Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good Words Mean Good Reads!


COME VISIT TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, WITH JEN AND KELLEE WHO ARE HOSTS OF THIS KIDLIT MEME, FROM PRIMARY TO YA.  CHECK OUT THE LINKS TO SEE WHAT SO MANY ARE READING!

        It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys, a variety of reviews to find even more books for your TBR list. 

          For all the #TeachersWrite Summer Camp writers!  If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison

Ivy + Bean, #1 by Annie Burrows

I heard someone mention this series and as I'm trying to learn more about books that appeal to the primary kids, heard that this series was one of the popular ones, found it on audio at the library. It's the story of two delightful young girls, adventuring into all kinds of silliness, like making spells, one of which seems to work well on Bean's older sister Nancy. At the beginning of the book, Bean resisted making friends with her new across-the-street neighbor, but ends up learning that Ivy adds much to Bean's ideas to have fun. I'm sure I'll check out a few more.


Ramona Quimby, Age 8, by Beverly Cleary

This is another book I listened to this week.  I don’t believe I’ve read the Ramona books since my children were little.  This was delightful, not even the first one, but Clearly immediately shows Ramona to be this wonderfully complex character who is not all good girl or mischievous, wonderful daughter or a whiny one, always willing to compromise or often wanting her own way.  In other words, she is a complex, quite likeable character who is beginning to know herself well, who makes good choices most of the time, but at least shows some struggles when it’s more difficult to make the good choice.  The book also shows the love between the family members, parents who stick to their rules in the face of grumpiness, and an older sister who is the more typical vulnerable adolescent, and a friend or two who appear briefly.  It was just plain fun!

The Letter Q, queer writer’s notes to their younger selves, edited by Sarah Moon

I’ll review this book more fully later in the week.  It’s good, with letters and/or messages from a variety of writers who are in our world right now.  I know there are older students out there right now who would devour this book as very needed personal advice and support from their own future selves.  The letters talk of a range of emotions as well as life values, like being true to oneself, choosing friends well, counting on parents.  One part that has stuck with me from one of the letters, and that I’ve spoken to others about too, is the thought that homosexuality is only one part of what makes a human being.  There are so many other parts that can be good or bad, likeable or not.  It’s definitely for high schoolers, & with your judgment, mature 8th grade.

NEXT:
That’s it for this week.  I didn’t have a lot of time to read many books, but did find some good picture books recently at my favorite used bookstore for next time, and already have quite a TBR pile.  I think next will be Hound Dog True by Linda Urban, and I am in the midst of reading Penny Kittle’s Write Beside Them.

38 comments:

  1. I am very excited for you to read Hound Dog True.

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    1. Thanks Colby. I read a few pages last night. Looks good!

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  2. The Ivy and Bean series was a real "door-opener" into reading for one of my students this year. She loved the series, and while reading it, a lightbulb came on for her with stamina and how to track a character.
    I can't wait to hear what you think about Hound Dog True!!!!

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  3. I'm excited for you to read Hound Dog True, too! I can't believe Colby beat me to this response. I know you will love it. There are books that I think of when I think of you. Hound Dog True is beautiful. Can't wait to hear that you love it!

    So true about the Toni Morrison quote! I have realized this a lot since having my own kids. So often I think of a picture book I would love to read with my kids and then can't find exactly what I'm looking for. I need to start writing these ideas down to write! :)

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    1. Thank you Jen. Now I'm really excited! Two of you already saying to read this book! My mother used to make up stories for me & would draw the characters. Sadly, we don't have any of them anymore. I keep saying to my daughter that she should write down some of her daughter's funny words-maybe I'll have to?

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  4. Oh, how I love Ramona and I'm glad there are so many great earlier chapter books for kids that are just pure fun. Have you read any of the Cynthia Rylant Cobble Street Cousins series or Clementine books? Having two girls at home, we tend to gravitate towards the girl-centered books, but those are both great series for early primary.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I love Cynthia Rylant's books, but don't know about these series. Terrific!

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  5. Oh YAY! I adore Hound Dog True. When I was finished I gave it to a student, Maddie. I put it on her desk with a note that she reminded me of Mattie in the book and I wanted her to know I saw her and adored her. She loved the book and picked it as her book to try and "sell" others on at the end of the year. She told people they had to read it in case they were like Mattie and they'd know they weren't alone. Made me tear up but I just love that book

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    1. Beautiful story Katherine. How great to connect like that! I love when you read a book & just know it will be good for a student. You all make me want to stop with the blog reading & get to that book! Thanks!

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  6. While I teach high school, I am mom to a first grader and preschooler, so I'm glad I've got a blog to turn to for some primary material! I still remember Ramona Quimby from when I was a kid. I will definitely have to introduce my daughter to her!

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    1. Depends on your daughter I think, but certainly this one was very fun. Maybe the first one introducing the family would be a good start. I read aloud many of these to my daughter in her early grade years. Thanks!

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  7. Sounds like I have another book to add to my list...my poor hubby and my Amazon account. LOL. Missed you the past few days, I hope all is well.
    Tammy

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    1. I am so-o-o busy Tammy, cleaning out things takes such a lot of time, but I need to do it. I've taken some time off from my blog except for the three (Monday, Tuesday, Friday poetry). And I'm the facilitator for a librarian search for school. Like you, lots going on. I'm trying to go to the library more, but my Amazon wish list is huge! Thanks for asking!

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  8. Oh Ramona! Still so fresh and fun to read after all these years - now that's a classic in the truest sense! I'm also glad that you posted about The Letter Q - this is a tricky one in middle school because of all the issues with boundaries and so on. But, presented to the right kid at the right moment, this will be a gift of sorts. I'm putting it on my Amazon list, which has been helped some by those wonderful (and SO thoughtful) end of school year gifts. Hope all goes well, Linda...I see that you are busier than ever!

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    1. As you can see, loved the Ramona book! The Letter Q only had a few words that some might object to, but otherwise, it was solid, loving support for the struggling adolescent, early or later. Hope you enjoy it, Tara.

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  9. Love that you shared these, Linda. My oldest granddaughter is 7 (and a half, as she always tells me). I forgot about Ramona--bet she will love these!

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    1. I'm sure she will. I can't wait till Ingrid gets older so I can share them with her. Thanks Deb!

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  10. A nice selection of books Linda. How do you find time to listen to the audio, do you do something else while you listen?
    Kathryn

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    1. I only listen when I'm in the car, Kathryn. I'm out every day going somewhere so I just keep the disc in all the time. I don't listen at home, then is when I'm reading books, etc. Thanks for asking!

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  11. Write Beside Them sounds intriguing. I loved Hound Dog True. I think you will enjoy it. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you too. I think I'll enjoy the Penny Kittle. It's important to me that I write with students so I thought she might have more to say about it. I'm looking forward to Hound Dog True.

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  12. Thanks for sharing, Linda! I am looking forward to checking out Ivy & Bean. I already purchased a hardcover copy of Ramona for my daughter, who is still learning to walk! Hopefully she'll love Ramona and Beezus just as much I did growing up. Beverly Cleary books helped me foster a love for reading.

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    1. I had happy moments reading them with my daughter & am looking forward to sharing with my granddaughters too. How great that you've already purchased a copy for your little one.

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  13. The Letter Q is a book that needs to be in more bookshelves!

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    1. I get to do a giveaway with my review! Look for it, Stacey. It's really great.

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  14. Awww...Ivy & Bean and Ramona all in one week! They're booth books/series I adore! I'm eager to read your full review of The Letter Q. I've been seeing it around a lot but haven't read much on the specifics of what people think.

    Have a fabulous reading week and if you get a chance stop by There's A Book to see what I'm up to as well. :)

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    1. I've been gone all afternoon into the evening, so will come visit you now. Thanks for the response about the books. I think I'll have time to do the review on Thursday.

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  15. I love that Beverly Cleary withstands the test of time. Says something about her stories, that I remember them so fondly and they are STILL well-loved by students today. I'm also an Ivy & Bean fan :)

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    1. Isn't it great that those books are still good. They are somewhat narrow in cultural things perhaps, but one just needs to find a variety of books to share with students, including Beverly Cleary.

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  16. This all looks great Linda. I will be anxious to hear about Penny Kittle's book; I find her to be quite inspiring.

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    1. Thanks Betsy. I imagine I'll talk about it somehow.

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  17. If you liked Ivy and Bean and Ramona, you should definitely check out Clementine, if you haven't done that tries yet! I love her! Also Bink and Gollie- much shorter but a delightful friend series.

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    1. Hi! Someone else mentioned those two. I am especially excited about Clementine, didn't know that Rylant wrote series books. Thanks for the additional word about Bink & Gollie too. They sound good.

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  18. I need to go back to Ramona. I remember adoring her!

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  19. My youngest (8) loves the Ivy and Bean books... he's reread the two he owns over and over and over.
    Marty McGuire is another favorite of his.

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    1. I enjoyed this first one very much & will look for more, Katya. Glad to know about the age, too! I still haven't read Marty McGuire-another on my list!

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  20. Hi Linda, I haven't done much reading (and visiting of blogs, oh dear me) lately as we are constantly on the go. And I haven't had the time to really sit down and read much less visit a few of my favorite friends online (truly sorry about this). I did manage to finish Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere though, and I'm currently reading Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan.

    I have a collection of Ramona Quimby titles, but I haven't gotten around to reading through them yet. I love Beverly Cleary's Strider though and Dear Mr Henshaw so I am more than certain I'd love Ramona as well. :)

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Having a conversation is a good thing!