Visit Teach.Mentor.Text, with Jen and Kellee who are hosts of this kid lit meme, from primary to YA. Check the links to see others' ideas of a good read!
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.
Myra, Fats & Iphigene host this meme at Gathering Books, and today I'm reviewing The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater for that challenge.
It’s hard to believe I’ve put this book off for so long. I loved every single line of it, and only wish there was more. I savored those last pages, but worried yesterday and today about the ending. I cannot give away the ending for you readers, only that part of it was how I saw the book moving so inevitably. You will have to do your own predictions, and hope that the end is satisfying to you.I loved the alternating and strong first person narratives, the weaving of the two stories together as they created the final binding off of the piece. This is no stereotypical girl in Kate(Puck) Connolly, but one who insists upon the future she envisions, then sets out to get it. Sean Kendrick almost holds the antagonist position until his enemy, the employer’s son, takes over, leaving the author to push Sean into a more tragic role as a parallel to Kate. One could almost see them side by side in a modern drama, working together like Clark Kent and Lois Lane to battle evil. And evil there is, but also dramatic interest in the parts about the water horses, legends from the British Isles, what Maggie Stiefvater calls the capall uisce. Here is an excerpt showing some of the terror of these horses: ‘The capall uisce looks at her and opens its jaw, and then it makes a sound that turns my blood into ice. It’s a hissed exclamation with low clucks behind it, clicking from somewhere deep in its throat: kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw.”
I also loved the way Steifvater made the third character the sea, surrounding the island. “As the sun shines low and red across the water, I wade into the ocean. The water is still high and brown and murky with the memory of the storm, so if there’s something below it, I won’t know it. But that’s part of this, the not knowing. The surrender to the possibilities beneath the surface.” One learns that life on an island means life with the sea.
If you like horses, that is another part that’s fascinating. If you like anticipation, Steifvater has written a book that’s doesn’t stop one wondering what could possibly be next. I am now wanting to find the Shiver trilogy to read more of this author’s wonderful writing. The Scorpio Races is a Michael L. Printz Award honor book as well as the Odyssey Audiobook (for excellence in audio book production) honor book.
The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer, illustrated by Chris Sheban. This newly published book grabbed me immediately because of the wonderful cover and the intriguing title. I love books about books and this is one to add to your collection. It’s about a sweet book that happens to be a little shabby and missing its last page, but a little girl falls in love with the story and makes up her own ending. It’s not quite as simple as that, for the plot takes a few paths before the book finds its own happy ending. This can invite such good conversation and/or writing about favorite books along with what being lonely means. It also could be used for an examination of how plot works with its twists and turns within the beginning, middle and end. Both author and illustrator have won awards for their work.
Masai and I by Virginia Kroll. Beautiful, dreamy illustrations about a young girl talking about her own life, then comparing what would be happening in the same circumstances if she were part of a Masai village community. For example, her Mama says to come home when the streetlights go on, but if she were Masai, she would stay out until "the bats' caves echoed with empty silence'. Beautiful language.
Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan, illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders. Beautiful book about a family of varied backgrounds who celebrate the new year with specific ways. The story shows one rite of passage of a young girl who is the main character when she gets to help wrap dumplings for the first time. It's such a loving book showing all the family members gathering on new year's. It includes all the food and other traditions followed faithfully to ensure a good new year. I can see it being used so well after the December holiday break for students to share their own traditions. The illustrations are charming, showing good detail along with the story. For example, there are so many guests that they fill up quite a lot of the porch with their shoes. What do the kids do? They play shoe store! It's a terrific story about this special day. Jama blogs at Jama's Alphabet Soup. If you don't know this blog, check it out. You'll love it!
My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits, Pictures by Gabi Swiatkowska. A sweet story about a Korean child new to American who likes the way she writes her name in Korean, much prettier, than the sticks and lines of English writing. It's about cherishing one's name and also the challenge of change. It's another book to use if you want to give students a chance to write about their names.
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes. This is a board book that teaches about the seasons in discoveries through the old bear dreaming. It has terrific illustrations, a good content book. It's for my granddaughter's first birthday.
On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. I've seen this, but never read it through. It's a wonderful book to read to the little ones, to share your love for them. I bought it for my youngest granddaughter's first birthday. MORE BEARS!
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelt, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.
Great book about wants and needs and generosity. A little boy wants a new style of athletic shoe so very much, even spends a bit of money at a thrift store for the kinds of shoes, and they're too small! It ends up being an act of generosity to be admired. I'd like to read this with students to see what they say about it. Some don't always realize that others don't always get what they want!
What Makes The Wind? by Laurence Santrey, illustrated by Bert Dodson. A non-fiction book that introduces how weather occurrences cause wind, and different kinds of wind. Simple and clear explanations with beautiful watercolor illustrations.
NEXT: I'M READING LEAVING GEE'S BEND BY IRENE LATHAM, WHOSE BLOG LIVE YOUR POEM... IS TERRIFIC, AND MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS WHILE LISTENING TO MARTY MCGUIRE-A NEW CHARACTER FOR ME BY KATE MESSNER! THE GROUP WILL FINISH UP PENNY KITTLE'S WRITE BESIDE THEM THIS WEEK. DON'T MISS THIS BOOK!