Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Reading - Great Week

           On Mondays, we are lucky to link up to share books we've read that are for children and teens with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. Others link to share adult books with Sheila at Book Journeys who started the meme a long time ago. You'll discover so many great books.  Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!
           It's a long post today, so much fun reading this week!

         These first two books are from my MustReadIn2015 list. Hurrah!
 Reading books in the Raven cycle by Maggie Stiefvater feels sometimes like that old "Whack-A-Mole" game. Just when you feel that you can relax because something is solved, or at least all right at that moment, another, sometimes more alarming, thing pops up. In this book, the plot indeed thickens, and the characters show more of themselves in all their goodness and only a bit of evil. It's hard to choose a favorite character. I don't know if you have one, but I find even those who appear who are dead have authenticity. If that isn't enough to pique your interest, you'll need to read the first two books, then suspend all belief in this one, because magic and frightening things from the mind are apparent in every character. Those Raven Boys keep at it with a lot of help from my favorite girl character, Blue, and more than a little help from Mr. Grey. Adam stars in this story, and we see the real goodness come into play from both Ronin and Gansey. It was a pleasure to read Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I now anticipate number four, due next February. More moles peeked out at the end of Blue Lily, Lily Blue. 



 Cynthia Lord takes us well under the skin of her characters, and in this one, I imagine both kids and parents (spouses) can relate when one of the family, this time the father, keeps them moving. Lucy, twelve, has already moved three times in her life. Just three years ago, they were in Vermont, then Boston, and now in a rather lifeless house on a lake in New Hampshire. She lets us know how she feels often, the uneasiness of whether to wave and smile at the kids she sees at the house next door, her constant worry if she’s saying the right thing. It’s hard growing up, and even harder when one has to keep starting over with friends. Lucy’s father is a successful nature photographer, is gone on adventures often, and Lucy misses him too. This particular summer, he’s off the day after their move, and Lucy and her mother are left behind to settle in and make new friends. Nate, a boy next door, is a summer visitor, so Lucy knows that he’ll be gone by fall, yet she is immediately included in the “loon watch”, where they kayak across the lake to check on a pair of loons nesting. A second story that actually helps the friendship is Nate’s grandmother, Grandma Lilah, a loon watcher, too, whose cabin it is, but who also is falling into dementia. Through a photography contest (that will be judged by her father), Lucy stepping out to see if she can please him, but anonymously; Nate helping, and unknowing, their lives become quite tangled and conflicted. Lord allows Lucy to tell the story as it builds the tension of the dilemmas of a twelve year old trying to navigate her life. There is more than one life lesson here. The book would be a good read aloud or be great to read with a small group.


            Published in 2009, I somehow missed this lovely story by Patricia Polacco. It's good to see another LBGT book for younger kids that shows changes from the expected, but so many things that are the same within the happy and loving families. Polacco's exuberant illustrations always make me smile.











It's a counting book, it's a celebration of families, all kinds, and it's wonderful to see and determine just what is being counted on each page. Love seeing the diversity here, and I can't wait to share it with younger children. George Shannon's story, and Blanca Comez' illustrations make a great combination.










      Gorgeous illustrations by Stephanie Graegin for each poem/sentence along with sweet little poems by Annette LeBox show numerous ways of gathering peace. Here are some favorite lines: "So offer a cookie. Walk away from a fight. Comfort a friend/Through the long, dark night." Each page shows a scene with children, sometimes with a parent. It's a calming book, one to read with a big sigh.











       I discovered this at my local bookstore, a lovely book for pre-schoolers at bedtime. The illustrations just invite kids to look and look, then touch. It's a nice introduction to how wonderful books can be and a great sleepy time book, too.










       Remember that last week I shared Rachel Isadora's beautiful There Was A Tree? Well, this time at the library, there sat this book, a new book to another old song, that Woman Who Swallowed the Fly. This time it is a gorgeous-to-see creation story, somewhat based on the discovery in 1879 of Spain's Altamira cave paintings by a nine year old girl! It's by Teri Sloat and illustrated by Stefano Vitale. Sloat takes one through the creation more and more as Vitale adds her imaginative paintings. As you can see from the cover, the art is gorgeous.






Finally, I couldn't leave this one out! Carrie Gelson of There's a Book For That sent me a recommendation for this book the same day I checked it out from the library. I think I requested it from her review! It is a fabulous book, to read the words, to see what happens, and to enjoy the surprises. I won't say more!
Still Reading:

With #CyberPd

And just started Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See, about time!

26 comments:

  1. So Many Great reads here! I really connected with Lucy in Half a Chance. I loved that book. I'll be curious to see what you think of All The Light We Cannot See. I noticed it at the book store, but couldn't justify buying another book right now! I've been lurking on the #cyberPD. I'll be ready to participate more next year. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. So far, All The Light We Cannot See is great, intriguing, gathering together the characters and the story. So many have recommended it & I know I always like the books that won the Pulitzer. I'm sorry I was so late in reading Half A Chance, now I will read the latest by Cynthia Lord soon! Thanks, Kendra.

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  2. Love Patricia Polacco! Gotta read that. I liked All The Light You Cannot See. I found it slow to start but when the storylines came together, I really enjoyed it.
    Lisa
    LisaTeachR'sClassroom

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    1. Yes, as I said above, all that early introduction is happening in the book now, but it makes me want to read faster! Enjoy the Polacco; I'm so glad I found it! Thanks, Lisa.

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  3. Half a Chance is such a sweet book. I very much enjoyed it. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my next audiobook! I can't wait!

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    1. It is good! Hope you enjoy the audio, & I imagine it will be exciting! Thanks!

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  4. Love your diversity of diversity books, Linda! Peace is an Offering and the Old Man who Painted the Sky are must reads for me. (One year for Halloween I went as a cave painting!)

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    1. What imagination you must have, Katie, to go as a cave painting, and what a terrific idea. Both those books you highlighted are quite wonderful!

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  5. I always feel so good when I get another #mustread checked off my list! I would like to read all of Cynthia Lord's books soon. I finished Rules not too long ago, it was amazing!

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    1. I have A Handful of Stars, will read it soon, I think. I put off Half A Chance way too long! Yes, Rules is lovely. I've used it with a book group several times.

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  6. So many wonderful books here - We didn't know about that Patricia Polacco book either. Thank you for sharing. We are big Cynthia Lord fans and can't wait to read her newest book A Handful of Stars. Have you read it yet?

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    1. No, but I did buy A Handful of Stars. I'll read it after All The Light We Cannot See which I've been putting off way too long. Glad to share the Polacco book. It's a nice one, like her others.

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  7. I also liked Half a chance and just finished A Handful of Stars. I want to read All the Light We Cannot see but is on loan to my daughter right now. I will have to pick that up later this summer. I just picked up Lost in the Sun by LIsa Graff and am excited to see about that one. So much good reading this summer.

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    1. Yes, as I guess there is every summer, Joanne. I'm enjoying All The Light We Cannot See, and looking forward to A Handful of Stars. Tara just reviewed Lost In The Sun which certainly also sounds wonderful. Great reading!

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  8. That's a Patricia Polacco I haven't seen and with that subject, it's a must-own for me to share with my pre-service teachers. Also love that diverse family on the cover! I really loved Half a Chance. Just finished Handful of Stars last week and loved that one too. Cynthia Lord is just so good. I still need to finish the second Raven Boys book. I have such a tendency not to finish series, even if I like the first book.

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    1. I often take too long to finish a series, but do try! It's too bad they don't just come out all together! I'm looking forward to A Handful of Stars, just saw your review. I always enjoy Lord's books too. Thanks, Elisabeth!

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  9. The picture books and poetry look so enticing, Linda! I loved Lord's book, too - she has a way of getting at certain complexities in very accessible ways for young readers. I had to put down Doerr's book - so haunting and sad, I just didn't have the courage to keep reading. Perhaps it is a winter book for me.

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    1. I haven't gotten very far, will plug along for a while. I understand. Sometimes it's just too much. Yes, Lord just tells such a good & deep story for younger kids. I'm looking forward to A Handful of Stars.

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  10. So many lovely books about peace and family! Thank you for sharing these titles with us, my friend. I am secretly hoping you do get to Circus Mirandus, but I won't get too pushy. ;) I hope you have a marvelous week, friend!

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    1. Will try to get to the Circus Mirandus before your chat, Ricki. It would be fun to share about it! Thanks, hope your week is terrific too!

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  11. I love both of these novels! I am so pleased that you liked In a Village by the Sea. So full of so much! Peace is an Offering looks wonderful. Likely a book I should get for the classroom.

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    1. In A Village By A Sea was wonderful and beautiful and surprising, Carrie. So glad you shared it so I'd know about it! Peace. . . is lovely, will be nice to share with a class. Thanks!

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  12. I love Lord, but haven't read Half a Chance yet--I need to remedy that. I have a copy at school. I will need to grab it when school starts.
    The picture books all look so beautiful and special--thank you for sharing them.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, I was happy to read Half A Chance. Cynthia Lord is one I should read immediately. I always love her books. Hope you find a good picture book you'll enjoy among these. And hope your nights are improving!

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  13. Hi there Linda, I just read A Village by the Sea myself this weekend and will be featuring it too in the coming weeks. I love the story within a story layering to this deceptively-simple picturebook. Great to see the other titles here too!

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    1. I will look for your review, Myra. What a wonderful surprise it is. Thanks!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!