Sunday, May 7, 2017

Monday Reading

              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!        tweet #IMWAYR

      I took a break last week but didn't stop reading!  Here are a few books I would recommend!

          There's something so good in this sweet story about a young boy learning about life with those around him who help in loving ways, his mother and his teacher especially, and toward the end, one classmate. Change for this boy called Bat is hard, yet managed in the most subtle of ways by Elana Arnold. His mother is a veterinarian who has brought home an abandoned baby skunk that needs care until time to be released in the wild. Bat falls in love, and cannot figure out why he isn't going to be able to keep it forever. Slowly, we recognize that this is a singular young boy who's a little quirky about his likes and dislikes, but his changes along with others' acceptance along the way make it a wonderful read.




This arrives May 2nd, and it was exciting to read Elizabeth Wein's new, and wonderful, historical fiction book. I've shared Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, and Black Dove, White Raven to many others. This is a prequel to "the" Julia Beaufort-Stuart's story in Code Name Verity. When I first realized it, this coming-of-age story became a bit sad because I know what her future holds. This time, coming home for summer break and to finish packing up the family's mansion that has been given over to a boys' school, Julie wakes up in the hospital, wondering what in the world this summer will bring. It's certainly not going to be what was expected. And things become even more mixed up as the days move on in this pre-war story. Readers will be fascinated to learn of the social conflicts between Scottish Travellers and the landed gentry and the Scottish River pearls which form the real mystery confounded (like always?) by stereotyping and greed. The pleasure of knowing more about Julie's life was so satisfying, and to learn her growing up thoughts and courage to act was no surprise. Each character, like those in other's of Wein's stories, also show many layers, some very surprising. I loved every bit, and am sorry to see it end. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy!



           Imagining where a river goes is what this young girl does as she gazes out her window. From the river to the sea, the girl wanders along in a tiny silver boat through farmlands, jungles, and by night to the sea. It's a magical story, but also might be a wonderful introduction to the geography surrounding rivers and their tributaries. The illustrations show the river flowing through as an imaginary line, a clever and beautiful way to show the varied parts of its journey.


          Finally, I have a copy of this loving book, one for every age. In simple and quite effective black and white drawings, Elisha Cooper tells of a cat enjoying life, and then, surprise! Another cat joins the household. The 'big cat' teaches the 'little cat' how things go eating and sleeping and playing. After a few years, both are 'big cats'. And so life goes until one must leave and not return. It's a sweet remembrance of life's journey, changes, and renewal, too. If you have had a loss recently, this is a book to read that will share and give voice to your feelings. I loved it!


             With poetic lines, Jennifer Ward takes the reader along to tell what some animals wear, and Jing Jing Tsong used bold collage illustrators that help us see those animals. It's a beautiful book and a nice introduction to animal adaptation for survival. There are short paragraphs of additional information of all eighteen animals, including humans! 
              Found at a library sale, this gathering of poems forms a story of a Canadian prairie childhood is told by a well-known Métis (a person of mixed American Indian and Euro-American ancestry in primarily Western Canada) writer/teacher/lecturer. The poems with a nostalgic refrain take readers through a year of season's including hard work and play. Illustrations by Peter Shostak, an award-winning Canadian artist beautifully show the allure of the huge expanses one sees in the prairie.
           A debut novel, translated from French, one that will be wonderful to have on hand to brighten a hard day for anyone. In poetic lines, a man flies through crowds and a rainstorm, grumping at the weather and the crowds that seem to be making him late. He notices nothing but the dark day until a gust of wind takes his umbrella to the feet of a boy admiring the treats of a patisserie. The dark illustrations lighten, color emerges, and through sharing, joy happens. 


            I'm in the midst of finishing a few books and just started Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang, one I know I missed several years ago. So far it's fascinating!


 Happy Reading! 


19 comments:

  1. I haven't even got to Black Dove, White Raven yet and there is another one. Soon I hope to have time for it. A Boy Called Bat is in a box of books from the library. I hope to set to it this week. I love the cover of A River.

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    1. I've concluded that I will enjoy what I can, Cheriee and hope you will, too. There are so many great books available to us! Thanks!

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  2. Glad you liked a Boy Called Bat. I can't imagine anyone not loving Bat. He is such a sweet character. The Pearl Thief sounds interesting. Another one to add to my list!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa, yes, Bat the book is wonderful, and so is that lovable boy!

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  3. I have not read the other Elizabeth Wein books. (I tried Black Dove, White Raven, but abandoned that one.). Can I read The Pearl Thief first?
    Loved Boy Called Bat. Cannot wait for the second one.

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    1. I think you can read The Pearl Thief as a stand alone, but actually I loved Codename Verity so much, and it will make The Pearl Thief more interesting. They really aren't connected except the main character is the same, Michele. I loved Bat too as you can see. It's a great story for those younger readers. Thanks!

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  4. I've heard really good things about A Boy Called Bat, I'm really looking forward to reading it, too!

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    1. It's a nice story, Jane, and a subtle showing of a child who sets himself a bit apart from others, but learns that it's okay to be friends with someone, too.

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  5. Code Name Verity is one of my favorite books, so I am very excited about the prequel--though also sad because we do know what's coming. I just checked A Boy Called Bat out from the library and was planning to read it myself but when my son found out it was about a boy with autism, he asked me to save it to read with him. (We're watching Parenthood, the tv show, right now and he is fascinated by the character who has Asperger's.) Not sure when we'll squeeze it in or even how interesting it will be to him. But I do love it when he shows interest in a book!

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    1. I'm going to have to get Code Name Verity again because I gave my copy away, Elisabeth, & now want to read it again. The Pearl Thief was a twisty story again, and lovely to read about the younger Julie. I hope your son likes A Boy Called Bat. He may find it a little young for him, but the story is subtle and good.

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  6. I really enjoyed A Boy Called Bat, too. A very sweet book about acceptance, and many of my students really enjoy chapter books about animals. Under the Umbrella looks like a beautiful book. I will definitely look for it. Have a great week!

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    1. Happy to hear your opinion about Bat too, Jana. I also will enjoy hearing from your students too! Enjoy Under The Umbrella, a loving story with a lesson for us all.

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  7. We are reading A Boy Called Bat now and absolutely loving it. Such an important book to have in classrooms.

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  8. I did not know there was a prequel to Code Name Verity. I adored that book! It makes me sad to think of it, but I will have to read it. Thanks!

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    1. Just out, Crystal, & I loved it, but I still loved Code Name Verity more, FYI. It may be because Code Name Verity was the first I'd read. The Pearl Thief was terrific, though.

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  9. I love Bat so much!!!! He is such a special boy; I am glad you loved it too :)

    Happy reading this week!

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  10. Your review makes me want to actually read A Boy Called Bat. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Oh I think I would love Under the Umbrella - I am thrilled to see that we have it in our public library! I hope I can borrow it soonest.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!