Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Reading and a little Slice-18/31


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSVisit to find posts about terrific books!  Plus, there is a terrific meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  

Don’t forget to tweet at #IMWAYR

And-it’s slice 18 of 31 in the March Slice of Life Challenge at Two WritingTeachers.  Tweet your post at #slice2013
This is what I thought about Hattie:  My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.  ~Thomas Helm

Hattie Ever After – Kirby Larson

       I took a long time to finish this, but not because I didn’t like it, I just had less time to read.  It’s a wonderful second book about that courageous Hattie character created by Kirby Larson, this time she’s not homesteading, but pushing herself into a new career of newspaper reporting, and in a time when women weren’t welcome, and when they finally did land a job, were given assignments like “best outfits for touring”.  How Hattie gets to San Francisco is a good start to this tale that combines new challenges for Hattie into a tale of women’s courage, mystery and romance.  Kirby’s writing is lovely, using the language of both historians and story-tellers, along with good writers.  I sticky-noted numerous phrases I liked, like this one: “These stories of real people were as irresistible to me as the Italian nougats one of Maude’s suitors had brought her.”  Hattie further says, “I had come to believe that there was something sacred in telling stories and telling them true.” Although this book is fictional, Kirby Larson’s research of the people during that time of the nineteen-eighteen’s, comes to us as real.



        One of the classes I work with is studying fossils, and I discovered the following two books there:


Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon – Jeannette Atkins, illustrated by Michael Dooling
           It’s the story of a little girl whose father taught her to be a wise observer.  The family owned a little shop by the sea in Lyme Regis, England that sold “curiosities” and part of Mary’s responsibilities was to find interesting things to sell in the shop.  Her father has died and it is important that she and her brother find good things to sell.  One day she discovers what seemed to be a row of teeth, and as she dug and chiseled it became larger and larger, appearing to be what folks called a sea dragon.  The tale of this find, one of the largest ever at that time and Mary’s persistence as a female fossil hunter is inspiring.  The pictures reflect a cloudy sky, wet and wild landscape, what one often thinks of on the ocean in England.  They are beautiful. 

The Fossil Girl, Mary Anning’s Dinosaur Discovery – Catherine Brighton
      This is another book about the famous Mary Anning, who lived in Lyme Regis, England and discovered the world’s first complete fossil of an Ichthyosaurus.  The format is a graphic novel, making the story accessible for young readers.  It focuses on the discovery, but mostly on the challenge of getting the rock off the high cliff, one piece at a time.  Eventually, the fossil is sold, but Mary doesn’t stop looking; all her life was devoted to finding and learning about fossils. 

Inside the Books: Readers and Libraries Around the World – written by Toni Buzzeo, and illustrated by Jude Daly 
            I read this because my friend (the expert on picture books) loaned it, knowing I would love it!  The worst part about it is that it’s too short.  Told poetically, the author takes us the reader to places all over the world that show us different kinds of libraries.  For example, one in a certain beach in England, sunbathers are served books in wheelbarrows, and in Chile, two large train cars have been placed in a park, and made into libraries.  I had no idea there were so many kinds of transports for libraries!  The line, “I love to look/inside the books” is repeated each time a new country is there.  Illustrations are ‘postcard perfect’. 



What's Next?
It's going to be BombThe Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin-I'm excited!  

48 comments:

  1. What great reads. Kirby has several other books out not connected to Hattie. One is Fences Between Us.

    The books on the fossil hunter sounds delightful.

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    1. So many books to find & enjoy. I didn't know abut Fences Between Us-will look for it, Ruth. The fossil books were a nice surprise! Thanks!

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  2. Inside the Books looks really, really good. I'm looking forward to reading it with my son!

    Thanks for the post!

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    1. It's such a lovely idea, to discover how others all over ensure people get books! Thank you!

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  3. Inside The Books struck a particular chord with me Linda, thank you for sharing these titles. The notion of libraries in different guises is intriguing. I once met a Balinese man who carried a library on his bicycle in two narrow wooden cases mounted on the sides of his bike.

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    1. Because of your experience, you know what this book is like, Alan. How wonderful that people work hard to make that happen. Thanks for telling me!

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  4. Wonderful suggestions - thank you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Anita. Hope you find a book to enjoy!

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  5. Like everyone else, I am really intrigued by Inside the Book. Can't wait to check that out. I loved Bomb - I think you're really going to enjoy it.

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    1. I started it, & know I will enjoy it. I've read about Feynman before, so this will add another layer to the story. Thanks!

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  6. Inside the Book for me too. And Hattie is at the top of my pile of Spring Break Reads.

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    1. Thanks Carol. I'm looking forward to some good reading on break!

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  7. Yay! You finished Hattie! Love the quote about dreading to finish a great book, as well. How true is that! Thank you for the other suggestions as well. You know I love your recommendations!

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  8. Linda, I love this post. Yet another way to use a blog. And so helpful too. I am so glad to have gotten to know you through this writing community!

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    1. Thanks Deborah. I hope you look at Teach.Mentor.Texts to see all the others who share books they read!

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  9. Do you sleep? You amaze me with your reading and writing life. Inside the Book looks intriguing. I have not yet spent my money from the survey, so . . . maybe? The Bomb is very good. I had no idea of the intrigue involved.

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    1. Yes, I sleep (te he) but not much. Lots to do lately. Inside The Book is good, but I really wanted more, FYI. Thanks, Elsie!

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  10. I cannot keep up with you, Linda! I need to read a book...any book someday again...soon! If I'm not writing lately, I'm looking at flooring or doing the laundry! Oh, and sometimes I'll have lunch. But you seem to always have some extra goodies you can slip in with your overflowing life!

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    1. I can't "not" read, wouldn't make it without them. I know what you mean though, am now in the throes of doing more work for my house sale. The electrical needs work because of the age of the house, etc. Argh-I think it won't ever be over! I'm rooting fiercely for your poem!

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  11. These books all sound so wonderful! I loved Hattie Ever After and I am very intrigued by the story of Mary Anning. I will definitely be seeking those two books out.

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    1. I found these books because a classroom with whom I work is studying fossils. Both are well done. Thanks, Andrea!

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  12. Great books, Linda! Jeannine's book is a wonder...my own kids were mad about fossils since we spent part of the summer in London with their grandparents, and Mary Anning's fossils were right there at the Natural History Museum. And good for you that you are reading and continuing the slicing challenge - my reading adventures will have to take a break until April, I fear...only so many hours in the day!

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    1. I know, Tara. Look how long it took me to finish Hattie! How wonderful you know about Mary Anning & that you saw the fossils. I found them because a young class is studying them. Perhaps they can go online at the museum and look? Thanks!

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  13. Linda, I really loved Hattie Ever AFter -- even more than Hattie Big Sky! Kirby is a wonder with historical fiction. Love love love!

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    1. Yes, she's great, & since one above recommended another of her books, guess I'll need to look it up too. I imagine you understand the research because of your own work, too, Irene! Amazing depth! Thanks!

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  14. So glad you enjoyed Hattie! And I'm betting you will love, Bomb, too. I've never heard about Mary Anning, so great to hear about your biographic picture books. I just finished Brave Girl, this week, so it's nice to have more "great girl" books!

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    1. It is good to hear about these women, isn't it, & they go along with characters like Hattie, too! Thanks!

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  15. I haven't read the Hattie books, but I have them on my list to read. I need to get those on my librarians list of books to order!

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    1. Yes, they need to be in students' hands-good experiences in history! Thanks!

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  16. Sounds like Readers and Libraries Around the World will be good to partner with My Librarian is a Camel... Can't wait to find it.

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    1. You're right-& there are several like this. There is one about a woman on a donkey in the Appalachians. Time for a collection, I think. Thanks for reminding me about the camel one!

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  17. Inside the Books caught my eye - it would have been perfect for our recently concluded books about books theme - I do have a weakness for those as you know. Will be pinning your titles here as I just have to make sure I take note of all of them and borrow them soon from the library. :)

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    1. Yes, when my friend showed me, I thought of that theme, Myra. Wow, there are lots of books about books! This is a good one that I enjoyed thoroughly. Thanks!

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  18. Thanks for the reviews! I'm always looking for new books!

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  19. I bought Hattie Ever After and then realized I needed to read the first book still... so it's still on my shelf!

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    1. I didn't say this in my review, but I liked the first one a little better, Maria. But I like those homesteading books & perhaps that is why. There was some beautiful writing in both!

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  20. One of my little ones read "Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon." It was a great book for a young girl to see that girls can be into science and fascinated by fossils.
    I love historical fiction. I'll have to look into the Hattie series.

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    1. Glad you know about Mary Anning-what a treat the books are! Yes, check out Hattie. Kirby Larson did a terrific job with the history background. Thanks, Margaret.

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  21. I'm looking forward to reading Inside the Books. I love Toni Buzzeo. Have you read her book The Library Doors?

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    1. Hi MaryHelen-no, not another one (te he)! Seriously, I don't think so, & I will be sure to look it up. At least I'm now keeping a list & looking first to see if I can get it sent from the library. Thanks!

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  22. I read" Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier and loved it. It tells the story of Mary Anning. Will have to check out these ones you wrote about as well as the Hattie books.

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    1. Thanks for the Tracy Chevalier recommendation, Beverley. I have read some of her work, but not this Remarkable Creatures. I'd love to know more about Mary Anning!

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  23. Linda, Hattie - this second book is my first planned read on my trip away. Cannot wait to delve into it! I added Fossil Girl to my TBR list. Looks like a great historical read. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  24. Inside the Books looks great! What a fun little book. I've seen some wonderful pictures of libraries on Pinterest and I wonder how they would compare. I also loooooooved Hattie Ever After. I think Kirby did an amazing job with both books. I feel the same way about never wanting good books to end...except I also desperately want to know what happens at the same time! :)

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    1. I still haven't gotten much into Pinterest-should at least look once in a while. Great idea! Inside The Books is terrific. And as you see from above, Hattie too! Thanks!

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