Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Monday, New Books - Learning #SOL16 - 21/31

SOLC #21/31 - 
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Twenty-One of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb.  
           On Mondays, I connect with a group that reviews books they want to share. I love learning about others' favorite books, adding to my own TBR list. I discover books I wouldn't otherwise on this day.


          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.   

Burn, Baby, Burn - written by Meg Medina 
          Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to read this new book by Meg Medina (out March 8th), set a long time ago, but many of you may remember 1977.  I remember this year. I was not in New York City, but in quiet Denver, reading the headlines of a serial killer and a terrible blackout when whole neighborhoods went up in flames. It was a frightening time for the city, and this time in the novel for a seventeen year old girl, Nora Lopez who has her own troubles. Her mother is struggling to hold a job, the rent is due, and her younger brother is becoming increasingly violent. Her father only calls on holidays and has a new family. Nora cannot wait to graduate, and leave the tension and the responsibility her mother keeps putting on her. She is supposed to calm her brother's temper, but now that she's discovered he's selling and doing drugs, it's even scarier. A young man comes to work at the deli where Nora works, someone that eases the pain, but with the Son of Sam killer on the loose, it isn't safe to go out. He's killing dark-haired girls with their dates!
          Teachers who blog often share that the stories they learn about their students feel like just the 'tip' of what really goes on at home. And this story demonstrates that well. Nora doesn't even tell a long-time best friend her problems. She keeps it inside, shows her best self everywhere, but few know what is happening to her at home. I won't give away the ending, but Medina's writing through Nora's voice is filled with tension and worry. I want to help, I want to cheer for her, and I can't imagine surviving the life she lives, while still doing great in school. She is one of those that make us wonder "how does she do it?" Nora's strength teaches us "how" throughout the book. Older students might want to look for the headlines of that terrible NYC summer, and will love and admire Nora's story.

I do love books with bears as characters, and there are many wonderful ones. This first one just came out. The second is a few years old.



Little One - written and illustrated by Jo Weaver
        Be ready with tissues, especially if you have "little ones"! In their first year together, the time is spent with Bear teaching her Little One the ways of the world, how to fish, how to swim, how to be gentle with friends, this time porcupines. Beautiful black and white illustrations tell the story of this first year from waking up to going back to sleep. Spare text and loving pictures make a picture book to savor.


One final look over the snow-covered land before sleep.
























 

          I reviewed Bear Is Not Tired by Ciara Gavin on Goodreads a few weeks ago. Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear by Monica Carnesi is new, and just as fun. Both have the same basic plot. It's time for hibernation, and Beatrice the Bunny thinks it's going to be a great time sleeping over. Unfortunately lots of misunderstandings occur, and Beatrice realizes she's going to have to capture winter in a scrapbook to show to Bear "after". In the other one, Bear simply doesn't want to miss a thing and tries so hard to stay awake. It's impossible, but his sweet bird friends manage also (like Beatrice) to capture winter for him. Humorous stories and delightful illustrations make both books good stories to read, and a way to introduce several new concepts, like hibernation. 


         Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley, who wrote the beautiful and now award-winning Boats for Papa, has written and illustrated another lovely and thoughtful book. This time the story tells the sadness of a friend moving away. A small hedgehog and an anteater, fast friends, must part, and so they spend time together one last time, and play. The text is quite clear, the hedgehog tells the story, showing his feelings of loss, and the resolution helps. You'll have to read the book to discover the end. The expressions and details Jessixa Bagley includes are just right, packing boxes labeled, anteater trying to stuff himself into a suitcase, their playing 'one more time'. Enlarge the cover so you can take a good look at their expressions. For those who must part from a friend, this is very special. 

Just Finished: Pax by Sara Pennypacker, with illustrations by Jon Klaassen. Just before posting, I finished this incredible book. I'll review later, but now I know I have read a possible Newbery winner. Wow!

Next - The Girl In The Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse, from Net Galley, out in April.



44 comments:

  1. I love that black and white illustration of the two bears looking at the snow as they prepare for hibernation. I've just picked up Pax and All American Boy from the library. I can't decide what to start first!

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    1. Oh my, what a wonderful dilemma to have. FYI-Pax might read faster, but both are amazing. This new picture book, Little One, is lovely, Cheriee.

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  2. Pax is a must read for me. I've put it in my pile. Little One looks beautiful and I'm completely intrigued by Burn Baby Burn. Thanks!

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    1. All very good, Kendra. Hope you enjoy each one.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to check out the bear books for the girls. They will love them.

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    1. I'm sure they will, Judy. They are darling stories.

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  4. Thanks for all the great recommendations! I, too, have fallen in love with Pax--incredible writing and incredible story. It's one that you not only have to read, but also talk about!

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    1. I wish I had read it with someone, Sarah. I know what you mean. I marked so many pages!

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  5. I want "Little One"! Thank you for telling me about it!

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  6. These are all great -- many new ones so we added to our TBR list for sure. We too loved Pax!!! Thanks for sharing so many great titles.
    Clare

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    1. You're welcome, Clare. Wasn't Pax awesome?

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  7. I got an ARC of Burn Baby Burn at NCTE but haven't read it yet. I need to get on that! It sounds like a page-turner!

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    1. Sometimes I even hated to start reading again, Beth. It was tough to read, but terrific all the same.

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  8. I'm always looking for new suggestions. Thank you!

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  9. Thank you for your thoughtful review of Burn Baby Burn. I have it checked out from the library, looking forward to it!
    I really enjoyed Jessixa Bagley's new one.
    And I love bear books :) So many good ones!
    Looking forward to your thoughts on Pax. I loved it!

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    1. I'll look for your review of Burn, Baby, Burn, too, Michele. And I keep saying I need to list all the adorable bear books. There are many & I love each one!

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  10. What a nice looking assortment of books. I'll have to add a couple more of those bear books to my collection. Come see my reading week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy, yes, the bear books are delightful.

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  11. I love Meg Medina, so I look forward to reading Burn Baby Burn. Thank you for the nice review.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. And the same to you, too, Kellee. I enjoyed Burn, Baby, Burn very much, but it was tense!

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  12. Linda, I always enjoy your book reviews. I have read many books based on your recommendations... books I probably would not have picked up otherwise. Thanks for adding to me reading list.

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm happy to add to your TBR list, Bob. They're ever growing, aren't they?

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  13. These sound like some great reads. I will have to order some for my kids.

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    1. They'll all fit some perfectly, Ruth. I hope you enjoy them, too.

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  14. Bear Is Not Tired and Before I Leave are both adorable books. I love cute illustrations of bears cozy in their dens sleeping away the winter (what a lovely thought). So, Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear looks like another cute book that I'll have to look for! Burn Baby Burn looks like a good book, too. So many great choices for my upcoming Spring Break! Only 3 more school days left before Vacation! Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jana, I hope you have a wonderful break, reading and doing whatever pleases!

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  15. I adored Boats for Papa, so I'm very excited to read Before I Leave, it looks beautiful Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Jane. It is a wonderful book, too.

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  16. Oh, I remember this time very well, since I lived in New York - Burn, Baby, Burn sounds like a must-have, Linda.

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    1. At first I had forgotten, Tara, because it wasn't so "close", but I looked for past articles about it-wow! Meg Medina does a wonderful job incorporating the story into that summer. I hope you like it.

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  17. I loved Burn Baby Burn! It had me hooked from the beginning to the end. What a thriller! I am glad you enjoyed it, too!

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  18. How do you learn about (let alone read!) allllllll these books, Linda?! I'm always in awe of your Goodreads progress! :-)

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    1. I learn about some of them from these Monday reading people, Jennifer, and I always have a book with me, take a few minutes to read if I can. I wonder if your students would like Burn, Baby, Burn? It is great YA.

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  19. Another great line-up of "to read." Thanks, Linda. I look forward to your review of Pax. :)

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    1. You're welcome, Jane. I'll try to do it tomorrow. It was great.

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  20. I have yet to read a Jessixa Bagley picturebook - will really have to catch up soonest. Burn Baby Burn sounds like a beautiful read - I do hope I find this in our library. :) Love the bear books too! :)

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    1. Thank you, Myra. I hope you find them all and enjoy them!

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  21. Linda, I love following your book reading adventures. I'm reading Pax right now. I picked up Bear Is Not Tired from the library this week (probably on your recommendation), and grabbed Before I Leave from the library new books shelf. When I saw it was by Jessixa Bagley, I understood why I picked it up. I started reading Pax aloud to book club last week. They were upset when I forgot to bring it today.

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    1. I just reviewed Pax, and shared, & it will be on my post next week. What a marvelous book. How wonderful you are reading it aloud. Bear Is Not Tired, and the others with those little friends are such favorites. Thanks, Ramona.

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  22. Thank you for your kind words about Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear (and for including it with such nice company -- all great books!)
    And I too loved Pax -- the illustrations by Jon Klassen are a perfect complement to the moving text, and the cover is absolutely wonderful.
    Thank you again, and happy reading!

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    1. You are welcome, Monica. Your book is a delight, and a favorite of my young granddaughters! Yes, Pax is a wonderful story, agreed.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!