Monday, January 23, 2012

What I'm Reading - Late January

Just watched the awards!  Have read some, knew of some & some are ones I guess I'd better look up!  Very exciting day for the authors and illustrators.  I'm excited for them!

I'm participating in the twenty-one day comment challenge at Mother Reader.  It's been terrific finding new blogs to enjoy.  It's over on Wednesday.  Check it out here.

 You can hook up with this kitlit meme: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA at teach mentor texts!  Here you can discover what others are reading and what they’re saying about them!

       It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!


       A colleague and I ate lunch together the other day and shared new picture books we have recently acquired.  She showed me two wonderful books.   The Child of The Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton, illustrated by Raul Colón is a memoir told by the author, the youngest child of Andrew Young, one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties and a friend and follower of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  She tells the story in her own words of her family’s and other’s involvement in the marches for the right to vote.  The book ends with the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  She writes for younger children, explaining the background of the term Jim Crow and telling of sitting under the table listening to the talk of her father’s and mother’s friends whom she calls her Civil Rights Family, people like Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy and Randolph Blackwell.  The illustrations are realistic depictions of the scenes described in the text.   It’s a good introduction to this history for younger students and for adults, to contemplate the difficult acts that this particular family and others chose even with their small children.  It’s inspiring and informative!

       “R” is for Research by Toni Buzzeo with illus. by Nicole Wong is an alphabet book that takes the reader through the research process from the Assignment to finding the appropriate books to Organization to use of the Internet responsibly.  It’s up to date, including Verification of facts, use of the web and an Evaluation checklist.  It’s a book that could support a research project for all ages over and over.  The illustrations are wonderfully realistic, showing scenes of work in the library and classroom.  I can envision using this as a text to create a classroom book of references with each child creating a page.

       I certainly missed John Green week as proposed by Jen and Kellee a few weeks ago at TeachMentorTexts, but now I can say I’ve read my first John Green book because of their enthusiasm for his books.  I chose to begin with An Abundance of Katherines, and I loved it.  I have lately been immersed in numerous middle grade books, possibly because of the search for reading the books offered as possible Newbery winners.  So, I haven’t read a book that I view as a book for mostly high school students, maybe mature eighth graders in a while.  I liked the quirky characters, trying to figure out their worlds, and I liked again seeing the energy and enthusiasm that Green managed to imbue into these characters, just like high school students are. 

I enjoyed “the immutable tangle between the Dumper and the Dumpee; the coming and the seeing and the conquering and the returning home.”

I agreed with “You can love someone so much, he thought.  But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”

I was sad when “Colin was watching all the things he’d thought were true about himself, all his I sentences, fall away.  Suddenly, there was not just one missing piece, but thousands of them.”

And I laughed with the use of the word, “dingleberries”, so apt and poignant between friends. 

Finally, I smiled with “And so we all matter—maybe less than a lot, but always more than none.”

      If you remember your children as teens or if those children are still with you, if you teach teens or if you have any kind of connection with them, read the book, and discover the wonderful story woven between the lines above.

Next week—goals to finish two:  I’ve already started The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, out just a week and a half ago, plus I won the book,  The Blood Lie by Shirley Reva Verick in the autumn, and have put it off too long.  I’m looking forward to a great week of reading!


  1. I really need to pick up a copy of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, everyone is talking about it and loving it.


  2. Ditto Maestra Amanda. I've heard nothing but good things about The Fault in Our Stars...but it is John Green after all. :)

  3. After hearing the ALA winners announced, I need to get my butt to a library and do some reading.

  4. I keep hearing people rave about The Fault in Our Stars, I definitely need to get it. Hope you like it :)

  5. Patiently waiting my turn for The Fault in Our Stars. Ok, actually, I am kind of itchin' for it! But I have plenty to keep my busy while I wait

  6. I just finished The Fault in Our Stars! I loved it! I heart John Green (but not in a stalkerish way!)

  7. Thanks for the introduction to Ms. Shelton's book. I'm always interested in nonfiction picture books.

  8. I plan to try John Green this year. I have two books of his awaiting me!

  9. I LOVE your approach to reviewing An Abundance of Katherines! I may just take a page from your book. I am so glad you are enjoying John Green.

    That Child of the Civil Rights Movement seems like it has potential for use with my 8th graders. It sounds like a great personal narrative and a perfect companion to Kekla Magoon's The Rock and the River.

  10. YAY for your first John Green book!!!!!!!! And I am so glad that you loved it :) And YAY for TFioS- it is brilliant. You will love it. I've also read The Blood Lie and it is quite interesting. Enjoy your reading this week :)

  11. I'm chronically behind: I never seem to read books the year they're released. I use the ALA award list as a reading list.

  12. I have read one of the three Newbery titles, and other than Caldecott - where I know them all - that may be my best category of knowledge. So, I think I have some reading to do.

    Thanks for all the Comment Challenge love!


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