Sunday, March 9, 2014

It's Monday!

10 of 31 Slicing And Time to Share What I've Been Reading (aside from blogs)!



Cross-Posting-
Happy Reading everyone! Day Ten of the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers
           Tweet at #SOL14  


 It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews.  Great books shared!
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

Finished FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell that met two challenges on the sidebar this week.  Week by week this year, I hope I can find time to read all that are on the list in a page posted above.  Go to Carrie Gelson's post here to discover what it's all about and who's participating (tweet at #MustReadin2014), or go to Gathering Books with Myra, Fats & Iphigene to see their CORL challenge!    


Fangirl – written by Rainbow Rowell    
          I fought my way through this book, consistently wondering, about where and who and why. It took me a few weeks to finish, just busy with other things, but I looked forward to reading pages at the end of every single day. After liking Eleanor & Park so much, I wasn’t sure that Rainbow Rowell could write another with characters so fascinating and loveable. She did. It really is a book for older adolescents because even as old as I am, the college girl still in me was so touched by the connections I made with the characters’ thoughts, relationships, and their earnest struggle to make things right.  While the reader might think that these are characters who are a little bit quirky, I think that they were just honest with their needs and wants, and didn’t hide behind what’s deemed as “cool”, like those who resist anyone seeing who they really are.



         Cather, the main character, writes fan fiction in response to a very popular book that sounds a lot like Harry Potter. Cather and her twin sister Wren have loved the series since junior high. The chapters begin with excerpts from both the “real” book and Cather’s writing. The plot twists with a manic but loving father, a mother who abandoned them when they were eight, a wonderful young man named Levi and a seemingly disastrous roommate named Reagan.  It is a family story, and a story of survival along with a very sweet romance. I enjoyed it very much.

I'm also participating in a third challenge, one that encourages everyone to read more books from Latino authors or with a Latino theme. You can click on the link at the right to find out more, and some great books reviewed there too! Here's one book sure to inspire!

Biblioburroa true story from Colombia – written and illustrated by the marvelous Jeannette Winter
          Living in a remote area of Colombia, Luis Soriana spent a lot of time reading, so much that his wife began to worry about the amount of room his book collection was using. They didn’t have a large home. So Luis got the idea to begin traveling to even more remote areas to give the books to those without. He used two burros to carry as many as possible, beginning with a collection of 70 in 2000. When the book was published, Jeannette Winter writes that this collection has grown to over 4,800 books, mostly through donations. She quotes Soriana: People around here love stories. I’m trying to keep that spirit alive in my own way.” It’s an inspiration to hear what one person with a good idea can do, and Jeannette Winter tells the story in her own special way, with a few good words, and beautifully illustrated pages.


Nest – written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley
               We’ve all been waiting for spring, and this is the perfect picture book to welcome it and to learn about robins’ lives. It does follow a robin family all year round, but shows the habits of building a nest, laying those beautiful eggs, hatching and raising their young.  Each beautifully-colored double-page spread has only one word that helps to tell the story.  This is a debut book by Jorey Hurley and could be called a “round-robin” tale!

Would You Salute? – written by D.
Kelley Steele and illustrated by Becky Hyatt Rickenbaker
         Sometimes younger children want to know about Hitler and the Nazis, the Holocaust, and it’s not an easy story to tell. D. Kelley Steele has written one young girl, Margot’s true story of her experience in Germany with a Jewish father and a Christian mother. The story is brief, focuses on the easy beginning time of being introduced to this man named Hitler in school, and being taught to salute him-hence the title. There are serious moments in the book, and then there are frightening ones like the relating of the father being taken away and questioned again and again. And there are sad ones.  The illustrations are beautiful paintings, seem larger than life, to tell this “large” story. It would be an introduction that is helpful to younger students in learning about this terrible time in history.

I Am Thomas – written by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Armin Greeder
          If I taught high school, I would share this book, and certainly it would begin some serious conversations. It is riveting, but harsh in the telling of a boy who rejects everyone in order to go his own way. I’d love to discuss it with someone, because the message is support for those who don’t follow expected paths, the questions asked like “why don’t you?” or “I wish you would…”, and we usually celebrate those who go their own way and are successful. The illustrations show only angry pushy adults who are demanding and critical. Is that how we seem to some young teens? The boy, Thomas, seems shut down, and refusing to entertain anything that society offers. Perhaps that’s what makes a good book; it makes me uncomfortable and thoughtful about the book.

Next: I received a copy of Stay Where You Are And Then Leave, John Boyne's latest book which comes out the end of the month. He is the author of The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. This new book is also about war, this time World War I, and thus far it's started well. I want to say I'm still reading Jeannine Atkins' Views From The Window Seat: Thoughts On Writing And Life, a book of essays. I read a little at a time, and love every word. 

40 comments:

  1. You always amaze me with all you get read in a week and what variety! I think I'd like the Nest book. We always have robins building nests around our house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elsie-It is the sweetest book. I bet you will enjoy it!

      Delete
  2. Love your selections this week, fascinating to read about Would You Salute! Really interested in finding that one. Thanks... Happy reading week to you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie-it was interesting to see the slow change that seemed easy, but then it was not! Hope you like it!

      Delete
  3. I know I have to find Nest - I love birds and any books related - nest building, eggs, migration, etc. I think Fangirl appeals to the college self in all of us - growing independence and connection to family. I loved this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Nest may be a good mentor text for few words & pictures that tell the story, Carrie. I loved looking at it! I'll have to see how the older students at school feel about Fangirl! Interesting book!

      Delete
  4. Once again, you have introduced me to new books! Love the story line of the burro carrying books - I will definitely check this out. Thanks for the great reviews!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Maureen. The Biblioburro is a great story.

      Delete
  5. Wow, Linda! How did you manage to read so many books AND blog AND comment? Nest looks perfect for our Kindergarteners! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the sweetest book, Catherine. I hope you enjoy it, too! Thanks!

      Delete
  6. I can't wait for Boyne's new book, Linda - we are reading aloud Striped Pajamas to launch our historical fiction genre study, which is always such an emotional experience. I'll have to look up Thomas - I have a Thomas in mind in our high school, and this may just be the book for him. Props to you for combining the two memes - I am running ragged (although in a nice way) with this year's March SOLSC!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see both posts, so I understand. Hope your day away was helpful, Tara. Boyne's book is good thus far, already after just about 40 pages. I read I Am Thomas to an older group today, and they were silent except for a few, but it is not surprising. It's a response to a serious topic.

      Delete
  7. I am intrigued by I AM THOMAS. I will definitely have to check that book out. I'm also interested to hear your thoughts on the new John Boyne book. I've heard good things about it but only in passing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you see above, so far really good, and the characters are emerging well. I'd love to know what you think of I Am Thomas! Thanks Beth!

      Delete
  8. I Am Thomas sounds intriguing. I do think that there are some young teens who view adults in this particular light. I am definitely going to look for that one. I loved Fangirl as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew that I Am Thomas would fit some of you with older students, Andrea. Let me know what you think if you can find a copy. I had to order it used from Amazon. Thanks!

      Delete
  9. I was happy to read about Fangirl! My book group just read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and I was curious about some of her other books. I enjoyed her voice and the way she writes. I'll have to check that one out...and I've heard good things about Eleanor & Park as well. Thanks for the info today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, happy to hear that you enjoyed Attachments, too. I'll look for it, Robin! I think Eleanor & Park is my favorite, but I did love Fangirl too. Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Whenever I come to your Monday book posts I have to keep my Amazon wish list open. Thanks for sharing so many good titles. I'm so glad you liked Fangirl. Biblioburro sounds terrific and I'd not seen it yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee Ann, happy to add to the list! I keep my wish list open too on Mondays. I don't order them all, but use it to order from the library most of the time.

      Delete
  11. Would You Salute sounds haunting. Ohhh, those books make me sad. I'm on my way to look for I am Thomas. Thanks for the recommendations, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Melanie-It is a good introduction to the way people are convinced that what they're doing is the right thing-rather scary!

      Delete
  12. Hi Linda! I am sooo glad you found I am Thomas - Armin Greder is simply a powerful picture book artist. He really redefines the genre. I shared this book in my higher degree class and they found it disturbing/haunting - but definitely a book that would stick to one's mind and tackles a very important issue too, I believe. Greder has an in-your-face quality that makes the reader step back. You should also find The Bear - also another collaboration with Libby Gleeson. And his The Island - that one is really powerful. And The City.

    I have to find Would you Salute for our War and Poetry theme. There are so many friends who have been recommending Fangirl and Rainbow Rowell's novels. Hopefully this year, I can get to them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can get to them, too, Myra. I enjoyed them as you can see. I read I Am Thomas today, see my reply to Tara above. I will definitely look for their other books! Thank you very much for the recommendation!

      Delete
  13. I so enjoyed Eleanor and Park and also felt that I was unsure if she would be able to capture the magic the same way - but your review of Fangirl has convinced me! Nest is one of my favorite new books for spring! Would You Salute and I am Thomas are new titles for me and I have marked them down. I'm often asked for picture books for older students so I Am Thomas certainly fits the bill! Thanks for these great recommendations, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Adrienne. I hope you enjoy Fangirl, quirky like Eleanor & Park, but it's so refreshing to see real people in books. I hope you can find I Am Thomas & check it out to see what you think. It really was amazing.

      Delete
  14. I never pass up you book recommendations! THank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anita! Hope you find some you'll love here!

      Delete
  15. Do you have a copy of Would You Salute? I have a student that might benefit from reading it right now! Thanks for all that you read and write!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sent you an e-mail, Susan? Maybe we can get it quickly from the library? Just returned it! Thanks!

      Delete
  16. Always fun to check out what you've been reading. I'm interested in the John Boyne book and Atkins' book of essays. A post like this makes me long for summer and more time to read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, but we must believe that it is on its way, Ramona. Both those books are good! Thanks! Love that cake!

      Delete
  17. Such a lovely range of books - more to add to my huge list of books to read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you find a few good ones that you like, Beverley! Thanks!

      Delete
  18. Holy cow! Can't believe you are doing all of this reading and reading and commenting on a zillion blogs besides!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was yesterday! But now I didn't do much reading at all. Maybe tomorrow! Thanks Carol!

      Delete
  19. Wasn't Fangirl great?!? It is one of the favorite books I've read over the last year.

    Thank you for sharing the other titles--I haven't read any of them.

    And like Carol said--HOLY COW! How are you able to read so much and also support all of the blogs you do. You're an amazing human being!

    Happy reading this week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kellee, part of all this is I'm a fast reader, and that helps a lot! Happy Reading and Rocking this week to you!

      Delete
  20. Fangirl is on my #MustRead list too! I can't wait to get to that part of my stack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maria-it was a terrific read!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!