It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. Head over to find plenty to choose from! Plus, there is a terrific meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children. Bookstores must be thrilled to see so many readers!
I had the pleasure of reading some wonderful books this week. Many of you have read them, because that's how I found out about them, and then got them at my library. We are lucky to have libraries!
"Nutrimentum spiritus (food for the soul)." ~Berlin Royal Library, inscription
I just returned from the CCIRA - the Colorado Chapter of the International Reading Association conference, and wanted to share one link of the many pieces of information I found during the 3 days. I spoke a long time with some on the learning side of National Geographic, who have a new program you should see. I have always loved their lessons, and they are now producing all kinds of approaches to non-fiction. I hope you can look here!
The Reader – by Amy Hest, illus. by Lauren Castillo
When reading this book, one loves it even more because it’s about books, children and dogs, snow, and reading! It’s hard to describe actually. Other than those things mentioned, I loved that the story was all outside, and wondered if we’d ever find out when the reading came in, and it did, in a lovely surprise, toward the end. The illustrations are bright and happy, seem like old-fashioned illustrations from long ago.
Ninth Ward – by Jewell Parker Rhodes
It took a while to get started with the book, but sometime about page 50, I got really nervous, hoping that ending wouldn’t disappoint. It did not. The main character Lanesha lives with Mama YaYa, an older woman who has taken Lanesha as her daughter. She was the mid-wife at Lanesha’s birth, but her mother. Both have what might be called “second sight”, and there is one thread that follows Lanesha as “different”, different eyes, sees ghosts, and so on. She has no friends. The plot is driven around Hurricane Katrina coming, then arriving, in addition to relationships, and a story of community and friendship. The writing is good! I especially loved two parts, the exciting description of the hurricane and one part at the end. Here is a brief quote from the hurricane: “The house shakes, teetering, in the wind and rain’s violent game. Dodgeball. Tug-of-war. Shakes, sways, and I swear, it’s going to fall…fall, fall, fall over. Down. The bed is rattling, creeping across the floor like it grew feet.” And then toward the end of the book: “What is it that makes laughter feel so good? I think I must remember this moment. When I am in trouble again, when life surprises me, I should laugh.” One could say that the book is rather a Pollyanna treatment of the Katrina disaster, but in the midst of that terrible time, there were stories of those who survived terrible circumstances. And it is good for everyone, including children, to hear about those stories too.
Z is for Moose – by Kelly Bingham, pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky
This is the happiest book, one that will tell others that mistakes can be made, but it will be okay if people are patient and kind. Dear Moose is so excited to be in the book, but he gets carried away and manages to invite himself to each letter, sometimes jumping right into the picture, and sometimes just peeking and asking, “is it time yet?” The surprises in store for us the reader, and for Moose, are just delightful, and even the inside cover gives a little taste of the chuckly sense of humor to come. I can’t wait to read this aloud to a group of young students!
Nightsong – by Ari Berk, illustrations by Loren Long
A beautiful book of imagination and very little color, but the words and that sweet little bat Chiro are all it needs. “The music of the land rose up in all of its many textures, each tree, each cliff, each place he’s passed, until finally the song of home added its voice to the others.” Chiro needs to move out into the world from his mother’s arms, to “listen” to his own voice, and his mother sends him. Like young human children, he ventures forth, even further than told, and has quite an adventure. It’s great!
NEXT: Must finish Book Love by Penny Kittle, just starting Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, and, a gft from a friend, Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Oded and Barbara McClintock.