Sunday, January 7, 2018

More Goodness in #IMWAYR

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 so much with us by taking time to support this meme!


   For those of you who have returned, or will be returning Monday or Tuesday, hope the year has continued beautifully! It's been a busy week for me, lots of time spent doing other things, finishing up the holiday "stuff" and reading the finalists for the Poetry category of the Cybils. It's a pleasure but takes time to read and make notes, etc.
      It was great fun to read everyone's #MustReadIn2018 lists last week, and to see how must they'd accomplished from their #MustReadIn2017 lists.

Here's my reading for this week:


           Many people remind us to “look for the helpers”, most especially after a disaster, but sometimes one child’s life is a “disaster” and she or he needs all the helpers possible. This is the life of Rydr who’s on a journey to live with a great uncle in Chicago, someone she’s never known. Her mother died of a drug overdose and the ‘Gramma’ she’s lived with for two years, who didn’t like her very much, has also died now and social services has finally found one family member who will take her in. We don’t know how that will be, all Paul Mosier has given us is the story of Rydr on the train from Arizona to Chicago. Slowly, Rydr finds her helpers. There is Dorothea, the person “in charge” of this Amtrak child rider; Neal, the young man in charge of the snack bar; Carlos, a writer who also rides this train, making notes in a journal; and Tenderchunks, nickname of a Scout traveling with his troop, but more in love with poetry than building fires. Sound interesting? With top layers revealed, Rydr slowly digs into her own past and discovers these other ‘helpers’ who not only help her, she finds that she has something to offer them, too. It’s a beautifully loving story that shows both the highs and lows of love and loss, and makes one want to shout “hurrah” for those who step forward to help. Don’t miss this book!

            Thanks to Candlewick Press for the ARC of this book, just out this month. Poor Bug, he struggles to keep his mouth shut, and his actions to remain only thoughts. I know kids will giggle when the jokes are on Benjamin (really known as Bug) and also on his “Don’t List”. Cartoon-like illustrations show the humor too with exaggerated expressions on everyone.
              I’ve found another wonderful bear book, and Sean Taylor has written this darling story of two children who build a snowman. However, when their mother comes to look, she says it looks more like a bear and warns the children to be careful on the big hill because it’s very steep and slick. Well, the children take the sled down with much whooping and hollering, but when they try to get up the hill they cannot. That’s when the magic begins. That cute and large snowbear  becomes a real bear and comes to save them. The rest of the story is one for smiles, and the snowy pictures illustrated by Claire Alexander show the excitement that happens when outside in a snowy landscape.




            George, a duck, stays home baking pastries as year after year, his friends fly to other wonderful places, “somewhere else”. They’ve tried to get George to go, but he always has an excuse to say “no”. He has more baking to do, yoga lessons, tv watching. When Pascal, George’s bear friend, needs a place for the winter, Pascal admits that he’s sad he hasn’t gone anywhere, and finally admits the real reason. What happens after that shows the freedom rewarded when one is finally honest about shortcomings. It’s a great book about risk-taking and friendship. The collage/mixed-media illustrations are hard to describe, but they are wonderful to see, filled with details everywhere.


            
          

         This story holds lovely pictures of all kinds of animals and a story about friendship. Will Yak and Dove who are so very different find ways to stop arguing and renew their friendship? A smart marmot helps by holding auditions, a bit of humor there, and quite a bit of disagreement, but at last, Yak and Dove realize they can find ways to be friends.





          I’m fascinated by books that tell of brave women, men, and children who survive the most challenging of circumstances. From the past to today, those who help others while risking their own lives, who do what they know is right, are heroes. Sometimes they don’t survive, but they die helping others. This is the fictional story of one Paris architect, Lucien Bernard who despite who he “thought” he was, turned into who he was proud to be. Set in the time of the German occupation of Paris during World War II, Charles Belfoure, also an architect, tells of Lucien helping design safe and clever hiding spaces within the very homes where Jews live. It is a tale of hope amid cruelty, betrayal against loyalty. I was tense the whole reading time, recognized some foreshadowing which made me put the book down until I was ready for more. It’s a terrific book.
       This is fiction from research; the author writes it’s most particularly based on the priest holes created during the time when Catholics were persecuted in England. I was also reminded of the memoir by Meep Gies who, as a young woman, faithfully brought food and news to the Frank family during World War II: Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of The Woman Who Helped the Frank Family. She rode her bike every day for miles and in the winter weather to help them.

What's Next: I'm reading the Cybils' poetry as mentioned above and will try to start my first #MustRead of the year, Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley.

19 comments:

  1. I love friendship books so I'll have to look for Yak and Dove. Bug Blonsky sounds like one my students might enjoy. Look forward to hearing your thoughts about Tumble and Blue.

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    1. Yes, Yak and Dove will be one you'll enjoy, Lisa. Can't wait to read Tumble and Blue. Many of you have said great things about it!

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  2. Must read The Paris Architect- sounds like my kind of grownup book! I also finished LILAC GIRLS, similar setting, very compelling.

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    1. I have The Lilac Girls, Augusta, love to hear your recommendation! Thanks!

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  3. I've added The Snowbear, Yak and Dove, and The Paris Architect to my To Read List. The weather is so cold and nasty, there's plenty of time to read now! Have a great week!

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    1. Sorry about the weather, but it is a great time for reading! Glad you found some books to add, Jana!

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  4. I liked Train I Ride much more than I thought I would. Thanks for sharing suc a nice selection of titles.

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  5. Train I ride was already on my list but now thanks to you I'm really regretting that it didn't make my must-read in 2018 list.

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  6. I think all of your picture books are new to me this week!
    I've seen lots of positives about Train I Ride, but perhaps for older middle grade?

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  7. The Paris Architect sounds riveting. I have stacked in my To-Read list in Goodreads. :)

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  8. TRAIN I RIDE sounds so good! I really need to read that! I hadn't heard of it until I saw it on Goodreads yesterday.

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  9. Linda - Thank you for all of these recommendations. All of these titles are new to us. We definitely want to read Train I Ride.

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  10. All these titles are new to me too. I really need to get to the library and get another stack of picture books. Thanks for all the recommendations.

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  11. The Snow Bear looks cute. Will have to look for it.

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  12. Thanks to everyone. I've spent the final vacation day with the grand-girls, so will visit your posts when I can. I'm so glad you've found new books to enjoy, whichever one calls to you. Yes, Train I Ride is upper middle grade, perhaps into YA, Michele! Happy Reading!

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  13. Both Yak and Dove and this Gus Gordon book look like books I need to find!

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  14. So glad you read and loved Train I Ride, one of my favorite books of 2017. And now I need to request The Snowbear and Yak and Dove..

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    1. Hope you enjoy them, Ramona, and yes, I loved Train I Ride, was sad when it ended.

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