Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's Monday - New Books Plus One 'Must Read'!

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

             By the time Monday is over, we'll know about so many happy authors and illustrators because the Youth Media Award Ceremony will be done! Congratulations to all those whose names were called! And those who didn't hear their names will be disappointed, yet we all know how many wonderful books we've shared this year, and the books of those authors and illustrators will still be read and loved and read again.



I Am Henry Finch - Alexis Deacon and Viviane Schwarz
           This dear little Henry Finch doesn't quite know what's going on in his life, but he is tired of all the greetings and goodnights by ALL of those other finches who surround him. Henry decides to try something new, which doesn't work out very well, although there is an epiphany in his darkest of experiences, one with a beast. Then, Henry finds the courage to do something brave. This is a book for everyone. It's funny, philosophical and one you might want to read again and again just in case you missed something important. The thumbprint art of Viviane Schwarz is so clever. I was pleased to see the different kinds of personalities she showed in these simple illustrations.



           I didn't have time to order 2016 books from the library, and after all, it's only Jan. 11th, but I found one brand new 2016 when I stopped by my local branch. It is a special new book by debut author J. J. Austrian and illustrator Mike Curato, of Little Elliot fame! It's about love in all its forms, and you can read a blog post here by Mike Curato about how very special it is to him.



 Worm Loves Worm tells the tale of two worms who fall in love and want to get married. Simple? It seems that it should be, until others add their own ideas of "how" to marry. Cricket decides they need someone to marry them, and that it will be him. Then Beetle insists there must be a "Best Beetle", and the bees shout that they can be "Best Bees". Each time, the worms agree, and ask, "Now, Can we be married?" You can imagine how this continues on. These two worms are so agreeable; they love each other and simply want to get married! The crisis happens, after a few fashion questions, when it is discovered that both worms can be the bride, OR both can be the groom. "Then we'll just change how it's done," says Worm. "Yes," says Worm. The book is a celebration of love between two worms, and they just want to get married. When read, one does wonder why there is such a fuss. The illustrations are simply done showing good, and funny, expressions as the action moves along. It was hilarious when the worms said they didn't eat cake, only dirt, and Spider say "I can eat the cake along with Cricket and Beetle." Cricket holds on to Beetle and they both say, "What did you say?" I enjoyed the book very much.

           This is my first completed book from my #MustReadIn2016 list. You can see the titles above.


The Marvels - written and illustrated by Brian Selznick
         In this story, there is "a portal to the past". We the reader finally know this, but the main character Joseph discovers that he had it all wrong for it is really a "vision of the future". With that mysterious epiphany, experienced after a long adventure, this mixed-up, fascinating story pulls together for both Joseph and for the reader. First, one must read and examine the pictures, one by one, returning back, then moving forward, capturing more information until the leap ahead many years to Joseph's story, in text. 
         Joseph has moved all over the world with his wealthy parents, is shipped off to a boarding school where he finally meets a friend, Blink. Together they forge a friendship based on books; from Shakespeare to Dickens to Yeatts, the stories please. Because of their unhappiness they imagine running away, and Blink does, but without Joseph, who follows soon after. He finds his way to London, to his Uncle Albert, an uncle he has only heard of. And then another story begins, with a new friend named  Frankie, a market Frenchman, named Laurent and a house that is both alarming and welcoming. It's a love story in more than one aspect and a mystery I cannot reveal.  You must experience this yourself. 
             Selznick included these words from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea somewhere in the book, but I won't tell where: "Let me tell you, Professor, that you will not regret the time spent on board. You are going to travel in a land of marvels." The afterword by Selznick completes the journey as I the reader said, "Wow" That is an amazing journey".

             Still reading: the poetry finalists for the Cybil's,  and I can't review until we're finished. I have In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III from the library!


ENJOY THOSE AWARDS!

42 comments:

  1. The Marvels has been checked out frequently, but my students have commented that it's "weird". I always wondered why they liked Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, since the stories were odd and complicated, but I guess this one was just too much for them!

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    1. It is quite complex, Karen. I wondered about who it is meant for. Obviously I enjoyed it, but maybe YA?

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    2. I agree it is complex and has so many little references that it seems to be created for an older reader.

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  2. I need to read The Marvels. It looks like such a special book. I love your introduction about the media awards. It is always such fun to see the lists and discover new authors. Have a great reading week!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea, the awards were special to watch, so many terrific books!

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    2. Just finished watch awards as well. Now I have even more books to read! What fun!

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    3. It was exciting to watch even from my desk, wasn't it? I am pleased that I've read most of the winners, & will find the others for sure!

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  3. I have In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse in my stack of books to read as well.

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    1. I'm looking forward to it, will read along with the other Cybils books. I'll look for your review, Earl!

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  4. I'm very interested in The Footsteps of Crazy Horse. I hadn't heard about it til a few weeks ago, but have heard some good things. Can't wait to see what you think!

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    1. I will start it soon, just finished another Cybils' book! I think it sounds good, too!

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  5. Now I want to read The Marvels even more! And Worm Loves Worm looks like such fun!

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    1. I enjoyed it thoroughly, Kay! Hope you'll love Worm Loves Worm, too!

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  6. I loved Worm Loves Worm, it's such a fun, gentle introduction to an often contentious issue (though more contentious in some place than in others - come on, USA, catch up to us Canadians!) I'm also loving that thumbprint art, looks like it could lead to a nice extension activity, with kids telling their own stories through fingerprint doodles. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. A colleague used to do thumbprint art with her students-works great! It would be a great mentor text. I agree about the issues here, and am tired of them being issues! Worm Loves Worm is lovely!

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  7. I Am Henry Finch is book I don't yet know. I looked it up on Amazon and it said it was inspirational and funny. Sounds like a good combination. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hope you'll find and enjoy it, Lisa! It's definitely worth reading!

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  8. Like karen before me, my students haven't given Wonder the same love they gave to other Selznick books. I saw something about Worm Loves Worm recently. It is good to read your review about it! I received In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse as a Christmas gift this year and can't wait to get to it. It will be interesting to compare notes.

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    1. The Marvels is a bit "out of this world", & as said above, complex, so it might only fit those who can make their way through the details. Perhaps you can ask the students what they experienced? There are a few of us reading In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse. Can't wait to begin it!

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  9. Worm Loves Worm looks like a lot of fun! Anyone who's ever been around wedding planning knows that everyone has an opinion. That's why my husband (of nearly 20 years)and I eloped! Can't wait to read it.

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    1. Worm Loves Worm is a delight, Jana, & fun to hear that you eloped. I don't know if you watch it, but there are some wedding conflicts going on right now in that show.

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  10. I just got Worm Loves Worm from the library! I read it quickly at NCTE, but it's one I want to spend more time with.
    The Marvels was simply amazing. I thought it was deserving of a Caldecott, but alas, it was not meant to be!

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    1. The awards given were so interesting & except for the Printz honors, I've read nearly all, or at least know about them. Glad you enjoyed The Marvels, too, Michele.

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  11. I bought The Marvels for my classroom based on all the wonderful reviews I had read. Few of my sixth graders have connected with it, though, and I know I need to set aside some time to read it myself. So interesting to read the comments here, Linda - it makes me wonder who the audience for this book is!

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    1. I hear you. It is about a boy about the age of your students, but he is quickly involved in this "unusual" story, so perhaps it's just too much. I can't say more. You'll have to read it to understand what I'm trying to say. Thanks, Tara.

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  12. We loved the Marvels too but wondered if it was too complex for readers in grades 5-6. Such an important book but perhaps it belongs with other YA novels

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    1. I think many of us agree. I will look for those early reviews like from Kirkus to see what they say, too.

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  13. The Marvels is simply amazing. I want to read Worm Loves Worm. It looks sweet.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal, hope you love, love Worm Loves Worm!

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  14. Every time I read about The Marvels, I want to read it even more! Thanks for this lovely review. You've made me realize I need to get off of my butt and get a copy of it! Enjoy your week!

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    1. You're welcome, Ricki. Don't let the size worry you. Although the illustrations are to be thoroughly examined, they still don't take as long to "read" as the text. I loved the mood changes in the pictures too!

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  15. I Am Henry Finch sounds fantastic. Putting that on my to-read list now.

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    1. Ha! I went to put it on my to-read list and it was already on it! That's when you know you have too many books you want to read.

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    2. I know, I have too, too many. And then when I've read them, I worry that I'll forget them. What a problem. Enjoy!

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  16. I borrowed I am Henry Finch from the library but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Isn't The Marvels such a special book? So gorgeous.

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    1. Enjoy meeting Henry, Myra! And yes, as you read, I loved The Marvels, and am sorry I put it off so long!

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  17. I have the Crazy Horse book in my bag for book club today. I'm expecting some reader to snatch it up. We'll be watching the awards, and requesting books! I already did that yesterday when I listened at 5 am. Glad that our book club's two top choices were Honor books. Surprised that a picture book won the Newbery! We'll be discussing that at book club today!

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    1. The Crazy Horse book has started well, for younger readers I think. Have fun at book club. There was an interesting thread of comments at Heavy Medal yesterday about the Newbery pick. Thanks, Ramona.

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  18. The Marvels is on my list too! I am even more excited to read after reading your description. I'm thinking about reading it aloud to my son. We usually read an illustrated book at breakfast, and he has loved Selznick's other books. Worm Loves Worm looks wonderful!

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    1. The Marvels is complicated, so it would be very fun to read with someone. I hope you'll share how it goes! Worm Loves Worm is wonderful!

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  19. I look forward to reading The Marvels (it is on my #mustread list also), and I look forward to chatting with others about it.
    I have heard recently about Worm--I'll have to check it out.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, hope you enjoy both! They are good!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!