Sunday, January 29, 2017

Monday Reading

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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    I managed to finish the book for my book group, another from my #MustReadIn2017 list, and some lovely picture books. 


Now: I have an arc of a book whose publication is in mid-February, Isaac The Alchemist by Mary Losure, non-fiction story of Isaac Newton's growing up. It's terrific!

Next: The Newbery honor book I haven't read: The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly. I imagine I found it so quickly from the library before the awards happened! Lucky me! 
         I loved hearing about all the awards, was excited for some, disappointed that a few favorites were not mentioned. 


I haven't read "A Man Called Ove", maybe soon, but it has been interesting how others kept telling me they were disappointed in this book after reading Backman's first. I had no comparison, but did struggle for a while because I am a grandmother, though maybe not so crazy as Granny who is Elsa's grandmother in this story. And I do have an "almost eight" year old granddaughter whom I often compared to Elsa. Elsa, a gifted "almost" eight year old, has to face quite a lot of problems in this book. Granny has died and left her a series of letters that set her on an adventure like no other, into a land of fantastical tales that were created long before Elsa was around, but that is one more tale to be told. Sometimes I was so exasperated by the actions by Elsa, and wondered if it was reasonable for an "almost" eight year old to sneak out of her apartment to do the things she did. After knowing that some kinds of super-heroes were indeed watching out for her, I settled in and loved how Backman slowly revealed the stories of all the characters. Elsa had quite a lonely and frightening path to follow, but she wasn't always alone, for which I was thankful to discover. There is a quote that encompasses the flavor of this story, that thread that holds on to Elsa tightly: "And Maud bakes cookies, because when the darkness is too heavy to bear and too many things have been broken in too many ways to ever be fixed again, Maud doesn't know what weapon to use if one can't use dreams." Perhaps those who haven't enjoyed this do not realize how complex lives can be, and how hidden the stories. And perhaps looking again at someone is the greater lesson? I loved it.

              Imagine if your summer excitement is having your 12th birthday on the 4th of July, and the delicious anticipation of another wonderful party at the town pool with friends, popsicles, and cake. Then imagine if that was the summer of 1964 when everything changed. The pool closed, old friends betrayed, and new friends were going to mean trouble. This is the summer Gloriana June Hemphill is about to experience. It isn't all bad, but Glory first grieved for the old times of fun with her friend, Frankie and her old sister, Jesslyn, now interested in boys more than games with Glory. Augusta Scattergood tells just enough of this time of unrest when African Americans wanted equal rights and FreedomRiders moved into towns to help make changes. Not everyone is happy about the changes, but Glory and her sister soon find they have their father, a minister's support, and MissBloom, the librarian stands strong too. Glory's decisions create tense moments, but she manages to figure out what's important in a realistic way. After reading, kids will want to explore this historical time more. It's a good beginning story with strong characters and an exciting plot.



            Planet Bobarp is a place, unlike planet Earth, perhaps? I’m late reading t his, and love every part. The clever wording and slow-motion message will be terrific to read aloud and see what others think about it. Being best friends is a  good thing until conflict happens, and then one must decide how to  fix it. Making a story humorous can sometimes help make hard things fun to talk about.











   it’s a delightful book of  joyous pictures and spare text where two unlikely creatures, a greyhound and a groundhog meet, frolic, and on page after page go around and around, until they meet something that “astounds”.  Great to see and enjoy.



           This cat is wealthy but that’s never enough, is it?  He has the most rice, the finest clothes, the highest pagoda, yet is not satisfied, Then comes a drought, and the rice field dry up, the villagers move away, and the cat is left. He struggles to give up his fine possessions, but there comes a day when he must leave, or starve. Finding his way to a temple, one monk gives the cat a lesson he won’t forget.  Rich conversations will come from this tale. The collaged illustrations are extraordinary, some cut and painted paper, some torn paper.

         In this story, Jolene Thompson lets a young fox tell the story. As Justin Thompson shows in the first pages, the fox's home forest has been cleared for new homes. He wanders through the neighborhood remembering good times with family, like running through the undergrowth of shade trees after playing all day. Now he's faced with yards and a fence with a sign saying "keep out." He misses catching frogs with his sister and swimming with his brother. He speaks of the good times with his mother and father. In simple text with heartbreaking pictures of a lonely fox, one can see what a challenge losing a home can be for an animal. The ending shows hope, however, for a special underpass and protected habitat is being built for animals just like the fox. There is an additional explanation of the history of these special wildlife crossings, most in The Netherlands, some in the U.S. There is a time when parents or teachers must explain the problems animals have when people start clearing their habitats.This will be a terrific book to use in discussions about this environmental problem.

             The illustrations fill this story in magic about a little girl who's not sleepy yet, but as she follows nighttime rituals, and asks about other creatures who sleep, she learns their habits, too, and follows them one by one, finally snuggling "deep as a bear' and like the strong tiger, falls "fast asleep". Remember "Red Sings From Treetops: A Year In Colors"? This is another whimsical and delightful book illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Aside from the beauty of each page, there is whimsey in the details, like that tiger snuggling up with a Raggedy Anne doll. It's a wonderful book.

 Happy Reading!



22 comments:

  1. I am reading Glory Be right now too. Really enjoying the voice and the story. It's the book I'm reading during class when my students have independent reading time so it may take me another week or two to finish. I love the cover of the Greyhound & Groundhog book. Such a funny pair of animals for a story! I read Sleep Like a Tiger a couple of weeks ago--surprised to discover I'd never read it before (I thought I'd read all the Caldecotts since 1990 or so). Just gorgeous!

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    1. I thought I'd found all of Zagarenski's books, and loved Sleep Like A Tiger, too. Glad you're enjoying Glory Be, a "just right" story for the audience. Greyhound &Groundhog is a fun surprise. I know young kids will love it. Thanks, Elisabeth.

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  2. I just read Best Frints, and I definitely thought it was adorable, but to be honest I was kind of annoyed at the "working together makes everything better" message. If one of my friends stole my car and crashed it, I think I'd be a little angrier for a little bit longer! ;-)

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    1. I hear you, there are a few strange parts, but I kind of took them metaphorically. It is cute! Thanks, Jane.

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  3. So many books...so little time. After reading your review of my grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry, we have to read it. We also want to read Faraway Fox - Sounds like an important book to read during this political time.

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    1. I know, I feel the same way. I hope you enjoy both of these. I did!

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  4. Have you met Augusta Scattergood? She is such a sweet person, former librarian, and an inspiration to me. She also grew up in Mississippi. I read Glory Be when it first came out. Her other books are good as well. I don't usually join the Monday meme. It's a busy time of the week, but I'm enjoying being here today.

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    1. I didn't spend much time with Augusta, but met her at Highlights last year as she was leaving and I was arriving. She was lovely to talk with that brief time. I'm sorry I've put off her books, have another ready to read too. Glad to see you here sometimes, Margaret.

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  5. I've ordered A Greyhound, A Groundhog and Faraway Fox from my library. Both look like great picture books.

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    1. The first just fun, and the second is a more serious book, well done. Enjoy!

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  6. I haven't read The Inquisitor's Tale. I should look for it at the library, like you did, before it disappears! I just loved The Best Frints. It was really fun to read aloud to first and second grade classes. I loved hearing them figure out the made-up words.

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    1. I just read Best Frints to my 2nd grade granddaughter and she did love it, Lisa. Silly language seems to be part of first and second graders' humor and this fits that very well.

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  7. I hope you like The Inquisitor's Tale. I've found you either love it or leave it. I need to go back and read the illuminated version!

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    1. I must have that one because the cover shows an illustrator too, Michele. Guess I'll see if I like it!

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  8. I have read both of Backman's books - I had also heard that people didn't like the second one. As you said it took a bit to catch what was going on but I enjoyed both. I also like Glory Be. The others are new to be so will need to go do some reading!

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    1. Thanks for your opinions too. Time to read A Man Called Ove. Hope you like some of these picture books! Thanks, Joanne.

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  9. I am devastated to see that we still don't have A Greyhound A Groundhog in our public libraries - hopefully soon. I will be featuring Cat from Hunger Mountain for diversekidlit one of these Saturdays. :) - Myra from GatheringBooks

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  10. I ordered Glory B for my class as soon as I knew I was going to be teaching Grade 4 and 5. Such a fantastic title.

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  11. Glory B has been on my list for a while. It looks like I'm going to have to get a copy to read soon. I haven't read The Cat from Hunger Mountain or any of these other important titles.

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  12. I haven't read any yet, but we are going to Skype with Augusta Scattergood soon, so I am definitely going to read Glory B :)

    Happy reading this week!

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  13. My head is spinning, you lovely readers! Thank you for the nice comments about my book.
    And I finally got around to reading a grownup book for once, A MAN CALLED OVE. Which I loved. I'm almost afraid to read another by him because I, too, have heard they don't measure up.

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    1. Thank you, Augusta, for coming by. I'm glad you loved the comments. There is lots of love here for Glory Be!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!