Sunday, October 14, 2012

Busy Week-Good Books Kept Me Entertained


 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.  

        If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

       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. 



        

23 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new house! Sounds like IT found YOU!!

    Also -- the Ness trilogy is fabulous on audio. Not easy to read/listen, but an important look at human society and war.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee. I am now on a waiting list for book # 2-arrgh! Hard to wait!

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  2. I adore Henry and Mudge. When I was a learning support teacher, I had a student in fifth grade who struggled horrifically with reading. Henry and Mudge gave him such joy, and I happily purchased every one I could find.

    I loved Knife. What a unique take on life on another world!

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    1. I suspect I'll be reading more of Henry & Mudge. Cynthia Rylant is just very good! Thanks, Maria.

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  3. So excited for you and the house. Also, love the quote! Regarding your books, I had missed The Knife of Never Letting Go (and the series) too. Read it this past May - holy smokes! Need to read the next two still.

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    1. Thank you Katherine. I am very excited about the house. You said it exactly about The Chaos trilogy-Holy Smokes! I had trouble getting out of the car!

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  4. Congratulations on the new house--it sounds like a great find. I am sure the move is filled with a grand variety of emotions, but you will surely focus on the positives during this part of your journey.

    Your post about books is filled with gem after gem. I just finished reading Karen Hesse's Safekeeping this weekend. She can sure tell a haunting tale.

    I am embarrassed to admit that The Knife of Never Letting Go has been in my TBR pile for years now. I think the length makes me feel like it is a big commitment, so I keep reading around it. I have no doubt of its brilliance, though! Ness is a genius.

    Love the Paterson quote! I need to save that one. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks Christy! The reason I finally got to the Ness book is that I got it on audio. I too was wondering when I would ever read it, but now will continue listening. The reader was awesome too.

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  5. I adore The Mr. Putter and Tabby books and have been book talking many of the titles lately to get my new children interested. Those books always just relax me. I love your description of Spuds and am going to look for at it the library. I am reading The Raven Boys as well (literally just started it - the first 10 pages) and also have a busy week. I'd love a whole day to just plow through it. I read Scorpio Races over 2 days on holiday in the summer and my head was swimming with the characters (not the horses thank goodness!) Good luck with the house! Just make sure there are lots of spaces for books!

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    1. Yes, loads of book space for sure, Carrie. I will look for more Rylant early readers. I loved the stories. And I would love a whole day for reading The Raven Boys-I'm on about p. 60 & it's getting interesting... Thanks!

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  6. Congrats on the new house, and good luck with the transition!

    Cynthia Rylant books of any kind, in my opinion, are terrific, especially her early readers. Have you read her book, THE VAN GOGH CAFE? Not for young readers, and so very different than her other works, but great as well.

    --Lorna

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    1. Yes, I know it. It's wonderful. I recommend it often for a beginning of the year read aloud. She is just great, maybe an author study? Thanks Lorna!

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  7. I am almost finished listening to The Raven Boys and I am really enjoying it. I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go. I have got to keep going in the series! So many books, so little time! http://wp.me/pzUn5-1g8

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    1. Yes, yes, I agree with you 100%! So much to enjoy! I am really looking forward to the 2nd book in the Chaos series plus the rest of The Raven Boys.

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  8. I love a good Cynthia Rylant book (so many good ones to choose from)! SPUDS looks like a book I will be searching for, sounds like a good story.

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    1. Spuds was a delightful surprise, Betsy. I hope you'll be able to find it. And yes, Rylant is always good. Thanks!

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  9. Henry & Mudge, Mr. Putter & Tabby, and Karen Hesse just bring me back to the years that I taught 2nd and 3rd grade. Students loved these first independent books. They were chosen often throughout the year.

    I also enjoyed reading about your book group. Muir has an interesting story. When I taught 8th grade the students read a short biography about him. My urban 8th grade students were surprisingly interested in his life and the accompanying photographs in the biography. I wonder if my students were interested because Muir's life was so very different from their own. Perhaps you can reflect with your group about how personal experience and background impact one's view of nature.

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    1. I love your idea of that approach too. It will be another way to look at setting and what we bring to it too from our lives. Thank you very much! I am enjoying those books for younger readers a lot-mostly happy books with a good story always. Thanks!

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  10. Wonderful titles this week, Linda! The only book I've read by Cynthia Rylant is Missing May, and she is very good indeed. Glad to see that she has books for early readers, too! Spuds seems interesting. I really like the book cover. And Patrick Ness. I want to read the trilogy, especially after Myra had featured all books in GB. I might just buy the set from the Science Fiction Book Club. Cheap price for the bundle.

    Congratulations on your new house! I'm planning of moving out of my apartment and just renting a room in a co-worker's house for a few hundred bucks cheaper. I dread the move because I live by myself, no family around. I have a few friends but we all have different schedules. Here's to hoping that things will go well. I wish the same for you. Moving into a new place can be quite stressful. But I'm sure it'll be fun!

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    1. If you don't find any others, be sure to look for The Van Gogh Cafe, Fats. It's just brilliant too! I hope you'll try the Chaos trilogy, so many new ideas about a created world. Best wishes on your move too. No matter what kind of move it is, it's stressful I think because one needs to make so many choices. But-some adventures await too. Thank you for telling me you are facing a move too!

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  11. Yay Chaos Walking! That series is brilliant!
    Also want to read the Hesse PB- I've never heard of it.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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  12. I didn't know about this Karen Hesse title, I think I have most of her novels as I have fallen in love with her writing ever since I read Out of the Dust. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Knife of Never Letting Go - I was blown away by the trilogy.
    Congratulations on the new house!!! Will send you a virtual gift for your 'housewarming.' Soooo exciting! :) And it must be exhausting as well.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!