Sunday, April 1, 2018

Monday Reading Recap



              Thanks to Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this meme. Your TBR lists will grow longer, but you will find books to love and to share. 
               I spent last week at our mountain condo with my family. It was a special time to read several books and visit and write! Others skied and played in the snow. I reveled in the gorgeous snowy mountains and finished two "must reads" among others, along with preparing for April - Poetry  Month (see below). 

       All the words have been written, and the award has been given. I'm glad to have read this marvelous story of children who use their voices, some a bit slower, but all finally step forward to own and voice their opinions, to take care of themselves and then others. I loved the differences shown in each character, hoping that readers might see something familiar and find hope and affirmation for the unique in everyone.
       I enjoyed this wonderful book thoroughly again. One thing that stood out this time was the honest respect placed in the children to make decisions, something that does not always happen. Adults often believe that children are too young to "understand" things, but clearly, Madeleine L'Engle did not. I also love that she used challenging concepts, pieces from literature. She did "not" make the story simple.














        Oh, I wish I had had this wonderful book when I was teaching. Often, I suggested that students research and write about their names. There are other great books that tell about names, like The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi and one chapter of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, and this one is a very special one. Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! She is shown trying to fit her name on a piece of paper that needs an addition. As Alma talks to her Daddy, he begins to tell her about all her names, like "Sofia, her grandmother" who likes books and poetry and of course "Daddy". Alma agrees that she, too, is Sofia who loves books, poetry and her daddy. The stories vary, but soon Alma realizes that indeed, though long, each name fits. We all do wear our names from the past, but Juana Martinez-Neal adds one extra idea at the end that readers will love. 
        Martinez-Neal's muted pencil illustrations feel like sweet stories, with touches of color mostly in Alma's dress and a few other spots. The photo below is of the cover 'inside' the paper cover. I wanted to share how very cute this young Alma is! Thanks to Candlewick for the advanced copy.


         At first, I thought this might have Easter connections, but no, it's just another gorgeously illustrated story from Elise Hurst (remember Imagine A City?) that features a rabbit. This rabbit, Adelaide, once had a beautiful life, but as years went by, she found herself alone. She spent days looking out, capturing in art pieces those "who danced and sighed and dreamed alone". One day she is caught in a storm, sees the fox drop a special book and runs to pick it up for him. He ran on, so Adelaide followed and gave it to him, but not until she had peeked through his window and saw all his drawings, of those she had also noticed, but this time, including herself. Could she make a friend? What she does then is a magical and good thing. It is a story full of beauty and of heart.
Nearly finished: Dear Martin by Nic Stone - Sorry I've put it off so long. It's particularly poignant considering the recent shooting of Stephon Alonzo Clark and of course, too many others. 

What's Next - Between The Lines by Nikki Grimes.

29 comments:

  1. Alma sounds very sweet. Love the illustrations, too!

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  2. SO many people have been writing about Alma lately. I definitely need to read this book very soon!

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  3. Thanks, Lisa & Beth. It's a wonderful book!

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  4. I need to get my hands on Alma. And I am not familiar with Elise Hurst, but I love that cover! I really loved Hello Universe and was so glad it won the Newbery, as I probably would have skipped it without the added push of the award. I am reading Dear Martin and really struggling with the writing style. I've been reading it for nearly two months now and you know how short it is. Need to push through to the end.

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    1. I stayed up late last night finishing Dear Martin, thought it was great, but so sad that kids, and adults, have to continue to fight for what's right. I'm well into Between The Lines, so far I like it a lot! I only know that one by Elise, Imagine A City, but this one I just found, and it is gorgeous. Enjoy Alma, very fun! Thanks, Elisabeth!

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  5. As I read A Wrinkle in Time just before the movie came out, I was thinking about how it must have been such a shocker back in its time -- the brilliant scientist mom, the young homely girl being the hero, the father being the one who needed to be rescued -- such a different mindset from other same-era books! I hope you enjoy Dear Martin. I must have hit it at just the right time because I couldn't put it down. I don't know what I expected, but I was surprised at how much it spoke to me. I also need to check out Alma (and that illustration is adorable!). Have a great reading week!

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    1. Yes, I think L'Engle made her mark with everyone that year and won the Newbery! I stayed up late last night finishing Dear Martin, but couldn't stay up any longer to write the review. Now I'm into similar, but so far softer Between The Lines by Nikki Grimes. Dear Martin is illuminating for us white people though I know some, but feel like I can't do enough to help. Enjoy Alma, a sweet book. Thanks!

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  6. I love A Wrinkle in Time! We named one of our girls after Meg. She's only four, but I can't wait for her to read the book when she gets older.

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    1. Aw, that's wonderful Katie. It's a special book just for your daughter! I'm glad you told me.

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  7. Yes! Loved Alma! Looking forward to reading it with kids. We've been talking about mirror/window books - I think this one will fit in :)
    Just reread A Wrinkle in Time for the third time!

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    1. I may move on and read the next one, too, Michele. I had such fun reading it! And Alma, a wonderful new one about names.

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  8. I also wish that Alma had been available when I was teaching. First thing I would do was ask the students to do research on their names. They would learn more about themselves, each other, and I would find it easier to remember who they all were!
    I enjoyed Dear Martin, but it wasn't as gut wrenching as The Hate U Give.

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    1. Yes, The Hate U Give was hard to read, too, I agree, Cheriee. I'm with you on Alma, too. Thanks!

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  9. Just like always, I read one of your Monday posts and head to the library to request some new titles. Requesting Adelaide's Secret World and Alma. I also recently finished Hello, Universe and enjoyed it. I've probably already mentioned Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess. Definitely one of my new favorites.

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    1. Someone else mentioned the book about Macy, so on my list! So.many.good.books! Enjoy those other two, Ramona. Thanks!

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  10. I am adding Alma immediately to my list. Thanks for sharing this book with us! <3

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    1. You're welcome, Ricki. I hope you like it!

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  11. I've been wanting to read Adelaide's Secret World for the longest time and absolutely adored Imagine a City. I am putting ALMA in my Goodreads stack. :)

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    1. This wonderful Adelaide book was a discovery on a library shelf. I'm so glad I found it! Enjoy them both, Myra!

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  12. So pleased that you loved Hello Universe. I was thrilled that this one got the Newbery.

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    1. Me, too, Carrie, now that I've read it, I understand why. It's a wonderful story.

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  13. I read HELLO UNIVERSE over Spring Break and loved it. I don't always feel like the Newbery is easy to "sell" to kids, but I definitely think this one will be. I want to read it aloud to a class! And I am ordering ALMA from the library today. I have an ALMA at my school and I can't wait to share it with her.

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    1. She will be delighted, won't she? That's wonderful! Yes, I think kids will enjoy Hello Universe & it will be a great read aloud.

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  14. Lots of Alma mentions recently! Can't wait to read it.

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  15. A Wrinkle in Time is just an awesome book! I hope a whole new generation of kids grows to love this book too, with the recent release of the new movie!

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    1. Me, too. As I said, I loved it again! Thanks, Jana!

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  16. I just ordered Alma. I'm really looking forward to it. I really enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time when I was younger. I am glad that it's getting new life now and is being discovered by young ones again.

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    1. It is terrific about A Wrinkle In Time, I agree. Thanks, Crystal. Enjoy Alma!

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