Sunday, December 2, 2012

Some Terrific New Books With my 400th Post!


     Jen and Kellee host this kidlit meme at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  It's terrific to find new books to enjoy & share!




          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!


There are many things to celebrate today.  Most anyone who reads my posts regularly knows I am moving, and a week from today I will be in my new home, still not all out of the old one, but close.  I have managed to complete this task!  Hurrah!

I have family and friends who have helped me so much in these past weeks.  This past Saturday, eight friends came to my house, gave up their Saturday morning and helped me move the contents of my kitchen, all of the framed art, and other miscellaneous pieces.  I am so grateful; they saved me much time, energy and money. 

And, today is my 400th post!  Through all the great times, and all the tough ones, I have persisted and kept the blog going.  I have made many friends and connections all over the world (so exciting), I think I have improved my writing, and I have loved every minute of the doing.   It’s been a beautiful learning journey since March 2011.  I appreciate all of you who comment, and you who have shared your own stories with me.  THANK YOU!


The Great Unexpected – Sharon Creech

Just finished listening to the audio this latest book by Sharon Creech.  What  a delight, & what a challenge for young readers to figure out all the different parts, truly like a jigsaw puzzle.  Naomi Deane tells the story, and her friend Lizzie Scatterding enhances it with her ‘other-worldliness’.  They live in a town full of eccentric characters, like crazy Cora & Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley, and Naomi, whose parents died so tragically, is being raised by a wonderful couple, Joe & Nuella. (I don’t know how to spell the name as I didn’t see the text)  The flavor of the book reminds me of To Kill A Mockingbird.  It’s a story, yet it’s many stories and Sharon Creech knits the pieces together well.  Lizzie too is an orphan and she’s true to her words, every time.  I liked the small town atmosphere & the little bit of quirky things that happen.

Unspoken – A Story From The Underground Railroad – Henry Cole It's inspiring to read stories about those who do things because they know it is the right thing to do, and this is one of those stories. Written for all ages of readers, it shows the story of a young girl who gives some food to someone hiding in her corn field. Although these are perilous times for people with marauding soldiers coming by, raiding everything they can find, especially food and animals, the young girl hears something, and investigates later at night. The story creates enough tension that one wants to hold one's breath. There are hints of what's happening on one page, and our guesses are confirmed a few pages later. This is using inferences at their best, and Cole does it throughout the book. He also is the illustrator that tells the story, and the pictures done with pencil are gorgeous in their detail. I can imagine great discussions using this book.

Bananas in my Ears   A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles, & Rhymes– Michael Rosen, illustrations by Quentin Blake – I can just imagine sitting with a young child & poring over these pages, reading & giggling, reading then giggling some more.  Michael Rosen’s words & the whimsy in the artistic cartoon-like illustrations in watercolor with black outlining by Quentin Blake is wonderful.  There are four parts: about breakfast, the seaside, going to the doctor and the bedtime book.  All of these parts have more whimsical names, like the first, about breakfast, is titled “Hard-boiled Legs.”  As you can see by the sub-title, each has similar writing, poetry and a “what if”, a silly story & more.  Although most of the book is silly and makes one laugh a lot, there are a few poems that are a bit more somber, like “Feeling Ill”, about some sad parts about having to stay in bed.  All the parts include the same family, so as the book continues throughout, we see some changes in the relationships and in the people.  It’s a great book.

Looking Down - Steve Jenkins, I think, has taken Google Earth & made it his own.  The wordless  book starts with a picture of the earth & its moon, and zooms in, then zooms some more.  It is fantastic, and I cannot tell more, because you have to find it to read for yourself to find all the secrets.  It is truly a wonder!

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs – Mo Willems – I’ve seen numerous reviews of this book, but I too must give it 5 chuckles, oops, stars!  There is so much to like, even the inside of the covers offers other ideas, like Goldilocks & the Three Termites, all crossed out of course.  As I read, I laughed and laughed, at the silly dinosaurs & their antics, particularly when they attempted to set the trap for dear little Goldilocks (according to Willems, a ‘poorly supervised little girl’).  There are many details that keep one laughing, like little road signs for Goldilocks, one of which says “.2 miles to trap very nice house) and the mat at the front door that says “WELCOME (Tee-Hee!)”   This is another enjoyable Mo Willems book that cries out for everyone to read and laugh! 

Still ReadingDon't Feed The Boy by Irene Latham.  It’s wonderful, & getting very frantic in the plot.  Must find time!! 

I started my book groups last week, and they are terrific books, and adding more to my reading plate.  The books are Good Night, Mr. Tom by Marjorie Magorian and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.  I hope I can start a few others after finishing the groups.

Happy Reading!

27 comments:

  1. Wasn't Unspoken amazing?! I have some very favorite pages from that book! I give you a lot of credit for listening to The Great Unexpected as there were so many characters to keep track of! It reminded me of TKAM, but I also wondered about the Great Expectations connection??? A lot to talk about with that book... Congratulations on 400 posts! Wow!

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    1. All terrific books like The Great Unexpected, Melanie. It is like Great Expectations, and also The Secret Garden & A Little Princess, & others. It was a bit challenging at first to keep track of the characters, but I finally did. Unspoken is amazing, I agree. Thank you!

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  2. As always, amazing books. Unspoken sounds intriguing. I may have to find a copy!

    Good luck with your move. I'm glad you've had people helping. It would be a huge undertaking to do alone.

    Have a wonderful last week in your home.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. It will be quite the week! See if Unspoken can be used in your classroom-maybe to inspire some other writing?

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  3. Congrats on your 400th post, the move, and reading some amazing books this week!

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  4. Congratulations to you and all your milestones! I hate moving because it is such a chore but it sounds like you are doing it the best way possible. I hope you love your new home and I am looking forward to the next 400 posts. I have learned so much in the first 400.
    Happiness to you!
    Tammy

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    1. Thanks Tammy, it's going to be a whirlwind month for sure!

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  5. Good luck with the final stages of moving! Great books this week. I share your sentiments on many of them. The Great Unexpected was truly a delight. And Goldilocks and the three dinosaurs has been such a hit in my room. So many things to giggle at! My librarian just bought Unspoken and I look forward to taking a look at it.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. The books were really delightful! Can't wait to share the Goldilocks one!

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  6. Happy 400! Keep going. Keep writing. Keep sharing. I'll keep reading and thinking.

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  7. I so want to read The Great Unexpected! Congratulations on your 400th post!

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  8. Isabelle loves the moon. Perhaps she'll love the images of Looking Down.

    Congrats on 400!

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    1. Thank you Stacey. It's a cool book, & will introduce her to several views of earth, continents, cities, etc. Very fun.

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  9. Posting, moving and reading wonderful books...good for you, Linda! I shall have to give the Creech's book another try...but I loved Unspoken. Good luck packing this week!

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    1. It took a while to get going with it; it was complicated, but I was listening so could just listen & not worry about it. Will you use Unspoken with your class? And-I received my copy of Book Love-so exciting. I haven't touched it yet, but soon! Thanks Tara!

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  10. I loved Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs! :)

    I am really anxious to read Unspoken. It looks absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Unspoken is a gem for sure. But-I agree about Goldilocks & think Mo Willems is a gem, too. What fun it is, & all the other books. Thanks Beth.

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  11. Congratulations Linda on your move and your 400th post! I really want to read the Sharon Creech book and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.

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    1. Both are good, Gigi. The "fairy tale" was just great, however. Thanks!

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  12. 400 posts! Congrats! Requesting "The Great Unexpected" now! It's nice when we're surrounded by great friends and great books!

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    1. Absolutely wonderful! I wonder if someone did a survey if they would have seen more & more people reading more because of the blogging? Hope you like the Great Unexpected!

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  13. Congratulations dearest Linda on your 400th post! How amazing! It's truly been lovely knowing you this year and walking with you through the turning of the seasons in your life through words thrown out into the blogosphere - it's great to find this kind of connectedness amidst mountains/oceans/seas - kind of like a parallel universe, really.

    Now I have to find The Great Unexpected - everyone seems to be talking about it, and I'm intrigued. I do have quite a whole stack of books in my shelves right now both from the libraries and new finds from bargain bookstores, but such is the life of a bibliophile, can't complain. The book cover of Unspoken looks eerie as well. And I'm so glad you're reading American Born Chinese too! I would be reading it for the first time this coming week in preparation for our book club discussion next week. Hope I like it as much as my daughter did. :)

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    1. Thanks for all, Myra. It has been delightful connecting with you & finding out all the wonderful things you are doing in your work & with books! This is my second time teaching American Born Chinese. It is superb, & just right for the middle schoolers. Also, they need support in good approaches to graphic novels. They 'miss' things because they don't know where to look! Have a good rest of the week!

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  14. Wow! Your 400th post, while in the midst of a move! You are inspirational! Love these book ideas...I have the Mo WIllems book on my wish list, because I love everything he writes. I also love Michael Rosen's books - I'll have to check out Bananas in my Ear.

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  15. I added "Looking Down" to my own reading list... and Great Unexpected is already on that list. What I need is a week to just sit in my bed and read!

    Congrats on your 400th post!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!