Sunday, November 25, 2012

Busy, Busy Week-Not As Much Reading!


Jen and Kellee host this kidlit meme at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  Join us to see what we're all 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 & Imogene host the blog, Gathering Books and challenge us with their reading Challenge, which you can find here.  This week, I read three books that were honored with awards.






Blackout – John Rocco   
Created with the look of a graphic novel, this tells the story of an urban family who finds stars on the roof  (in the night sky) and a party of many neighbors on the street.  Rocco shows the characters with a clever use of light and dark in his cartoon-like illustrations. Even with all the electricity expected, then lost, the family learns the fun of other kinds of entertainment, doing things together! 
Caldecott Honor book in 2012
Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness

I finally finished this very long story, and it continued to be a marvelous, edge-of-the-seat, heart-rending story. The characters are flawed, as everyone is, which made one think again and again, how does one make 'right' decisions and keep from negatively impacting others while defending oneself and others close?   I got so involved with the characters, wishing for good ends so much that I sat in my driveway more than once, listening to just one more part.   It is quite a story, and I wonder how I would have felt if I had read a print book instead of listening?  The actors creating the book were wonderful, and of course after listening to them for over 30 hours, I thoroughly got to know them. 
       winner of the Carnegie Medal last year





       Balloons Over BroadwayThe True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade – by Melissa Sweet
        There are many who are avid watchers of the annual Thanksgiving parade, sponsored by Macy’s Department store, & they will love this book, filled with city scenes and the most delightful high-rise balloon toys, meant for giants, I suppose.  The book by Melissa Sweet tells the story of Tony Sarg, a boy who grew up making things, or taking them apart, and eventually became an expert in making puppets.  One of his ideas was to have a parade for fellow immigrants.  It started small, grew puppets even taller & finally Sarg tried using balloons.  Now today, these are many helium-filled balloons.  The pages tell the story, but every now & again, Melissa adds her artistic plans for the toys, a la Sarg.  Although Sarg was the master, Melissa says in the book that all the toys shown are her own creation.  Another interesting point is that one of the apprentices who worked with Sarg had Jim Henson as his apprentice.  It’s great to hear that so long ago, a little boy who liked to create grew up to use his gifts that still entertain us today.
   winner - Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children AND Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinquished nonfiction book for children 


Moving Day – Ralph Fletcher

I’m on the move, and many of you know.  I wrote about my move and this book last Friday, here!  I will be in my new home two weeks from today, hopefully able to write a post. My internet will be up on that Monday, I hope!  I found this, written for a child moving actually, but many of Fletcher’s touched my heart as I make this big change.  His poems show the heartbreak of a young boy leaving his home, his grandparents, his school friends, only to go to the unknown-weather, friends, house.  This book is good for everyone, children and adults alike, and if you have a student who is struggling with a coming move, offer these poems.  They will help.

Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream – Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Liza Woodruff, math activities by Marilyn Burns

This is a great book to use in beginning to introduce multiplication.  Amanda Bean loves counting, but ends up in quite a challenging when she tries to count sheep who zip by fast on their bicycles, and then she wants to count their legs, & tries to keep up, but they go too fast.  This scene, which turns out to be a dream, turns out to be an even bigger challenge, but you’ll have to read the rest to find out what happens.  It’s a good book to have in your math basket!



NEXT:  Listening to Sharon Creech's The Great Unexpected, and reading Don't Feed The Boy by Irene Latham.  Both are terrific, but I just run out of time to read.  I am so-o busy.  

I am beginning two book groups this week, and they are terrific books, but this will add more to my reading plate.  The books are Good Night, Mr. Tom by Marjorie Magorian and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.  They'll be quite wonderful books to share.

Happy Reading Everyone!!!




16 comments:

  1. Blackout and Balloons over Broadway were both books I discovered last year through the Nerdy Book club nominations for awards. I bought both as family Christmas gifts and love both of the stories a lot. I think Blackout has such a lovely message. And seeing Balloons here again on your blog reminds me that I should bring it into my class and read it to my students. Having experienced lots of moving in the last few years - out for a reno and then back in 10 months later, I feel for you as your move approaches. A lot to a move - physically and emotionally. Good luck!

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    1. Wow, Carrie, how did you manage two in less than a year? The books mentioned are very good, I agree. I think I should have found them way before now! Thanks!

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  2. Wow, Patrick Ness seems to be a writer I need to read more of! Can't wait to pick up Monsters of Men.

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    1. The trilogy was terrific! And more lately he also wrote A Monster Calls, also very good! Thank you!

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  3. Good luck with your move, Linda! I will work to pick up the Balloons book as I am a Thanksgiving Day Parade junkie. Also, I have a daughter who will love ANY other way to think about math so Amanda Bean is someone I'll have to meet.

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    1. The Amanda Bean book is very cute & I suspect math kids will love it! Thanks, Melanie.

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  4. Blackout is such a treasure - a wonderful mentor text. Good luck with the move, Linda - it's a wonder you've had time to read, my friend...bravo!

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    1. Reading is my relaxation, Tara-thank goodness! Glad to hear you loved Blackout too!

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  5. I Wish I had known about Balloons over Broadway at Thanksgiving. Maybe next year. I have also been wanting to read The Sharon Creech book. Have a great week.

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  6. I wished I had Balloons over Broadway when I watched the parade last week!

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  7. Must get my hands on Balloons Over Broadway, The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. That sounds like a treasure (i.e., as an informational writing mentor text). Can't wait to take a look at it.

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  8. Gigi, Maria, & Stacey, I think you all should find this book-It really is good, great story & marvelous art. Some of it looks like journal pages with sketches of the toy designs. Very fun!

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  9. Hi there Linda! I've seen Blackout around and I know how much it seems to be universally loved by all our bookblogging friends, but I haven't gotten around to borrowing this from the library. I'm so glad that you enjoyed Monsters of Men - what I love about this final installment in the trilogy is how it answers so many questions - e.g. why everyone's thoughts are heard and how it is tied to connectedness and being one. I also thought that there were strong spiritual elements in this final book that's keenly felt - very subtle but powerful too. It must be quite an experience hearing it in an audiobook - I have a feeling it could be a scary experience. Yes, I do wonder how different it would have been for you if you read it. Moving Day also sounds charming. :) Hope everything goes well with your move, Linda. Do post photos of your new place if you feel like it. Always great to be starting something new.

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    1. So happy to hear your opinion of the Ness trilogy, & final book. It was intense to listen to it, like going to a play for a long, long time. Yes, I do believe the spiritual was there, for good & for evil, Myra. I haven't loved books this much since Tolkien & actually, without the fantasy, Dickens. Thanks for the good wishes. I will post some pics, as soon as I'm sane again!

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  10. Good luck with your move, Linda! It will be so nice to get settled. What a nice read that Ralph Fletcher book sounds . . . so nice to make such a personal text-to-self connection! Blackout and Balloons Over Broadway were two that I enjoyed very much. I hope someday to get to the Patrick Ness books . . . always highly reviewed. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Lorna-The Fletcher book just hit the spot for me! And I loved those other books too! Hope you do get to the Chaos Trilogy sometime!

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