Jen and Kellee host this kidlit meme at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. Join them and the other bloggers who are sharing the terrific things they are reading.
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers reviews of all kinds of books.
If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!
And, Myra, Fats & Iphigene host this meme at Gathering Books, where readers read award-winning books and review them. This time I'm going to talk about The Ask and The Answer, by Patrick Ness.
The Ask and The Answer – by Patrick Ness, audio performed by Angela Dawe and Nick Podehl
Once again, I found the audio book of the Chaos Walking Trilogy, this time book two. Some have said they didn’t like this as much, and there was some repetition of the same things going on, like Mayor (President) Prentiss’ ability actually to attack just through his “noise”, rather like someone who can move an object with their mind. The later scenes become too much, especially since they were so intense and in the audio, I found that I just wanted them to end. But that said, the book introduced more interesting characters, wrapped up some questions from book one, and ended with such a cliffhanger that I wanted to find the last one fast. I am amazed at the depth that Ness is going to tell this story. However, I’m going to take a break, and listen to some calmer books first, then finish in a few weeks. Don’t forget to find this trilogy! In 2009, it won the Costa book award, which is a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in Great Britain and Ireland. If you are interested, the link goes to past awards where you can discover titles of other books in the past who have won this award, like Skellig, by David Almond, one of my favorite books.
My Chair – by Betsy James, illus. by Mary Newell DePalma
A colleague shared this book with me because her class is donating a decorated chair to our auction, decorated with decoupaged pictures of their own favorite chairs. I actually have had my own middle school students do an art and writing project about special chairs in their homes, and wish I could have had this book to show them. It is filled with all kinds of children, adults and chairs, some becoming something else because of their imagination. “Most chairs just sit there, but mine’s more like a horse or a train.” There is delight in each telling about special chairs. For example “My chair rocks” (a rocking chair) and “My chair rolls” (a wheelchair). The illustrations are just filled with all kinds of places to sit! And, there is a surprise at the end.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie – Math Puzzlers In Classic Poems – by J. Patrick Lewis, illus. by Michael Slack
Oh I wish I was teaching math again. It would be great fun to pose these poems (problems) to the students. J. Patrick Lewis has written arithmetic problems within poems based on well-known poet’s poems, like The Raven by Poe, Nash’s The Termite, and Farjeon’s W Is For Witch. I guess that this could be used for those studying basic arithmetic up to pre-algebra. The problems are not all easily created (and solved) because the poems add mystery and even a little confusion in the telling. This could also be used in poetry writing, asking students to find their own favorite poem to adapt for a math problem. The illustrations by Michael Slack enhance the poems and add much to the tongue-in-cheek flavor of Lewis’ clever wording. For example, in response to the wording of the poem from Dickinson’s My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close—My book closed twice before its close--/The two opposing pages/That added up to 113--/Were smudged around the edges--, and on—showed only Emily’s feet from the covers with her dog sitting on the book, the room in some disarray. It’s a delight to read and to try to uncover the answers, which are given in very small print at the bottom of the pages. The backmatter adds small biographies of each poet.
Kali’s Song – by Jeannette Winter
This is another enchanting story from Jeannette Winter, a biography imagined about a cave boy thousands of years ago. He is given a bow and arrow in preparation for his coming-of-age first mammoth hunt, but discovers instead that the bow makes beautiful music if plucked and strummed just the right way. Its message that music can overcome violence, that long ago, some young child discovered music was possible is inspiring. I read it to some third graders last week, and they loved it. It is brief, with as much beauty in the illustrations as in the words.
Continuing: I didn't get many finished this week. I'm still reading Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, the naturalist book The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John Muir with a group, and just started another book group reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, one I've read more than once, but it is just a great book, enjoyable all over again. And it's always a pleasure to read it with others who haven't read it, and are surprised and pleased with the story all over again.