Read With: Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown, From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Snatch of Text: "I'm just wondering," Alex said timidly. "Do you think being gay is a choice." ...
     "It's only my opnion," Lester said. "But I think it can't be a choice. Who in his right mind would choose a life of being shunned by the mainstream?" He shook his head to stress the point. "Not, it's got to be something in the wiring." (p. 128)
Mentor Text for: Characterization, Plot Development, Voice, Foreshadowing
Writing Prompts: Sometimes the most unexpected person can change your life. Who have you encountered that ended up making a huge impact on your life? 
Topics Covered: Racism, Depression, Medication, Psychiatry, Politics, Friendship, Parenting, Virginia Tech Shooting, Civil Rights, LBGT

I *heart* It:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kellee's (59) Favorite 2012 Books

As 2012 comes to an end, I started to think about all of my favorite books I read in 2012 and realized that I cannot get them all in one post. I've read more than I've ever read before and I am so proud of my number: 385+!!! Today, I am happy to share with you all my favorite 2012 books that I read in 2012. Next week I am going to share my favorite books that I read in 2012 that were published in a different year. For each post I separated them into categories so that hopefully it will be easier for you to find the just right book for you. Happy reading!
**All of these winners are based completely on my opinion and is only based on the books I read in 2012, not all books published in 2012.**

Best Young Adult Realistic Fiction Novel
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Runners-up: Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown 
and From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas

Best YA Sci-Fi Novel
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Best YA Sequel
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Runner-up: Black Heart by Holly Black

Best YA Humor
The Infects by Sean Beaudoin
Runner-up: Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Best YA Graphic Novel
Hades: Lord of the Dead (Olympians, #4)
Hades by George O'Connor
Runners-up: Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci & Nate Powell, Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
and Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch

Best YA (Contemporary) Historical Fiction
Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie
Runner-up: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Best YA Suspense
This is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

Best YA Poetry
October Mourning by Leslea Newman

YA Novels that Surprised Me
 The Last Free Cat
Cadillac Chronicles by Brett Hartman
The Last Free Cat by Jon Blake

Best Middle Grade Realistic Fiction
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Runners-up: Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy, See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles, 
My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer by Jennifer Gennari, and The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Best MG Sci Fi
Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
Runners-up: Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris by Marissa Moss and Darkbeast by Morgan Keyes

Best MG Sequel
Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan          

Best MG Fantasy
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Runner-up: Neversink by Barry Wolverton

Best MG Mystery
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Runner-up: Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Best MG Historical Fiction
For What It’s Worth by Janet Tashjian

Best MG Humor

Best MG Short Stories
Guys Read: Sports Pages edited by Jon Sciezska

Best MG Graphic Novel
**It was obviously the year for MG GNs - so many great ones!**
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
 
Runners-up: Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, 
One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale, Princeless Vol. 1 by Jeremy Whitely, Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre, 
 Mal & Chad: Food Fight! by Stephen McCranie, Victory by Carla Jablonski,
and Amulet Vol. 5: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi

Best Children’s Chapter Book
Marty McGuire Digs Worms by Kate Messner
Runner-ups: Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst 
and Bink and Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo & Allison McGhee

Best Children’s Graphic Novel
Cow Boy by Nate Cosby & Chris Eliopoulos
Runners-up: Squish: The Power of the Parasite by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm 
and Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett Krosoczka

Best Fiction Picture Book
Tie: Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman & Dan Yaccarino, This is Not my Hat by Jon Klassen, 
and Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds
Runners-up: Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen and 
One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo & David Small

Best Nonfiction Picture Book
Here Come the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey & Hadley Hooper
Runners-up: Alex the Parrot by Stephanie Spinner & Meilo So, 
Annie and Helen by Deborah Hopkinson & Raul Colon and Silent Star by Bill Wise

What were your favorite books published this year?