Sunday, January 31, 2016

It's Monday

         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.  I'm still in the midst of the Cybils judging which means reading some of the finalists again, being sure that we are choosing well. The winners in all the categories will be announced on Feb. 14th, Valentine's Day.

I finished another from the #MustReadIn2016 list, and it was terrific! See above for the entire list and the explanation of this group.


All American Boys - Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

          I imagine all of us have a story that connects with this book. What I hope is that the connection is real, and reminds us to be better, to be strong for making lives different. Reynolds and Kiely have written a story that demands change in all of us.
          Who are the "all American boys" in this novel? They are Rashad, black, and Quinn, white, both at the same high school, both alternately telling this story. It is Friday night, and Rashad is anxious to get going, "party time".  He stops in at Jerry's the neighborhood store that sells everything, and what could be called laughable events, turns terribly tragic. Rashad is hurt; Quinn is a witness. Two boys talk to us from the mixed-up feelings of what happened that Friday, and in the week that follows, the changes in the way they think about life and what matters. From Quinn: "I didn't want my life to change from the way it was before I'd seen that." and "If I didn't want the violence to remain, I had to do a hell of a lot more than just say the right things and not say the wrong things." From Rashad, looking at Family Circus cartoons that he saved: "To think that life could always be as good as breakfast with your family, and sharing the newspaper with your dad, looking up to him, imagining that one day you'd read the whole entire paper and drink coffee, too. To think that my life could be as perfect as Billy's."  The book calls us to change, too, and makes a powerful statement from the lives we live. 

  
I read a few picture books to the granddaughters, and here are some I want to share:

            Out this year!



Peddles - written and illustrated by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
           Peddles, an endearing pig, tires of the usual pig things, like "oinking and rooting and wallowing". He wants to do things differently, and has big ideas. Stanton's sweet illustrations show him flying and jumping like a frog! He's told to get his head "out of the clouds" by the other pigs, and nothing every happened, until he say, one night, a barn dance. Then he knew what he wanted, to dance! He knew (after watching) that he needed boots, and tried flower pots and even paint cans. They didn't work. Finally, lucky Peddles, he found a sack of many old shoes, and in it was, a pair of red boots. The story still isn't over, but page by page, as frustration mounts, there is a solution, and it's a lesson to learn too. This is a cute story, but I found it a bit farfetched, even though it shows that trying new things can work out after all.

Bear Is Not Tired written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin

           Oh, I do love this bear and his small duck family, because of the story and the very sweetest of illustrations. Remember "Room for Bear"? This time bear is upset that winter is on its way, and it's time for him to sleep. He's afraid of all the wonderful things he will miss, and decides to stay awake. That's when the problems begin, because try as he might, he cannot stay awake. You'll have to read the rest of the book to find out how it all works out, and to see and smile over the amusing pictures of dear Bear and the ducks who help him figure out what to do.

Next: I have to finish Quiet by Susan Cain. It's denser than I thought, but I am enjoying it. I have a few middle grade novels from the library, like Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell--finally!

28 comments:

  1. Clearly, Bear is not a teenager, because they are ALWAYS tired! Curious to see what you think of Rooftoppers.

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    1. So many have urged me to read Rooftoppers, Karen. I'm certainly interested to read it. Thanks.

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  2. So glad to see so many people are reading All American Boys. Such an important book.

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    1. Yes, hope to share it with my former colleagues too, Beth.

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  3. I loved All American Boys. So thoughtful. So many discussions to have.
    I feel like I read the Bear book, but I don't have it marked on Goodreads. I need to go back and find this one!

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    1. Perhaps you remember the first one, Michele. I read it fairly recently too. Yes, All American Boys is one I'm so glad I read, along with Between The World and Me.

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  4. Quite a range of books this week! All-American Boys sounds like a very timely book, and a reminder that although society has come a long way, there's still so far left to go before we live up to our potential.

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    1. I agree, and the book is just alarming. Considering all that is being said about rejecting different peoples in our world, it's even sadder.

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  5. If I didn't already want desperately to read All-American Boys, I would now. You are right when you commented on my post that it connects with Between You and Me. I may just have to break down and purchase All-American Boys.

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    1. I think I want to have all of Jason Reynolds' books, because I write in them, Cheriee. I hope you'll find a copy soon.

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  6. I've ordered All American Boys, Linda, and can't wait to read it...especially now that I've read your review.

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    1. It's so connected to Between The World and Me, Tara, and my daughter just told me about a story from This American Life about a subway conflict with a class and teachers. It too didn't go well. We need to make things different. Glad you'll be reading it.

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  7. I checked out Bear Is Not Tired based on your list last week, and I loved it! As Bear is trying so hard to stay awake, that's how I feel when I finally get home on Friday night after a long week. When I start falling asleep during our movie, now I think of the ducks trying to pry Bears eyes open. Thanks for the great tip! Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jana. I think I'm in love with this bear, and will look forward to more. I love that you think of those little ducks on Friday night. Happy reading to you the rest of the week!

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  8. I am waiting for All American Boys - and I must find the Bear books I know just who to send it to. Thanks

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    1. Hope you love both, Joanne, in very different ways.

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  9. You are always on your game. Every time you post a book, I think, "AH! That is next on my list!" I convinced my book club to do this book, so I am excited to discuss it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. How great to have your book group read All American Boys. I hope you'll share some of what they think, Ricki. Thanks!

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  10. All American Boy is on my #mustread, and I cannot wait to read it. It keeps getting pushed aside for one reason or another, but I know I NEED to read it soon!

    Happy reading this week :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee. I put it off for a while too, and now am very glad I read it, although it's heart-breaking.

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  11. I am looking forward to Rooftoppers also. Bear is Not Tired looks too cute. :)

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. Yes, these bear books are great.

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  12. Have fun with the CYBILS second round judging. We are very excited about our choice for fiction picturebook and can't wait until 14 Feb for the official announcement. All American Boys sounds like a must read! :)

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    1. Feb. 14th will be a big day, won't it? Enjoy All American Boys when you get to it, Myra. Thanks.

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    1. It is, just as good as the first one. Thanks, Katie.

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  14. I've been wanting to read ALL AMERICAN BOYS. It looks like a powerful story.

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    1. It is, Laura. This is one I've quickly passed on to a former colleague, so well done.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!