Sunday, December 6, 2015

Monday Reading AND a Giveaway



 
          Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up. Sheila at Book Journeys began this sharing, and it's now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date..




        This book series of nine books is all about farms, beginning with A Year On The Farm, and now a just released Christmas story, Casey's Bright Red Christmas, all by Holly Dufek and illustrated by Paul E. Nunn. If you or your children or students are interested in farming, this is the series. It reminds me of the Cars movies, where each vehicle has a name and a personality, only this time the vehicles are farm machines: Fern the farmall, Big Red the magnum, Kellie the combine, and more. They take part in the business of farming, perform important jobs, all managed by a girl named Casey and a worm named Tillus, who is in charge of the weather report. My granddaughters six and four sat interested in both stories, asking more questions about how the farm machines worked. New information is always fun. 
        The Christmas story finds Casey working at her farm chores, becoming more and more tired. She doesn't feel good, and there are many chores to do in addition to all the Christmas decorating. Finally, taking a break, she lays her head on the kitchen table and falls asleep. The machines wait and wait, wondering how to decorate and find the perfect tree without her. And that's the surprise because they do manage, helping out because it's needed. The story shows the goodness of friendship, the illustrations are cheerful, and each book has added extras. For example,  A Year On The Farm gives added farm facts, and Casey's Bright Red Christmas gives a sugar cookie recipe.
        
        The publisher sent these books to me for reviewing, and also let me offer a giveaway. If you are interested in receiving Casey's Bright Red Christmas, please let me know in the comments. I'll announce the winner next Monday.

Glory O’Brien’s History of The Future - A.S. King

         This is another story that I’ve put off reading in spite of the love given it in many reviews. I’m glad I finally did read it. Glory has but one friend, Ellie, who lives across the road in a commune with her parents and others. We soon find that in the earliest days of her parents’ marriage, they came to this place with Ellie’s parents as hippie types, artists, against consuming, letting the children raise themselves. Somehow it didn’t work for Glory’s Mother, because she committed suicide when she was four. Glory tells the story of her life as she moves through the days surrounding her high school graduation. She discovers about the family’s past, her self and her future, a worry throughout her life as she’s often wondered if she would be like her mother, and end her life before it really got started. I loved it, enjoyed the strong, real voice of a teen figuring out tough stuff.





Zen Socks - Jon J. Muth
          Like the other books by Muth with Stillwater, there are wise stories and gorgeous pictures. This time Stillwater, Leo and Molly all bring something to share with each other. Patience and kindness, no bad guys and taking one step, then another, to solve a problem fills this book. The books are wonderful to read aloud and talk through with others. Perhaps those ‘others’ will bring more to the book than one can if reading alone. I imagine good conversations.








Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats - Alicia Potter and Birgitta Sif
          Miss Hazeltine welcomed all those cats who needed extra lessons in being brave, and she taught them. There are lessons in pouncing, how to hold tails high, and as the story reads, “How Not to Fear the Broom.” One of the cats, whose name was Crumb, is the most frightened of anything, even misses her food once in a while. One time more and more cats arrive, so many that Miss Hazeltine is soon out of milk. She leaves Crumb, who was watching Miss H. as usual, and told her that she's return soon. Well, she doesn't, and that's when someone must step in the save the day. If you haven't read it, you'll need to in order to see that sometimes we do what we must for someone, in spite of how hard it is. I loved the illustrations, shadowy or bright in just the right places. 






Now Reading: Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary - Gail Jarrow
             Fascinating!

Next: I've never read the The Turtles of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye. It seems like a good one to read right now.

I reviewed this Christmas story two years ago just so I could share it with others, but this time I want to remind you of it if you missed it before. It's still in print! Published in 1964, re-issued in 2005, Star Mother's Youngest Child  by Louise Moeri and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman is for older children, maybe 8 and up, but it is a beautiful story of one "unforgettable Christmas."


30 comments:

  1. The Turtle of Oman was interesting but rather slow. It has not circulated well. I have my first podcast up today, about WWII books! Something new to try!

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    1. Other reviews have mentioned that The Turtle of Oman isn't so popular with students. I'll be sure to listen to your post, Karen.

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  2. I liked Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats. It has a great message about courage as well.

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  3. These titles are all new to me, except for Glory O'Brien. I am really intrigued by most of them and have now added quite the list to my to-reads. I hope you have a great week full of great reading.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. hope you find one or two that you like!

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  4. Of course I loved Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats. I don't know about the shy and fearful part, but sometimes it does seem as though we have a home for cats! A.S. King is an author who pretty much never works for me, much as I want to love her books. Perhaps I'm going about this kind of reading all wrong, and these are more books to grapple with than love?

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    1. I haven't read many of King's books, and agree that they are different, but I did enjoy this one. I've known a few cats thought my life, and each has its own personality. One hid most of the time so perhaps it was "shy and fearful?

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  5. I love Miss Hazeltine and all of those cats! I found this King title quirky for sure but I enjoyed it. Her books really make me think - perfect to "grapple with" as Elisabeth says! I read everything she writes!

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    1. There are simply too many to catch up with. I have Ask The Passengers, & still haven't touched it! I liked the 'otherworldly' idea that Glory could see the future. Teens do odd things to make their world "work", so drinking the bat seemed just normal almost.

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  6. Great round-up, Linda. I am especially glad to learn about Casey's Bright Red Christmas and that whole series. It would be wonderful for libraries in our rural state!

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    1. I think it will be good for rural areas, too, Jane, but my granddaughters enjoyed it very much, too. They know little about farms!

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  7. I still need to get to Zen Socks! Loved the other books with Stillwater :)

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    1. It is just like the others, Michele, wonderful!

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  8. The Christmas story looks great. I read a couple by Truman Capote which I think you would like!

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    1. I guess I forgot to mention on your post, Earl. I love those Truman Capote stories, and own them. Very sweet. This one I shared is nice, too.

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  9. The two farm books look amazing! I live in a rural community, so books about farming are a hit. I'd love to enter your giveaway so I could add them to my Little Free Library.

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    1. I'll put you in the giveaway, Kay. It will be a great series for your area.

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  10. I really want to read "Miss Hazeltine's....", I'm just naturally drawn to anything with cats in it, and it also sounds like a lovely, encouraging book for shy or nervous children. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, it would be good for that, Jane, and it is a lovely story. I bet you will enjoy it!

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  11. Oh wow, Star Mother's Youngest Child looks like something I must find in our library - I love everything by Trina Schart Hyman. I did borrow Turtle of Oman at one point in our library but had to return it because I just had so much stack of library books to finish - I hope you do get to it, and let me know how you find it. :)

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    1. I'm nearly finished with Typhoid Mary, Myra, probably will start it tonight. Star Mother's Youngest Child is an old favorite of mine, hope you'll be able to find it.

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  12. You have quite a few interesting titles on your list this week! I have had Zen Socks on my TBR list for some time, I need to check it out. Hope you have a terrific week!

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    1. Thanks, Jana. Zen Socks is wonderful, as I wrote, just a lovely story like the others.

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  13. Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats us new to me. I will check it out.
    Turtle of Oman is good but slow and kids are not crazy about it. Interesting how everyone has the same comments about it. I would love to see what you think.

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    1. Miss Hazeltine's Home . . . is very fun, Joanne. As for The Turtle of Oman, although written for children, perhaps it's the adults who will enjoy it. I do love Nye's writing! Will see.

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  14. So glad you loved Glory! A.S. King is brilliant; each of her books blows me away more than the last.
    Trent loves tractors! He is just so fascinated with all vehicles :)

    Happy reading this week!

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    1. He would love these books about the farm, then, Kellee. They are so likable, and full of info too, so they'll grow up with Trent! Yes, I loved reading Glory's story.

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  15. Hi, friend! Your blog is always a-buzzing! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed GLORY. I just read it a few weeks ago, and I found it to be just as wonderful as you. Its quirkiness really sticks with me! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thank you, Ricki. Your recent review probably is the one that told me to get reading. I've had the book for a while, but you know how it goes, another takes its place & it sits, waiting. Hope your week is good, too.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!