Sunday, July 31, 2016

Monday Reading


           Every Monday, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want to share with others. Come discover new books!
          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.   
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        Perry T. Cook, eleven, has grown up in a minimum-security prison.  His mother is incarcerated; she’s a resident, in for manslaughter. But we also learn that she’s worked to attain a degree in social work while there. Perry has been allowed to stay in his own little room near the warden’s office. He’s close to many of the residents, has some rules (doesn’t every kid?), and is happy. He’s looking forward to his mom being released on parole. He’s a good kid with a great friend at school, Zoey, a young girl who sticks with Perry through everything, and he sticks with her too. The wrench thrown in the story comes from Zoey’s father, a new DA who’s recently discovered about Perry and believes it’s a terrible situation. He manages to get custody as a foster parent, and all of a sudden Perry and Zoey are together, all the time, and Perry is no longer in the only home he's ever known. This is the stepfather that Zoey has been complaining about!       


             Through the entire story, Perry’s voice stands out clear and steady, which happens to be an important trait honored in this book. I was interested to read the story and discover that so many seemed to hold their emotions in check. Some very tough things happened, and there were no things thrown across the rooms, no screams, anger and sadness only in thoughts. There were some private sobs. I felt sympathy for those in the book, that underlying tension that couldn’t seem to be shown. Also, I felt admiration for those who were trying hard to make something good in their lives. Maybe after years of holding things in, some really struggle to show feelings. And so did Perry, although we knew his thoughts through the strong voice given by Leslie Connor. Most of the time, Connor tells the story from Perry’s point of view, and occasionally, his mother, Jessica’s. What a good boy he is, and how well he handles condescension and bullying, and how loyal and loving he is to all his friends. I enjoyed the story very much, wonder about it being a read aloud, calling for a great discussion to the questions: Is this character too good to be true? Could we all strive to be a little more like Perry?

            The Statue of Liberty comes to life as Lady Liberty in this cartoon-like story and laments that she celebrates the United States but have never seen any part of it but the city across the harbor. Her pigeon friend urges a vacation, and she takes it! All along the way she sends a postcard to her friend about the wonderful sites she’s seeing. There is a crisis, however, when she hears that everyone worries that she won’t make it back to her special place in time for Independence Day. Seeing how it all works out is an added exciting part. The illustrations are bold and full of emotion as Lady Liberty vacations and celebrates the country she embodies.

           A lovely and fun story about a little fox who’s looking for a friend, first thinking that his friends will be dogs, and mistakenly thinks they are “debbies”, from  hearing a warning from a mom for her “Debbie” to watch out for the fox. The adventure continues until finally, and happily, a true friend appears. The story will entertain and help start a talk with young ones about friendships. Full page illustrations are filled with the colors of the outdoors as little Ooko moves along in his search for a friend.

Just Started: Elizabeth Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton

Next: Many to choose from, and the titles keep coming! I need to read a few more from my MustReadIn2016 list posted above, will choose from those titles. 

31 comments:

  1. Lady Liberty's Holiday sounds like a lot of fun. It looks useful to introduce young readers to some of the sites in the U.S. I'm definitely going to have to check that one out. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It would be fun for the younger ones, an introduction to the concept of states and highlights of places in the country. Thanks, Lisa.

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  2. I can't wait to meet Perry T. Cook! I've added this to my ever-growing TBR list. Lady Liberty's Holiday has been added to my classroom wish list. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Enjoy them both, Kendra. Lady Liberty is quite a good one for this election time.

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  3. Linda - I am thinking of reading Perry T. Cook aloud this fall with my new group. When I read it - it really spoke to me with read aloud potential. So, if I end up reading it with my class, I will keep you posted.

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    1. Terrific! I really am interested in the discussions it will bring to a student group. It was fascinating to me to see how the characters acted in this 'closed-in' life. Thanks, Carrie.

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  4. I would like to get to Perry T. Cook soon. I've heard great things and a few people have put it on their Mock Newbery.

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    1. Oh, didn't know about the Mock Newbery. It was a good read!

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  5. I finished Messners - The Seventh Wish this week but didn't make it to Perry T Cook. It will be my goal this week.

    On your to Must Reads - I loved Navigating Early. Was thinking about going back to re read it.

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    1. Thanks, I'll take your suggestion, Joanne. I needed a boost from someone! I do want to read The Seventh Wish too!

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  6. I really enjoyed Perry as well. Isn't it funny how "holding things in" used to be a praiseworthy quality and now everyone just spills everything?

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    1. Yes, I thought of that too, how this seemed unusual to me, but it wouldn't have a long time ago. This time I attributed it to the need for privacy in prison, & to keep from being too vulnerable. Great point, Karen.

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  7. I'm looking forward to reading Ooko. I have it on hold at the library but it hasn't come in yet.

    I'm really enjoying Perry T. Cook on audio. Glad you enjoyed it too. He really is a great character.

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    1. I hope you enjoy Ooko, a little quirky, but fun. Perry Cook is what some might call an "old soul", and that's something else to talk over in a discussion. Thanks, Beth.

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  8. Perry T. Cook has been on my reading radar for a while, Linda, because it addresses incarceration and the effects of this practice. I'll have to oder my own copy now!

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    1. There are so many layers to consider in this story, Tara. It would be nice to have a big discussion among teachers, too!

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  9. Perry T. Cook is on my To Read list, and one of these days, I'll get to it. Summer time is running out quickly! I thought Lady Liberty's Holiday was a fun book that might encourage the study of geography. Hope you have a terrific week!

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    1. I agree about the geography connection to Lady Liberty, Jana. It would be lots of fun to travel through the book with a class.

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  10. I loved Perry T. Cook when I read it. I'm excited reading the comments here about it that it is reaching a wider audience. It would be an interesting book to read with students.

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    1. Love hearing your opinion too, Cheriee. I guess many of us have enjoyed it thoroughly.

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  11. For me, Ooko is a must. My daughter-in-law chose owl decor for granddaughter #1 and fox decor for #2. We collect both for them, and fox are very trendy right now!

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    1. There are so many fox stories out now, fun and serious. What fun it would be to use some of this art for granddaughter #2! Long, long ago, we had a friend make some Pooh prints & we loved them. Enjoy, Jane!

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  12. There is nothing like a book that empowers kids to be strong individuals. Thanks for sharing the Connor book. I want to read it!

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  13. I am so excited to read Perry T! I love the premise, and your review makes me want to read it even more.

    Happy reading this week :)

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  14. Thanks, Ricki and Kellee, I hope you both enjoy this "honorable Perry T".

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  15. Perry's story sounds amazing. There are so many things I want to discuss just from your description of it! Lady Liberty looks like a fun read, too.

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    1. I hope you'll get a chance to read both, Kay. I enjoyed them very much.

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  16. Perry T. Cook sounds like one I would enjoy. I bet it would make a nice parallel to Ruby on the Outside. Female protagonist, also with a mother incarcerated.

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    1. Several have mentioned Ruby on The Outside, Nicole. Thanks for you sharing it, too. I need to find it!

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  17. Interesting questions about Perry. I had fun reading Ooko. Those Debbies are too funny.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. Yes, the idea about the Debbies is so clever.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!