Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's Monday, One Poetry Find Plus More

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 are being shared!
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR
Thank you Jen, Ricki, Kellee and Sheila for all you do to help us share books!

     This book fits the challenge to read more books from a Latino perspective. See more at Latin@s In Kid Lit here.
Abuelos – by Pat Mora, illustrated by Amelia Lau Carling
             This story tells of a tradition that the author discovered in Santa Fe, New Mexico of a mid-winter masquerade where villages dress in scary costumes, bonfires are lit, and children are chased by Los Abuelos, reminding children of the need to mind their parents and learn their prayers. It is reminiscent of community traditions everywhere and the story told is that kind of scary that everyone likes. Young Amelia tells the story, and after some chasing and screaming around the bonfire, she discovers that one abuelo especially seems familiar, her Uncle! The night ends with wonderful food and dancing. It’s a story to share and find common parts with other celebrations, like Halloween.



One Came Home – by Amy Timberlake
              I finally finished this book, raced through the final half is a better description. It is a slow
story at first, with some repetition, or perhaps one can call it, need of emphasis, at the beginning, but the story unwinds with breathtaking speed later. Georgie, a thirteen year old in a small Wisconsin town who helps out at the family’s general store, chooses to involve herself in a search for her older sister who has ‘run off’ or disappeared’, yet there is a body in a grave that other family accepts is that sister. Amy Timberlake has written a tale that Georgie tells herself, that is involved, with people so entangled, and has set the action in 1871, one of the years of the great passenger pigeon nestings. I connected immediately because of my love of John Muir’s descriptions of seeing those swarms of birds, blackening the sky, and then my sadness that they are now all gone.  The determination and grit of this young woman is tantalizing, and the story-telling voice seems very real. Georgie’s thoughts fly all over the place, and sometimes she doesn’t keep them to herself either. How realistic she seems, how like the thirteen year olds I know today! I enjoyed the book thoroughly.

Cricket Never Does – A Collection of Haiku and Tanka – by Myra Cohn Livingston and illustrated
by Kees de Kiefte
            I was delighted to find this older book at a favorite used bookstore by Myra Cohn Livingston filled with her beautiful haiku and tanka. Because I’m been trying to write in these new forms, it felt like the book was waiting for me. It’s divided by seasons, and in each, one can find such images that almost seem celebrated. I will share just a line from each season: Spring-‘shiny colored tents’ (umbrellas in rain), Summer-about bees-‘in their orange-and-black striped sweaters’, Fall – leaves – ‘these yellow birds”, and Winter – “Piles of ragged leaves”. Hope you can find a copy. I see that Alibris has several used copies available.


Ian’s Walk, a story about autism – by Laurie Lears, illustrations by Karen Ritz


           It’s autism awareness month, and I thought I’d share a book that our library had that Gigi McAllister recommended on her blog, The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog here!.  This story, like Rules by Cynthia Lord, is told by an older sister whose younger brother is autistic. The book tells of a walk to a nearby park, and we discover that Ian likes different things through his senses, and sometimes that means embarrassment for Julie. For instance, instead of wanting to see the food a restaurant offers, Ian only wants to watch the ceiling fan go around. And he loved the taste of some kinds of “pops” cereal instead of wanting pizza. The compromise comes when Julie is okay with Ian’s wishes, and does the same things, trying to figure out why he likes things that are different. The book shows worry and frustration on the part of the sisters, but also love and patience. It will be an interesting book to read and discuss with students about differences.

Next: More picture books from the library, or my own, plus the pressure has been intense, so I'm staring A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd! Fun to anticipate right now as I write this. I also have to start re-reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman for a book group. Happy Reading Everyone!

28 comments:

  1. Ha! I can't wait to hear what you think of A SNICKER OF MAGIC. I almost wonder sometimes though if I would have loved the book as much if I were reading it now rather than before it was published. Sometimes I think hype can ruin a book's magic.

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean, Beth, too much anticipation can ruin the experience, too. I have started, and so far I like it. Thanks!

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  2. I am so pleased that you liked One Came Home -I remember having the luxury of reading it on a spring trip all at once and being so impressed. And yes, Georgie what a character! I still haven't read A Snicker of Magic - I may be the only one left in the world it seems! :-) Enjoy!

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    1. I did enjoy that 'Georgia' story so much, Carrie. Snicker came from a student from our book fair a few weeks ago, so didn't even need to buy it! Otherwise I'd be reading elsewhere I'm sure...

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  3. Oooohh! Can't wait to hear what you think about Snicker. I almost want you to go into it thinking you won't like it - I hate when I read a book that has such high expectations, but then I don't seem to love it as much as everyone else does! I think you're a Wordie, though, so I don't think it will fall short of your expectations :) Read it slowly and enjoy!!

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    1. I bet I will like it Michele, & primarily because it's about words-you're so right!

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  4. Some interesting choices this week. I read historical fiction this past week - must read "One Came Home".

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    1. One Came Home was a very pleasant surprise, Beverley-I hope you enjoy it, too!

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  5. Cricket Never Does looks wonderful - I love finding these old treasures in used book stores and Myra Cohn Livingston is one of my favorites poets! I am very familiar with Ian's Walk and have shared it with many teachers at workshops. I like how it focuses on the sibling's perspective, as does Rules. I just got a copy of Snicker of Magic - can't wait to read it! Have a great week, Linda!

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    1. Thanks Adrienne, I was certainly excited to find the poetry book by Livingston! Glad you enjoy & share Ian's walk too!

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  6. Like Adrienne, I love finding hidden treasures in used book stores or at library sales. I haven't read any of these, Linda, but they all sound terrific. Good thing I'm on vacation this week and will have some time to read! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Vacation takes me to a variety of places when I read, hope you enjoy the journeys too, Catherine!

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  7. I very much enjoyed One Came Home as well. The descriptions of the Passenger Pigeons fascinated me. When Amy Timberlake came to do a school visit, she focused on some of the research she did for that part of the book and it was really neat to see. I have A Snicker of Magic on my TBR pile as well. Have a great reading week!

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    1. As I wrote, I'm fascinated by the accounts of passenger pigeons too, Andrea. I hope you can find the Muir book - My Boyhood, I think it is. Happy Reading to you, too!

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  8. One of my students won The Graveyard Book for his 31 slices and he is really loving it. Maybe I'll borrow it back. I finished Snicker last week and want to reread it already. So much richness there. I depend on your posts for keeping me in the know for reading.

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    1. I've read The Graveyard Book, & know this group will enjoy it, too. Do get it back, Margaret. It's great. So far, Snicker is good. I know I'll like it!

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  9. Thank you for sharing about Ian's Walk. We can't have enough books like this one to raise awareness, in my opinion. I will have to get it to read it to Henry. Thank you for sharing these books with us!

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    1. You're welcome Ricki. It was a good book for younger students, and Gigi's post shared even more.

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing the link to Gigi's post. That is a great list of books to read this month. I also tore through the second half of One Came Home. It's quite a ride.

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    1. Thanks Crystal, I'm happy to post again. It is a list worth keeping. Happy to hear about your experience with One Came Home, too!

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  11. Carrie and I can together be the last two people in the world who haven't read Snicker! I have One Came Home checked out from the library right now--hoping to get to it soon. I appreciate knowing that it's a bit of a slow start--that will help me stick with it. The story sounds fascinating. I am really enjoying the books I'm reading for the Latinas in Kidlit Challenge. I've already reached my goal but plan to keep reading--so many good titles to choose from!

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    1. Yes, about the Latina books! I have a few more from the library and such a list to find still. It's wonderful to discover books I might never have seen. Thanks Elisabeth. Hope you enjoy One Came Home.

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  12. Wow, how in the world do you fit so much reading in? Even with my eyes better, I just can't seem to focus my mind on a book lately. I know if I get into one I will have a good time there! Just have to do it! I have Gossamer and Rush Revere: Brave Pilgrims waiting patiently just within reach.

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    1. Funny, I just had Gossamer recommended to me and brought a copy home. I read a lot, Donna, but still don't feel I keep up. Have you seen the article that talks about our habits changing because of the 'quick' reading we're doing on the net? I think it was NY Times, but am not sure. Let me know if you want me to find it.

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    2. Haven't seen that article, but I can believe it. I think we are all slowly turning ADD or ADHD, whether adult onset or getting 'em early as a 2 year old with TV, electronic games and lots more. It will be interesting to see if anyone will know how to have a conversation in the next 10 years judging from what I see in restaurants, malls and just walking down the sidewalk. Lucky they don't fall into holes and walk into poles - though I think that is happening, too! Ok - going to get that book NOW!

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    3. Hope you return to check. Here's the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/serious-reading-takes-a-hit-from-online-scanning-and-skimming-researchers-say/2014/04/06/088028d2-b5d2-11e3-b899-20667de76985_story.html

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  13. Hi there Linda, loved reading through your reviews of these books. One Came Home sounds intriguing - I really have to find that one soonest. Seems like a gradual unraveling of a story. I also enjoy it when books seem to find you at the right time - that Myra Cohn Livingston book sounds like a real winner. :) Have a great reading week!

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    1. Thanks Myra. I know you're busy, hope you find a way to read One Came Home. It is worth a look. Happy reading to you too!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!