Jen and Kellee host this kidlit meme at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. Join them and the other bloggers who are sharing what 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.
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It's been such a crazy busy week. As I posted last Tuesday, I am trying to buy a new house. Although I have been thinking about it, I really wasn't planning this day to find this wonderful place close to work, close to a library (hurrah) and close to my daughter and her family. Now I've made the offer, applied for the loan, had the inspection and am proceeding... Paperwork, paperwork! I should be in by the holidays. I've been in my current home for 34 years and have quite a lot to do before putting it up for sale. Choices, choices! So, now, I will be on the lookout for the absolute best books in both de-cluttering and feng shui, for just the right touch. Any recommendations?
Finally, once all this is over, and I manage to get to January, I will spend the rest of the winter reading, reading, reading!
Here is what I managed last week:
Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour The Tea – Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard
I'm reading my way through some early readers, and picked this one up because it's written by Cynthia Rylant. It is a lovely story of a lonely older man and his slow move toward cat ownership. This Mr. Putter has a nice life, but no one with whom to share special everyday things, like muffins or tea. He does finally choose an old shelter cat, and the rest of the book tells of a relationship that becomes closer and closer. In the end, Mr. Putter realizes that he has someone to share his life, not just muffins. Sweet story!
Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Good Move – Cynthia Rylant, pictures by Sucie Stevenson
It's time to learn more about early readers, and I chose this one too because it's by Cynthia Rylant. It's one of many Henry and Mudge books, which will delight some young readers. This time Henry and his big dog Mudge get to help cousin Annie worry less about moving. This time, although it's a little scary for Annie, who has to leave friends and is worried that some of her things will get broken, so much that she gets "splotchy", Henry and Annie become next-door neighbors, and everything comes out all right.
Spuds – Karen Hesse, illus. by Wendy Watson
I discovered this book browsing in our library at school, and picked it up because it’s by wonderful Karen Hesse. It's a story of poverty, and young children trying to help their hard working mother. While their mother is at work, the three children go late at night into a neighbor's potato field to pick up potatoes so they can have a good meal of spuds. All the ingredients are here to have a great conversation about honesty definitely being the best policy. When the children get home, they discover they've mostly picked up rocks and very few potatoes, but when Mom finds out where even the rocks have come from, she makes the kids take everything back and apologize to the farmer. The ending is a good one, with everything working out okay and the children get a meal of spuds after all, and a lesson learned. The illustrations are nice, mostly at night, showing the characters’ expressions well, and the setting is beautifully represented.
The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
I just finished the audio reading of this marvelous book, performed by an actor named Nick Podehl. I don't know why I haven't begun to read this series before. I read A Monster Calls early in the year and know Ness is an excellent writer. The series has been on my list a while and I've seen others shout about it, so finally I got the audio so I could listen. Prentisstown, in a place called New World, is a town like no other I could imagine, where everyone's thoughts (called 'noise') is heard by everyone else. This premise begins an adventure that gave almost no rest. The crises occurred as soon as the main characters took one deep breath, thinking the 'worst' was over, only to find that 'worse' faced them again. This is a story of the survival of almost 13 year old Todd Hewitt who needs to flee with his dog Manchee, and a new companion Viola who enters the story later. It is both terrifying and terrific.
Plans for next week:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater-I'm sad I haven't had much dedicated time to read this, but it has remained good, and each character is being revealed slowly and enticingly.
I'm beginning a book group for a teacher who is doing work with his students in nature writing. He and his assistant are doing the same books with their groups, but I am facilitating a group where each one will read a different book by a naturalist. I love this genre of books and own many, so will booktalk them at the first meeting and then we'll begin. We will examine and share our insights into the influence, even pressure of place on the individual writing, and connect our own places personally. In other words, we will ask "how am I myself because I live where I live?" If anyone has other ideas of approaching this concept, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've found several great articles on 'sense of place'. My book choice is a favorite, The story of my boyhood and youth, by John Muir.
Happy Reading everyone!
A beautiful quote I found by Katherine Patterson: “It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”