Sunday, April 10, 2016

Monday Reading

           On Mondays, I connect with a group that reviews books they want everyone to know about. Here's a fabulous way to discover books worth a look. 

          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  


Be sure to go here to Buffy Silverman's post at Buffy's Blog for line number eleven of Irene Latham's Progressive Poem.

  
 It's also April, poetry month. I've taken a few days away to visit my family in Texas, so have not written a poem a day as I started this month. I do have a wonderful book to share that's all about poetry! 

Daniel Finds A Poem - Micha Archer
         Working in gorgeous collage and oil, Micha Archer tells the story of Daniel who finds a sign as he enters a park that announces "Poetry in the Park", coming Sunday at 6 O'clock. Daniel begins asking the animals he meets if they know what poetry is. A spider answers: "when morning dew glistens" and later by a pond, a Turtle tells Daniel that poetry is "sun-warmed sand". There is a surprise at the end when Daniel goes to the poetry time at the park, and recites the poem "he found". The book will make a beautiful mentor text to help students start finding their own poetry, just as these animals have.





Puddle - Hyewon Yum
          With a hint of other books that begin with drawing, like Harold and The Purple Crayon, Hyewon Yum begins this story with a young child upset and bored. It's raining! Mom says come draw, but no, not even that helps, until Mom draws a blue umbrella, and the child moves closer, and asks if she will draw him holding it. You might guess the progress made, but there are later surprises too, and lots of fun with puddles! The book is cute, makes imagination seem like something that will fill up a day that has started off boring.
I read the following from my  #MustReadIn2016 list. See the list above. And missed the link with Carrie Gelson last Friday to share my progress. I have 23 books on the list, and have read 7 so far. I think that's better than last year!

Stella By Starlight - Sharon Draper

           I am late reading this, another book on the tall stack that kept getting put aside, and so many of you said how much you loved it! Well, now I love it, too, at least I love the people like Stella and her family who live in Bumblebee, North Carolina, a town of African Americans who stick together. Draper manages to show us the love and care among the community, but at the same time show the restrictions they live under, and the hate they endure. “Red fire. Black Cross. White Hoods. They’re here, Now.” is an early set of words that keeps tension high in the background despite the goodness that Stella has in her family and friends. It’s a mixed up world she lives in. In addition, she has some personal problems; she thinks she is a terrible writer. And to prove it, she sits in school during writing time, trying hard to get the words on the paper, but somehow failing. Her thoughts are poetic; the scratches on paper are not. Somehow, she cannot get them down. The story takes Stella through some fun, some anxiety, and some tragedy, but the strength she shows as she helps others, sometimes when it’s a tragic emergency, is amazingly strong. She is a thinker, as her Daddy tells her, his “standing stone”.  It’s an inspiring story to read of scenes like when Stella’s father, with two other men, goes to town to register to vote. They stand firm, take the test, pay the money (when white men are not required) and Stella is witness, and so proud.  And it’s a sad story to see what our past has been and in many places, continues. It will serve as a wonderful book for discussions about discrimination, power misused, and keeping strong, what happened then, but continues to happen today.

With Malice - Eileen Cook
          Coming in early June, I read this ARC thanks to Net Galley.  Jill, a nearly graduated senior in high school wakes up. What? She's in the hospital, body and brain injured, and while her parents and the staff keep a tv from her room, and she is told her phone was destroyed in the accident, she cannot figure out why her best friend Simone has not tried to "sneak in" to visit, nor has anyone else!  Jill Sharron cannot remember anything about a special trip to Italy, and eventually, the shock happens. She discovers that not only was she in Italy, her best friend Simone died there in a car accident, and Jill was the driver. Told in first person, Jill is a good student on her way to Yale, with divorced parents, but a wealthy father. She is an opposite personality from Simone who comes from a family of modest means, is not too interested in school, but beautiful, and very interested in being the center of attention. They have been best friends since fourth grade. The unraveling of what happened in Italy is also the unraveling of other things, including stereotypes, and what one thinks of certain actions is often contradicted. Eileen Cook's story twists and turns, and it isn't ever easy to figure out just who are the good ones and who are not. It's a life lesson from the adage, "Things aren't always what they seem." I enjoyed it thoroughly, believe it would be an interesting book in a group for deep discussions about truth and integrity.

NEXT: A blogger friend has a book coming out tomorrow, and as soon as it arrives, I will read The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, a verse novel by Laura Shovan. And, I just started Maybe A Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee.

38 comments:

  1. "With Malice" sounds like one of those twisty books with a lot of reader appeal. Maybe it would make a good movie?
    Hope you are having a nice visit, Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha, that book "With Malice" was filled with surprise! I'm back home now, but had a wonderful time.

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  2. Daniel Finds a Poem seems like a book I will need to acquire for the classroom. I hope you are enjoying Texas!

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    1. Yes, Daniel Finds a Poem is marvelous for the younger ones, Kendra. Thanks!

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  3. Loved Daniel Finds a Poem. Shared it with my 2nd grade group last week. I think it will be on my Mock Caldecott list next year.
    With Malice sounds good! I'll be on the lookout for it this summer. I've heard really good thing about Shovan's book!

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    1. Happy to hear that you love Daniel Finds A Poem & have shared it, too, Michele. It's just lovely! Yes, Laura's book is getting great reviews-can't wait!

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  4. I am really keen to read With Malice. Since my mother's brain injury and my introduction to that world, I've been interested to read books that showcase this. I admit to reading in part just to see if it feels authentic. Anyway, this one sounds really fascinating.

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    1. The book does take us through some sessions with a psychologist, Cheriee, emphasizing that sometimes what is remembered is not necessarily true, but incorporated with what's been told to you-very interesting. It was a good story, connected to teen drama, too.

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  5. I enjoyed the audiobook for Stella by Starlight especially when they sang "No One Knows the Trouble..."

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    1. I imagine it was wonderful with all those songs that were included, Earl. Thanks for reminding me about audio books when song is an important part!

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  6. Puddle is perfect for my city, where it's pretty much always raining. :)

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    1. It is a darling book. We have so few puddles that I think it's good for us too, to show kids what to do!

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  7. We have got to get a copy of Daniel Finds a Poem - A few people have recommended it and we are still waiting for it to come into the Library. We might just have to order our own copy.

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    1. I was lucky to get it from the library, but will definitely want one of my own! It's great!

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  8. I love the premise of With Malice - very interesting. Same with Stella by Starlight which as you say have been receiving a lot of rave reviews. :)

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    1. Both worth reading, Myra, just totally different stories. I didn't want to give too much away, but With Malice has surprises for the reader.

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  9. I loved Stella by Starlight. I thought the author did a good job of addressing heavy subjects in a way that I would feel comfortable having middle grade students read. With Malice sounds like a fascinating read. I also think that Daniel Finds a Poem sounds like a book I should get for my classroom. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Andrea, both great for different reasons. I think you would love Daniel Finds A Poem. It's lovely.

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  10. I haven't read Stella by Starlight yet. I had two students read it and have total opposite reactions. One loved it and the other not so much. It's in my stack.

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    1. As you see, I put it off too, Margaret, but enjoyed it very much. Each person has different tastes, right?

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  11. With Malice looks like a good book and if it's out in June, that'll be just in time for Summer Reading! I loved Stella by Starlight! The story is terrific and important, but it also has so many fun extras! I got so hungry when the author described all the food! Have a great week!

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    1. You're right about the food, and then Earl above mentioned the wonderful songs. There are lots of extras. With Malice was fierce and different & I liked it.

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  12. With Malice sounds like a pager turner. I saw Daniel Finds a Poem displayed a conference last week. I'm glad to read your thoughts on it. I'm definitely going to check it out now.

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    1. With Malice was a page turner, you're right! It surprised me more than once, Lisa. Daniel Finds A Poem is beautifully done, words and pictures.

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  13. I'm looking forward to reading Daniel Finds a Poem. My library doesn't have it yet though so hopefully they'll get it soon. I might have to request a purchase. :)

    Puddle looks like a great book. I will have to check that one out!

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    1. Hope you find both to read soon, Beth. They're good!

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  14. I absolutely adored Daniel Finds A Poem! Henry liked it, too. :) I am glad to see it featured here. I forgot to include it on my IMWAYR when I read it. :)

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    1. It is wonderful, and I'm glad to hear Henry likes it too, Ricki!

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  15. I got to get my copy of Stella by Starlight signed by Sharon Draper herself! I met her in Feb., and she is just amazing!

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    1. How wonderful, Holly. I have seen Sharon Draper present at my state conference, and loved her session.

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  16. Isn't Daniel Finds a Poem so lovely? I decided I had to have my own copy. I think it is the perfect book for the classroom.

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    1. Yes, I agree, Carrie. It's terrific!

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  17. Stella was a book I really enjoyed. You definitely having me wanting to read With Malice.

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    1. I enjoyed Stella By Starlight so much, Crystal, sorry I put if off so long. With Malice is so, so interesting.

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  18. With Malice sounds really good. I've got to read it! Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome, Lisa, hope you enjoy it!

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  19. I have Daniel Finds a Poem; I cannot wait to read it!
    I love Draper's work--Stella by Starlight sounds amazing also.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!