Sunday, November 26, 2017

Monday Reading



              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!  Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki who share from their own reading lives and support this meme, too.

 

          Thanks to Candlewick Press for the advanced copy of this book, out in mid-October. Here is a heroine whose voice does not waver, though tears fall in sorrow when shouting over a success, while proudly knowing deep inside what is the right thing to do in living life. Lindsay Eager does not stop weaving this story with current adventure, flashback chapters (Just wait until you’re in the middle of a wonderful part and turn the page to “Two Years Ago!”) Eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail, daughter of well-known Drs Quail, ocean scientists, grew up with the sea, with so much knowledge she is nearly a partner to her parents. Disaster breaks early, and Fidelia faces the biggest problem of her life, at least the biggest until she is captured by the most vicious pirate of the seas, Merrick the Monstrous. There is suspense, the science of Fidelia’s inventions, the ocean’s creatures and the ocean itself. Readers will read about passion and heartbreak.  Not only is Fidelia a character we are able to know deeply, but the other characters also enrich the story with unique personalities, stories that are revealed slowly, often with sympathy, but sometimes with horror. And there is beautiful writing! I cannot wait for the next book but will savor this one for a while first.




            More than one author has taken parts of fairy tales and woven new stories to enjoy. It’s been a pleasure to read how Sara Lewis Holmes has written a complex and magical adventure in this book about a young girl who really only wants to be a woodcutter like her “Tata”. That “wolf hour”, the time between darkness and dawn, holds the scariest parts and fits well the breath-holding that happens when one is brave enough to fight for what is right rather than give in to a witch’s illusions of happiness and power.
         Magia, a woodcutter’s daughter wants to be like her father and fights for the right to walk into the “Puszcza” the name of the forest which means “wilderness” in Polish. Holmes infuses the text with other Polish words, perhaps a way that carries more mystery? There is a wolf that reads instead of hunts, but is drawn into Magia’s adventure until both know they must fight to change the story. This book is a complex and intriguing work that twists and turns like magic itself. Holmes’ writing reads like the music that also is a part of the story. As Magia speaks with her father about her wishes, he counsels: “You must be so certain of your true story that you always end up where you want to be.”  And when one wolf keenly howled for her mate, we are told: “All she knew was that human Stories were everywhere in the forest. If her mate fell into one of them, she would be well and truly alone.” There are pigs and a red hood, and spiders, yet none always carry the roles we usually know. If you like surprises and fairy tales, read this book!

   This story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, sometimes sweet, often shocking. The journey that Flora and Julian have lived, are living with their now supposed-to-be-forever family hangs on until an ending. Carla Carter, rightly so, allows Flora to tell the story and also lets her interpret Julian's feelings and actions along with Person's (the name she gives her new mom, Dad's and Elena's (Dad's girl from a former marriage). There were times I wanted to shout, "no", that isn't what that means, but to a young girl who's lived with four other "moms", I'm not sure I would know what I would feel like. I do personally have some connections in my family, adopted children, of all ages, and each has a story to discover and know. Every single person, middle grade up to adult, needs to read this story, to learn about different kinds of growing up, and perhaps to understand when it seems very hard to understand. 

        Getting Moose, this medium-sized brown dog, to stay behind when Zara, a young pig-tailed girl in a wheelchair, went off to school simply wasn’t going to happen. He came to story time in the classroom, then had to say ‘goodbye’. He came to library time and had to leave. He even came to lunch, but all the adults said, "Moose isn’t supposed to be here"! Finally, Zara has a wonderful idea and takes Moose to therapy dog school. Now, he can go to story time, library and lunchtime! The happiest story is always filled with darling kids, and Patrice Barton’s kids are just that. It’s a wonderful book that’s just right for young readers who might want to have a therapy dog visit. There is added information about this kind of training for dogs at the back.

        It would be wonderful to have this book in October, but it isn’t only a Halloween book, it’s an adventure book of a strange magic shop offering magic supplies and all kinds of spells, hexes, potions, well you may know the kind of shop I mean. It is owned by creepy Miss Pustula Night.  Young Georgie has been double-dared to find the ghost known to live in this shop. No one had ever seen it, but Georgie comes prepared with all sorts of adventuring equipment. He is only a bit nervous and marches right in with a plan to stay until closing, then to see what he can find. It’s a romping rhyme with full-page illustrations of many kinds of monsters and magical creations by John Shelley. Carrie starts Georgie off into a scary tale and ends with a story of kindness and cooperation, plus a new friend. Good for Georgie for taking that dare.

         Only Lucy Mouse loves the winter, and not one other deep underground can be persuaded to come outside to “catch snowflakes with a tongue,” or “flap her arms to make snow angels” along with other wonders in the snowy outside. She even tried to bring the snow play inside, but throwing snowballs inside was a melting flop. Illustrations are just darling, showing those cute mice living underground munching on all kinds of cheese, drinking tea and sitting by the fire. Finally, Lucy herself discovers one more wonderful activity, skating on ice. Using pine needles and string, she creates ice (MICE) skates and persuades others to join in. The story entertains, and the most fun is the way Annie Silvestro puns the way through the story. When others describe Lucy coming in from the cold, one says her teeth are “cheddar-ing!”  When they greeted her return, one asked if she was tired of being “prov-alone.” There are more "cheesey puns" about this “mice-skating” and you’ll need to read the book to discover them. 
         Yes, finally I have a copy of After The Fall, and yes, it's great fun and surprising, too. I don't want to give anything away. Dan Santat's text gives Humpty a strong voice that shows feelings and a kind of "self-talk" that would help kids who are afraid of some things and need some strategies to survive them. The illustrations help to show the challenges along with the achievements no matter the sacrifice. Oops, I don't want to write too much. It is a powerful picture book.

Now Reading: Finishing up The Splendid Baron Submarine by Eric Bower, prepping for a blog tour this Wednesday. Also reading Sinking The Sultana: A Civil War Story of Greed, Imprisonment and a Doomed Journey Home by Sally M. Walker.

What's Next: I have so many but would love to get to at least one of my #MustRead list and I have the new book by Maggie Stiefvater and looking forward to reading it! 

Happy Reading!

22 comments:

  1. These all sound wonderful, Linda - and I'm drooling a wee bit over the great cover art. Thanks for the introductions!

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  2. I love the illustrations in Mice Skating! Love the idea in sitting warm and cozy and eating cheese! 🧀❤️😊

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    1. It is the cutest 'tale', Jana. I hope you can find it!

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  3. I thought Race to the Bottom of the Sea was unique and interesting. Forever or a Long Long Time sounds fantastic. Just love After the Fall! I think I still have a book or two on my #mustread list. I should check it to see what I haven't gotten to yet.

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    1. Good for you. I know I have more than a book or two. Too many other books make it to the top! Glad you liked Race To The Bottom of The Sea. I liked it and After The Fall a lot.

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  4. Mice Skating and After the Fall are definitely on our TBR list - Thank you

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  5. Mice Skating looks adorable! I didn't realize Teagan White had illustrated a new book. I loved her pictures for the Barefoot Critters books.

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    1. Mice Skating is a wonderful story and is illustrated beautifully. I'm glad to share it!

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  6. These all look so good. I have a few in my TBR pile and I'm hoping to get to them soon. Thanks for sharing these with us today.

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    1. You're welcome, Alex. I hope you find some you will love!

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  7. Forever is a stunning book, isn't it? I love the way Carter developed and sustained the voice of the main character - so compelling.

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    1. Yes! She did a marvelous job with Flora's strong, strong voice. I loved this book, Tara.

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  8. I definitely want to read Race to the Bottom of the Sea. It's at the top of my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is a great combination of realistic fiction with a bold imaginary tale, Ricki. Enjoy!

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  9. Can't wait to read Race to the Bottom of the Sea. And isn't After the Fall incredible?

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    1. Yes, I loved both books. Authors' imaginations are amazing.

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  10. You were a busy reader!
    I knew a dog named Moose when I was younger so that book will always have a place in my heart!
    Race to the Bottom of the Sea has been in my pile for a long time. One day I'll get to it.
    So many other great books in your pile!

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    1. How fun to hear about your own dog Moose/connection to "Hello Goodbye Dog". It's a terrific book. I understand about the other books. I have a pile to get to also, and choose what speaks to me, I guess. Thanks, Michele!

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  11. So many fabulous books this week Linda. The Wolf Hour is the one I am most looking forward to reading.

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    1. Thanks, Cheriee. I hope you enjoy it!

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