Sunday, August 18, 2013

One Terrific YA Novel, Plus!


Thanks to Lee Ann Spillane at Portable Teacher for this nifty Monday Reading badge!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  And shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.  Come visit everyone to see what they're reading! 
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

Announcement!  It's time to think about the Cybils, the blogger's children's and young adult literary awards.  Information and applications for being a round one or round two judge can be found here on the Cybils blog.  I was a judge for the first time last year and loved the experience.  I know many of you are so knowledgeable about these categories, so check out the explanation and give it a try!  

Poetry

This Place I Know, Poems of Comfort – Reviewed Friday-the link is here

Chapter Books

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe – written by Benjamin Alire Saenz  
          It takes a long time for children to grow into adults.  We who are adults think it goes very fast, but for teenagers, it seems like an eternity.  For Dante and Aristotle, the two protagonists in this story, it is not only a long, long time, but also a painful journey sometimes.  Ari (Aristotle) says in one part of the book: “I wanted to feel those words in my mouth as I spoke them aloud.  Words could be like food—they felt like something in your mouth.  They tasted like something.  ‘My brother is in prison.’ Those words tasted bitter.” Without any giveaways, the book is not only about boys growing up, but about families respecting that those boys are growing up and need more than love, they need “words”.  I realize that’s mysterious, but I don’t want to tell anything about the book, I want you to read it!  It’s a celebration of all the wonderful shades of life’s events, a book filled with special characters as well as very special moments. I won this book a few weeks ago and I'm so happy I did! 

Picture Books

The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck – written by Laura Murray, illustrated by
Mike Lowery
           These Gingerbread Man stories are cute, they rhyme, and take the “cookie” on adventures.  This one concerns a school trip to the fire department where the Gingerbread Man ends going to a fire, almost falling into the jaws of the firemen’s Dalmatian, but escaping just in time to help put out a fire.  It’s a time to suspend belief that anything is close to true, but just time to enjoy the silliness of the adventure, the rhymes, and the survival of this sweet cookie!
         and


The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School 
        This Gingerbread Man story is the beginning of the stories.  This shows him running after the class that baked him, left him to cool, but he thought they’d just left him behind.  He ends up in troubles all over the school, sliding down stair rails and falling into someone’s paper bag lunch.  It’s soon all resolved happily, making a satisfactory story for young children.



Special Deliveries - written and  illustrated by Alexandra Day
         This is a story about a remote area where this one family
receives notice that their post office is closing.  It is a family that includes a mom, two daughters, and quite a menagerie of animals.  It opens with them all sitting at a large table in the house, yes, horses, goats, donkeys and cats included!  The illustrations are realistic looking and beautiful drawings.  The story opens with this “family” taking over the mail delivery, then noticing that some of those on the route don’t ever receive mail.  So, they begin to create and deliver “letters” to those left out. It’s full of whimsy, perhaps a book to share both about kindness and about letter writing.  

Harry & Hopper – written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Freya Blackwood
         This is a sumptuous picture book about the death of a dear pet, about joy in having a pet and figuring out when to finish saying goodbye.  I read the review a few weeks ago and wanted to find a copy-lucky that I did at my library, yet I might want a copy of this.  Harry’s dog dies in an accident so there is no chance to say goodbye at the end.  In the morning Hopper was there and when Harry came home from school, he was not.  Through showing the slow stages of grief in dreams that Harry has, and in the illustrations, the book offers hope that someday the feelings will be better.  The illustrations are pen and ink sketches with what seems to be colored pencil added.  Freya Blackwood shows Hopper fading as the story moves along. It’s a poignant and sensitively told story. Please look online to see examples of the book's illustrations.

What’s Next:  I found the 4th and final book in the Breadwinner series by Deborah Ellis, My Name Is Parvana, and then A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean.  Still re-reading Opening Minds by Peter Johnston, really want to begin How To Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess.  And I have a waiting pile of more picture books.  Scrambling!

16 comments:

  1. I need both of these Gingerbread man books. Our kinder teacher has the original one and the kids love it. I believe Loose on the Fire Trucks is a new release.

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    1. I wasn't too excited about these books, but you're right, the kids love them. Something about the adventure I guess. Thanks!

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  2. Hi there dear Linda, I am so glad that you found Harry and Hopper and enjoyed it - such a beautiful picture book, I thought. The Aristotle book seems perfect for our coming-of-age theme, I know that Fats is reading it, but she may have stopped mid-way. Still hoping that she can review it for our theme. :)

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    1. I must have found Harry and Hopper through you, Myra! It is truly a wonderful story, I agree. I'll be interested to see what Fats thinks of the Aristotle book! Thanks!

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  3. I'm re-reading Choice Words, Linda, in preparation for the new school year. Aristotle and Dante sounds perfect for my classroom library.

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    1. Peter Johnston just gives us such good words to ponder, doesn't he? I think Aristotle & Dante might be a little old for your 6th graders, it's definitely YA. Thanks!

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  4. Thank you. I look forward to finding Harry and Hopper... sounds powerful.
    Thanks for the title My Name is Parvana, been trying to figure out what the 4th book's title was... grateful!

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    1. I've just begun the final Parvana story & know it will be good, but then I'll still want to know more! Hope you enjoy Harry & Hopper! So sweet!

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  5. Aristotle and Dante is one I've been meaning to read ever since the January ALA awards--thanks for the nudge. ;-)

    Natalie @Biblio Links

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    1. Thanks Natalie-I found it wonderful as you see from the review!

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  6. Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe – I so wanted to read this book and had it in my hands from the library. I had also checked out several others that I read first and when it was time to renew this one had a long waiting list. It is now back at the library for someone else to read and I am back on the waiting list. Darn I will get to it just not this week. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hope you can get a copy soon, Joanne. It was indeed a good story!

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  7. I absolutely agree with your take on Dante and Aristotle. I loved Ari's parents so much at the end of the book. I need to get started with the Breadwinner series. Have a great reading week!

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    1. Thank you Andrea. I'm glad you see my love of the parents, too. Very good weaving of the parents' thoughts into the story too. I hope you do enjoy the Breadwinner series!

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  8. I have a copy of Aristotle, but have not read it yet. It looks just fabulous! I filled out Cybils form. Who knows...

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    1. Hoping, Gigi! And also hope you enjoy Aristotle and Dante. It was a fabulous read! Thanks!

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