Monday, August 17, 2015

Reading On Vacation



           On Mondays, it's time to link up to share books I'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
        Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!

          I'm lucky enough to still be on vacation, but all the family is gone. Now it's time to catch up on reading and writing before I return home. I hope all of you are enjoying your school starts, with only staff so far, or with students!

         Here are some books I read before I left, and a few I read just today, hanging out at the local library! 
       This first book is another one that I've read from my #MustReadIn2015 list! The list is on the 'pages' at the top.

The Red Pencil - a verse novel written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
            I'm sorry I put this off so long. It is never easy to read about a war, and the victims of it, still in it. Reading the story in the strong voice of a young girl was harder to me, but it will reach other children in its honesty, but without too much detail of the horrors that people are living through still today. Young Amira Bright loses nearly everything, her father, her home, her beloved sheep. And then she must live in the squalid conditions of a refugee camp. Poorly fed and housed, somehow there is sparkle in the tiniest of things: an orange Fanta, such a taste; the letter A, learning in secret; a tiny hedgehog moving through the camp. One of the sweetest lines is early in the book, when Amira's sister is born, and is crippled. Her father says: "This baby will keep us all strong. That is the way of a child who comes with so much specialness. We will stretch to meet her." One thread, also from the father, is a game that he teaches Amira. They play "What else is possible?" The only rule is that the answer to this can only be good. I hope you can see that this "mindset" is a beautiful example of a growth mindset. It helps Amira keep going. It's a rich story, sad to imagine, good for older children to read about the harsh realities happening today in war, not just in the past. Shane W. Evans illustrates throughout as if he is Amira. The drawings are poignant.


The War That Saved My Life - written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
        It's a poignant book, made moreso by the war surrounding this troubled young girl, whose clubfoot has kept her imprisoned by an abusive mother. Thank goodness for the evacuation of children from London, for (as the title said) it saved Ada and her brother. They had to learn about living with goodness and love, and they did. It's a page turner that reminds me of Michelle Magorian's Goodnight, Mr. Tom, another book about children during World War II keeping the secrets of their terrible lives.




Float - written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
       A little boy follows his paper boat on a rainy day, having fun watching it travel until it disappears! Finally he finds it, after it's floated down a drain, and discovers it's destroyed by too much water. He and the boat, both arrive home soaking wet. The boy is sad, but dried and cared for. But then, a good thing happens, a new idea comes as he looks at someone reading a newspaper. . . Fun story, delightful drawings with the color emphasis on the boat and his rain suit. My granddaughter couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next! 

Soon - Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Patrick Benson
         A journey of an elephant mother and her little child, Raju, is calm, although they do meet alligators, snakes and tigers. The mother protects in special ways as her child keeps asking, "when can we go home again"? There is a beautiful ending, enhanced by the awesome illustrations. The story shows well how much mothers know to do to protect their children, yet also show them wonderful things.





Such A Little Mouse - written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Stephanie Yue
           I don't know many books by Alice Schertle and discovered this one displayed today. It's for younger children, pre-school to second grade perhaps, about a little mouse preparing for winter, through lovely parts of spring, summer and autumn. Like many for younger readers, there are repeating phrases: "Such A Little Mouse" is one, and he goes out exploring the world while gathering a few tidbits to store for the winter. Sweet words and pictures.

And until today, I had never read The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - written by William Joyce and illustrated by Joe Bluhm
           It's about life and the love of story, but first Mr. Lessmore begins by writing his own, but the words (and his life) are jumbled, falling. Perhaps he feels as if they're failing? Until those flying books come flying by, like a beautiful bunch of balloons, he hadn't yet discovered the joy of many stories with his own wrapped around, in and under each one. This time, into a library he went, and he read and enjoyed and adored his life and those of many others there. One thing I loved is the welcome he received by several books, including one with an egg-shaped character on a page. At the end, that same character is there to say goodbye. Joe Bluhm's illustrations use light and dark masterfully to help tell of this beautiful life, start to finish.

Because I've been on vacation, I haven't read much of any longer books, and am still enjoying Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.

20 comments:

  1. I have heard so many good things about The War That Save My Life. I want to get it soon.

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    1. It is a good story, Crystal, and a wonderful example of how hard it is to gain a child's trust when it has been so terribly broken.

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  2. I almost picked up Such a Little Mouse at the library today, but decided to save it for another time. I have tried to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers a couple of times but for some reason have always abandoned it just a short way into the book. I really need to put my mind to it and read it.

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    1. I'm slow reading Beyond the Beautiful Forevers because of vacation. It is complicated to follow the names, but it's getting easier as more happens. It's pretty sad. How funny that you saw Such A Little Mouse too. Thanks, Lisa.

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  3. Wasn't Float beautiful? Loved the end pages!
    The emotion in War really got to me. So upset at the mom, and just loved how the author kept Ada true to her feelings. I'm glad she didn't instantly trust Susan, it felt so real and raw and honest. Gorgeous book!

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    1. Yes! Agree about both books, Michele. I loved Float & so did Ingrid. They have made boats & floated them in the street gutters, so she was very interested. And I too was happy that Ada didn't immediately trust. It's so hard to imagine such a parent. Thanks, Michele.

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  4. I loved Behind the Beautiful Forevers--such a powerful and important book. I am pretty sure I read Flying Books sometime or other but I really don't remember it. I need a reread! Float just arrived in the mail and I'm looking forward to reading that one (and many other new PBs!) this week. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth. I guess there are simply too many books, & then I put them off for a long time. I'm looking forward to reading more and finishing the 'Beautiful Forevers' & sorry it took so long. I know it's going to be sad, though. Enjoy Float, and I really liked the Flying Books story.

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  5. I had a new student ask specifically for The War That Saved My Life! So pleased. Maybe I will have a strong group of historical fiction readers for a change!

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    1. How wonderful that would be, Karen. I'm glad to hear about a student requesting, which means talk! Thanks for telling me.

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  6. Both those YA books are such powerful stories. Red Pencil was a historical fiction book club selection in our class last year - it became a class favorite.

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    1. I read "The War. . ." because of your wonderful review, Tara. It is a wonderful story. And as I said, can't believe I waited so long to read The Red Pencil, which touched me because I know this is still happening for so many. Thanks.

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  7. Oh I am so excited for you that you got to experience Morris Lessmore! Have you seen the little movie? So great! You can find it on You Tube.

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    1. No, not the movie yet. I ran out of time! But I will. It is the sweetest story!

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  8. I haven't read any of these Linda! And now I want to read them all!
    Enjoy the rest of your vacation!!

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Kellee, in your very busy day today, thanks for commenting! There are just too many good books!

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  9. I'll be recommending The War that Saved My Life to teachers this Wednesday. It was a surprisingly good book.

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    1. They will appreciate all your recommendations, Earl. You know so many good books! It is a good one!

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  10. Hi there Linda! I so loved following your vacation on Facebook - gorgeous photos! Have you seen the film adaptation of Morris Lessmore? Or the iPad edition that is meant to be absolutely glorious? The War that Saved My Life sounds like a great read indeed. :) And the setting is in London! :)

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    1. So glad you like the photos, Myra, as I do yours, too! No, still need to access those 'flying books'. Thanks for reminding me. "The War That Saved My Life" is really well done. I hope you like it!

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