Sunday, September 25, 2016

It's Monday! Books To Love


           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.   
Tweet #IMWAYR

         Thanks to Candlewick Press for a copy of this book, out September 13th. The writing is good, offering a look into teenage thoughts as seven tell the story of three hours on a day, really like any other day, but not this time. It is harsh with strong language, and not a surprise that teens think and talk this way. Some of these seven we meet have connected online to commiserate with each other's tough lives, but it goes further, and ends in a plot for each to complete some kind of school shooting and then suicide. It's alarming and scary, and held together by one girl, April, whose birthday is April 19th, "the day". I would recommend this for older teens and their parents and teachers!

         This is the quietest book that begins to squeeze your heart, slowly, slowly, until you realize that you are looking for things to wish on just like Charlie, but just for Charlie! Charlie has been taken to her Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus's home after it's been determined that she is no longer in a stable environment. Her father is in jail and her mother doesn't get out of bed. Her sister is about to graduate from high school so gets to move in with a friend. Charlie is alone in what she thinks of as a sad house in the Blue Ridge mountains, among those "awful" hillbillies. She must finish her fifth grade year, and it's not a friendly place. But Charlie doesn't exactly know how to make friends, and is also in trouble with the teacher quite a bit. Sadly, this is not a sympathetic teacher, although I kept hoping! It's after school is out that the story deepens. I loved that Barbara O'Connor keeps Charlie surrounded with love, from Bertha and Gus, from her only friend, Howard's family, from the setting and finally from a stray dog, Wishbone. That's part of the sweet story too. A dog's love cures a lot of things, and he helps Charlie, too. Without telling all the story, just know that as others have said, it's worth reading and learning from the inside out what a child who also feels like a stray wishes for every single day.


         Finally I have had the pleasure of reading this beautiful book. All the delight of reading as a young girl takes a young boy on a journey through a sea of words. I too loved the journey between the covers, through the spare text, but especially via Jeffers’ and Winston’s imaginative illustrations. One can look and look and still not see it all. Some pictures include parts of the text of favorite children’s books, in roads, on trees, up mountains and more. The end splashes out into a burst of color, just like our feelings when reading!

According to the author/illustrator Helga Bansch, her art is “a collage of pencil drawing, acrylic paint, monotype and old maps”, and it is marvelous to see in this quirky story of four ravens born and one, little girl?  Yes, it’s a little girl who tells her story, a happy one that is easy to tell by the terrific expressions. There is one wonderful double-page spread showing a line of animals which come to stare. They don’t say nice things and have lots of advice. She tries to follow all the directions to make her feathers come in, like rub with birch leaves, but nothing works. She’s always cold so her father gets her a dress and a hat, yes, he did! I love the imagination and the pages filled with caring ravens, accepting this different child, adapting to make life work as best they can. It’s a fun story that will be good to start conversations.

         There have been a number of babies born recently to blogging and FB friends, some grandparents, too, so I saw this at the library and brought it home. It is a text in rhyme, written after the older cumulative tale "This Is The House That Jack Built", so sweetly done. It should be a new baby gift book to remember! The illustrations by Eliza Wheeler (Miss Maple's Seeds) are lovely, soft black-outlined watercolor as mother and baby move all through the day watching the new one greeted by family and friends, bathing in a lagoon, chattered about by monkeys, and finally greeting the stars. The author personally connects to elephants in a letter at the back that tells of a special carved one in her family, plus sharing a bit about the dwindling elephant population since her great-grandmother's time.
With a combination of cutouts and paint, and some conversation between two good friends, a story is told of what each experiences and what each one is sorry that is missed. In Hole's case, it misses the sun rising; in Hill's case, hearing the earth breathe. With the help of Mole, they trade places, and find that after a while, being what they were before wasn't so bad after all. The ending wraps up a story for conversation, that one about being satisfied with yourself! 
        FYI - These two, writer and illustrator, are well known and loved for their work from New Zealand! The book was first published in NZ in 2010 but this year in the US.


Now Reading: Gerite's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

25 comments:

  1. A quiet book that begins to squeeze your heart is a good way to describe Wish. I'm book talking it to fourth and fifth graders. I juts loved it. I'm looking forward to A Child of Books.

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    1. I was so happy to read it, finally, Lisa! I hope the students love it!

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  2. Wish has been on my TBR list. I hadn't heard of any of the others. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome. Wish is quite a lovely story!

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  3. The Light Fantastic sounds brutal. I don't think I can read it with what's happening in the news.

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    1. It wasn't easy, but was heartfelt with understanding what some teens are thinking, even if they don't do anything bad. It felt important to understand that. Thanks, Earl.

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  4. I am looking forward to Wish and A Child of Books. I'm so glad you enjoyed Rosie. I'm not sure I could handle The Light Fantastic.

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    1. As I wrote above, The Light Fantastic was a challenge, but really well done as much as that theme could be. Rosie is a delight, isn't it? Thanks, Cheriee.

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  5. Hope you love Gertie! I'm rereading it now and get to fall in love with her again!
    I loved A Child of Books and Wish. You wrote some great comments about both that I agree with!
    I just brought home This is Our Baby from the library. Looks like a good gift book!

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    1. I just finished Gertie, had to finish before I started reading posts again today. It is lovely, and since I read Wish just before, what a poignant twosome! I think I'll need to purchase A Child of Books, beautiful and brilliant! Thanks, Michele!

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  6. We absolutely loved Wish and will be blogging about it very soon. Thanks for the reminder about Gertie! We heard Kate Beasley speak this summer and meant to pick up a copy when it was published. We needed your reminder :)

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    1. I did finish Gertie, another lovely story, and pairs well with Wish. Glad now you will remember! Thanks!

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  7. How to resist a book introduced this way: "A quiet book that begins to squeeze your heart"? Ordering it!

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  8. I'm really looking forward to Wish. I love the cover of Rosie the Raven--will be looking for that for sure.

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    1. Wish is a delight, as is Rosie the Raven, so great to look at, and sweet, too. Thanks, Elisabeth!

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  9. Yes, A Child of Books is definitely worth waiting for. An instant classic.

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  10. I'm glad you loved Wish and Rosie The Raven as much as I did! A Child of Books is in a stack of library books on my coffee table, so I definitely need to get to it, soon! I also have a NetGalley of Gertie's Leap to Greatness waiting for me. I'm so behind in my reading, it's crazy! Hope you have a great week!

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    1. I guess we just have too many titles on our list, Jana. I thought Rosie the Raven was so clever and gorgeous to see, too. Wish is certainly special, and do read A Child of Books-awesome! Gertie is very good, too. Thanks!

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  11. Hmm. My computer went a bit wild, so you may have a duplicate post here. I am really looking forward to reading The Light Fantastic. It is on my list! I was sucked in by the cover. I'm hoping to read it while nursing! :)

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    1. It's quite a serious book, but I think well done, Ricki. Hope you have a wonderful time with that new one coming!

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  12. Rosie the Raven looks really good - been trying to order it for awhile now, but it isn't available on Book Depository. The Light Fantastic sounds like a brilliant read. :)

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    1. Both amazing in unique ways, Myra. Enjoy them when you can! Thanks!

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  13. I'll have to look for Wish. I want to read A Child of Books too.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!