Monday, June 8, 2015

It's Monday - Time To Share!

"Reading gives us a place to go when we have to stay where we are."

           Every Monday, different bloggers link up with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. and Sheila at Book Journeys.to share books they've recently read. You'll discover so many great books.  Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!

Ready Player One - by Ernest Cline 
        It's taken me a long time to finish this book, and only because I had so many other things to do. It is long, and definitely for young adults. I read it because numerous students continued to say how much they loved it, and that they had read it more than once. I must say I didn't ever want to stop, and I'm also sure that I didn't understand quite a few of the references to eighties video games. It's a futuristic story told in first person by a young teen who is immersed in the Oasis, a virtual world created by a former video game creater, James Halliday. The plot begins with a description of how the boy, Parzival (the avatar name) or Wade (his real name) lives with a not-so-friendly aunt in a place named the stacks, where old trailers are staked and jimmied together for those who need shelter, but space isn't available except "up". It sounds like a junkyard, or a most depressing warren of dwellings, and this world is not very pleasant, and at least it's a place "inside". Parzival also has a hideout where he logs into Oasis, is in touch with specific other characters, soon to be his friends and compadres, all through this virtual adventure. It doesn't stop moving, it has some mature language and subject matter, but Cline has introduced a new kind of hero, a smart gamer who at the end faces big challenges and has a love challenge, too. I enjoyed it.
              

Special Delivery - written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
               I loved the craziness of this book, glad to have read it just to read something lighter than a YA book I was currently reading. A little girl, Sadie, wants to do something nice for her 
grandmother, whom she says is lonely. She decides to send her an elephant, but encounters quite a few obstacles along the way. It would take too many stamps, the postman tells her, and too much fuel for the airplane when Sadie asks a pilot to fly her (and the elephant). Finally she does settle on a good idea for transportation, but I'll let you discover what the ending is like-fun surprises. Matthew Cordell's beautiful water color illustrations with black outlining are full of whimsy and silliness. It's a fun and imagined adventure!


Next: In addition to writing all my evaluations this week, starting Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan.

28 comments:

  1. I liked Ready Player One too. I lived through the 80s and am sure that I still missed many of the references! Here is my accounting of last week. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks Kathy, it was filled with the eighties I know. I suspect my own children would love it, too.

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  2. I'm glad to see a good book with gaming at its center. I always had students ask for those but didn't have many to recommend for them. Special Delivery sounds like so much fun-and I love everything I've read by Pam Munoz Ryan. I'll have to look for Echo.

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    1. Your game-loving students will love Ready Player One, but it is only for the older students, middle school & up. Enjoy Special Delivery, too-such fun. Echo is starting beautifully! Thanks, Kay.

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  3. How could I have missed the connection? My fave PB for awhile was Special Delivery and then replaced by This is Sadie. Characters with the same name!

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    1. I have This Is Sadie from the library, but haven't had time to read it yet. I noticed it too. Funny how the names go in books. Thanks, Earl.

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  4. I loved Special Delivery too - Phillip Stead is a favorite of mine. The gaming book sounds like it would really appeal to many tweens and teens who love gaming! I will definitely be telling my librarian to order this one!

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    1. Thanks Adrienne, I'm sure many students will enjoy it.

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  5. As I read your comments about Ready Player One, I couldn't help but connect to my experiences listening to Cory Doctorow's For The Win. I didn't have the background knowledge about video gaming to make sense of it and had to abandon it. I purchased In Real Life, his graphic novel connected to this subject, and hope to get to it this summer. By the time I'm done I hope I'll be able to read all of these books with some awareness of the topic.

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    1. It's sci-fi future too, & actually that helped, to just imagine the virtual reality things, but again, I'm sure I missed many references.

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  6. I am slowly embracing the ridiculous, lighthearted nature of Philip Stead's books.

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    1. That's about what you should do, just sit back & enjoy the silly! Thanks, Beth.

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  7. I'm (slightly) embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize Pam Munoz Ryan had a new book come out. I just looked it up on Amazon. It sounds wonderful. I'll wait to hear what you think before I buy it. (No pressure!)

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    1. It's okay, I don't know everything coming out either, Stacey. I bet Isabelle would love Special Delivery!

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  8. I have Special Delivery sitting next to the couch to read soon! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it!
    Ready Player One's audio was recommended to me years ago, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I need to move it further up on my TBR.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Enjoy Special Delivery, Kellee, it is funny. Ready Player One was both good and so different from what I've read in dystopian books before, but the characters were compelling & I did want them to be okay. Clearly you can see I was intrigued.

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  9. I adored Special Delivery too! I think Matthew Cordell's illustrations went together with Stead's text perfectly!
    Can't wait to hear what you think about Echo!

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    1. Wow, I've just read the intro, & later I'll really start. What a beginning!

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  10. Both of my teenagers (Tammy) read Ready Player One last summer and absolutely loved it. They are both looking forward to reading Armada when it comes out this July.

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    1. There is something that is amazing about the book. I'm happy to hear about your teens too. Those in my classroom that loved it "really" loved it. Thanks for telling about the next one. I didn't know.

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  11. Special Delivery sounds super fun. Thanks. I look forward to hearing what you think about Echo. It's one on my list.

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    1. So far, I really like the beginning, Crystal! I do love her books!

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  12. Enjoy Echo! I loved Special Delivery. thinking I would like it to be specially delivered to my bookshelf! A wonderful title.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. Echo is starting wonderfully.

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  13. Ready Player One is one I really need to read. I loved the illustrations in Special Delivery but I often struggle with the storyline in Stead's books (except for Sick Day for Amos McGee, which is on my all-time top 10 list). There often seems to be something unresolved, underdeveloped to me. I need to read Special Delivery again and see if I appreciate it more. Some books just need a little time to ripen for me, LOL.

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    1. Sometimes I just enjoy the 'ride' & don't worry about where, I think. I just thought it was a silly book, will also wait to see what my 6 year old granddaughter thinks. Ready Player One is different from others I've read, but it's worth a look.

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  14. Hi there Linda - great to hear about Ready Player One - not sure whether it's a book that would resonate with me, but always good to know about novels you can hand over to a young reader to get them into reading. Special Delivery sounds like a keeper. My husband just gave me a copy of Echo! Can't wait to sink my teeth into it.

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    1. Agree-Ready Player One is not for everyone, Myra. I am just finishing my evals & want to read Echo instead-am loving it very much! Enjoy!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!