Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's Monday - Time To Share

         Thanks to Jen at Teach.Mentor.Texts and Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers for hosting our Monday Reading community. It's just great to see what everyone shares. 
          Tweet at #IMWAYR


      It was a great week of reading, some finds in my school library and some read at a bookstore made the week fun.


         This book meets the 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit reading challenge that shares more books from Latino authors or about Latino people. You can read about the challenge by clicking on the sidebar button.

Love And Roast Chicken, a trickster tale from the Andes Mountainswritten and illustrated by Barbara Knutson
                 The first reason I found this book is because of the beautiful cover. With bright colors emphasized by black outlining, it is so appealing. The story follows the usual structure of a trickster tale and while the back matter says in the Andes mostly the trickster is a grey fox, this time it’s a guinea pig, or “cuy”-guinea pig in Spanish, mixed with the ancient languages of Quechua or Aymara (what is spoken in the Andes).  Other Andean words are included in the story, like “pobrecito” (poor little thing) and “Que ridiculo” (how ridiculous). The dear guinea pig finds himself in various scary situations, which he smoothly talks out of, tricking the fox time and again. It’s a book to use for predicting, with lots of laughter at the fox who keeps believing that CUY again and again.




           adult novel-am very glad I read it!
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – written by Gabrielle Zevin
                 I don't want to give anything away. It's a good, satisfying story. It's a sweet love story of
two people, of a father and his child, and of a man and his books. There are parts that surprised, and parts that I expected. Since I'm a reader, too, I loved the parts at the beginning of each chapter that spoke of a piece of writing, part of a book, a short story, advice from the printed word. The characters are complex with backstories that help them be understood, but are mysterious until we're let in on the secrets. And there are secrets, tantalizing ones. Gabrielle Zevin lets us in on them, but doesn't allow other characters to know the secrets for a while, or never. A.J. Fikry's demeanor changes, and we hear his thoughts about this, sometimes bad, sometimes not, but it is his kindness learned that stands out for me. I hope if you choose to read it, you will thoroughly enjoy it.

          middle grade novel - wow!
Boys of Blur – N.D. Wilson
            I don’t know this author and evidently I’ve been missing some good books, written earlier. According to N.D. Wilson, he wonders why there aren’t more magical and fantastic stories in the U.S. (like in Great Britain). Well, he’s written one, set in the town of Tapir, beside Lake Okeechobee, with the cane fields alongside. The action starts so fast it’s difficult to put the book down, and Wilson writes tightly, no extra descriptions, just the facts readers need to know. Basing the story on some parts of Beowulf, we meet Charlie, a mixed-race family evolved from an earlier abusive father and a brave mother who managed to make the break with Charlie and re-marry.  This conflict touches the parts of the story that are magical, the dark parts within the swamp, those who are fighting those named the “Gren, and their evil mother” who are trying to destroy the world with the tricky infusion of feelings envy, jealousy and anger. There are parallels between the stories, hidden deftly, but they are there. Charlie manages to overcome scary injuries to keep on with his quest, helped mostly by a second cousin, Cotton. You’ll need to read this so you can share it with those students who adore adventure fantasy. Here’s the first line: “When the sugarcane’s burning and the rabbits are running, look for the boys who are quicker than flame.”   Later on the same page, “Out here in the flats, when the sugarcane’s burning and the rabbits are running, there can only be quick. There’s quick, and there’s dead.”

                 picture books - 3 wonderful ones!

The Adventures of Beekle, the Unimaginary Friend – written and illustrated by Dan Santat
                  How wonderful that there is a book for children that goes beyond the thought of imaginary friends, the part that shows where they are born (created?), and how they manage to travel to one’s friend. That is this story, and a sweet one it is, with beautiful full illustrations, both realistic and imagined.

Flight School – written and illustrated by Lita Judge
             Of so many books read recently, this is a favorite. Lita Judge’s illustrations make me smile every single page, and the sweet little penguin (with the 'soul of an eagle') is so persistent and passionate about wanting to learn to fly, and then willing to try just about everything, even accept help from friends. There are lessons to be learned in this book, and not just about flying.





A Gift for Mama – written by Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated by Alison Jay
             What a wonderful story, about a sweet little boy trying to find the perfect gift for his mother's birthday. He begins with a perfect rose, but to help others, keeps trading his "finds" for someone else to use. The illustrations are gorgeous pages, filled with small details of old Vienna. The back matter explains that some of the people Oskar encounters are actual well-known people at the time, like Klimpt the artist. I bought this for my daughter for mother's day because her children call her 'Mama'.

                        poetry

Swing Around The Sun – poems written by Barbara Juster Esbensen, each part illustrated by Cheng-Khee Chee, Janice Lee Porter, Mary GrandPré, and Stephen Gammell  in turn

                Beautiful poetry book that has a four seasons approach, employing four different illustrators that show off the poems beautifully. Terrific to see and to read the poems. There's something for everyone in this collection.





Next - late to the reading, but beginning Mark of The Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson, from NetGalley. So far, starting well. It's time to choose one of my #MustReadIn2014 also. I'm traveling Thursday to Sunday to see my son and family in Texas. It'll be fun to take the kindle...

26 comments:

  1. The illustrations for Love and Roast Chicken definitely stands out. And I've seen Flight School at our store but I may have been chicken'ed out lately but maybe I'll try and read it this week!

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    1. Loads of bird books, and chickens, lately, I know, but this one is worth it, Earl-so funny.

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  2. I have to go look for Boys of Blur. Rabbits in the sugarcane field? We have that experience here, the burning and the running. I think my students will understand the setting and I'm fascinated to read about the magical aspects.

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    1. Oh Margaret, if you all know about this, this is the book for you and your students! It really seemed a little scary, FYI, but was well done!

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  3. You amaze me at how much reading you find the time to do! Boys of Blur looks really good, and Flight School made me laugh out loud. Thanks for all the sharing, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Melanie, I just read every chance I get! Hope you enjoy the books!

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  4. We read a lot of the same books last week. :) I absolutely adored A.J. Fikry. I'm trying to write my review right now and having a hard time putting into words my feelings for this book.

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    1. I know what you mean about this book, Beth. I actually thought I might start over and read it again. First book in a while that brought tears, and more than once! I'll look for your review!

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  5. I love Love And Roast Chicken, a trickster tale from the Andes Mountains... :) Love the picture books shared...

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    1. I'm very glad I found this tale, Debbie. It was terrific. Thanks!

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  6. Beautiful review for Boys of Blur - it is on my TBR list. I am completely intrigued by A.J. Filkry - have been thinking I need to read more adult stories and this might be where to start. I too adored Beekle. And I can't wait to read Flight School. Seems the perfect book to have in the classroom.

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    1. Each book I shared today is well worth reading, Carrie. I needed to read an adult book too, and Fikry was terrific. A few weeks ago I read that memoir, The Little Book Store of Big Stone Gap, & they fit together very well. Yes, Flight School is one I will need to purchase.

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  7. Too funny. I just put Beekle on my library hold list! I didn't realize that Gabrielle Zevin had an adult book, so thank you for sharing! She is a fabulous writer. I am always amazed at her work.

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    1. Yes, Zevin is terrific. This is a fairly new book & I thought it was the sweetest story, Ricki. Beekle was, too. It was a good week for books!

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  8. So many good books this week! I adored Beekle and Flight School. The part about having difficulties with the technical parts made me laugh!! I'm reading The Boys of Blur right now too. My daughter asked me what I thought and I said I liked it, but didn't love it but mostly because I read it right before bed and I've been so tired, I fall asleep while reading! I've spend most of my time rereading!!! I have AJ Fikry and Dragonfly on my summer TBR list!! And thanks for the reminder, I need to get back to some of my Must Read books too!! Have a great week and safe travels!

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    1. Thanks Michele. Sometimes when I wait too long before reading, I just get about 10 minutes & then, fall asleep! I understand! Isn't Flight School the cutest book? I really liked it! Thanks for the wishes-have a nice week, too!

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  9. Oh dear Linda, I just borrowed Beekle from our public library last Sunday, but I am saving it for much much later this week, and I look forward to enjoying it. Would read AJ Fikry once I'm done with The Goldfinch (which predictably, might take awhile haha, I've resigned myself to it). The trickster tale you just shared reminded me a little bit of Singapore and Malaysia's sang kancil or the mousedeer that frequently outwits/outsmarts much bigger animals. In the book of essays that I am currently editing for AFCC, a wonderful academic and senior lecturer from New Zealand has contributed a wonderful chapter on the trickster and its many functions in the classroom, truly a great chapter. :)

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    1. I understand about Fikry-am saving The Goldfinch for summer! Perhaps someday I can read that chapter about tricksters-fascinating that they're all over the world, isn't it? Thanks for telling me, Myra!

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  10. Have only heard amazing things about Boys of Blur. I NEED to get it.
    Beekle is the book of the week, and, as a huge fan of Santat, I need to read it ASAP.
    Loved learning about the others, thank you.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Thanks Kellee-Beekle is the nicest imaginary tale. It never occurred to me that there is a "backstory" about imaginary friends, but of course there is! Hope you enjoy it!

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  11. Both The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and Boys of Blur sound like fabulous books. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a great reading week!

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    1. Thanks Andrea, hope you get to both of those books soon! Great reads!

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  12. Such a great list of books! I can't wait to read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and Boys of Blur - I purchased them both, and they are waiting for me! I HAVE to get Flight School! Thanks for sharing all these great titles. :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Holly. Hope you get to them all, and soon!

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  13. Beekle is a new favorite for me--I wasn't expecting such a warm-hearted, touching story. I've seen the N.D. Wilson book on a few different Monday lists lately--definitely intrigues me. And I am a sucker for books about books, so will definitely find Gabrielle Zevin's new book. Now that it's officially summer vacation for me, I will definitely indulge in a few "grown-up" books! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. The 'Fikry' book will be a great summer read, Elisabeth. And I hope I'll get to share the Beekle book with some young children, to see what they think. It's such a nice idea.

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