Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reading Catch UP


        It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys, a variety of reviews to find even more books for your TBR list. 

I just returned from a grand trip with my daughter and her two daughters, having a lovely time visiting family in spite of the intense heat.  We did manage to visit swimming pools along the way, along with merry-go-rounds, goats, and little cars for pretend driving (all for the three year old of course).  

And I know I was supposed to take a break till August, but I will need to take another one next week since my grandson is coming to visit! 

I missed last week, so it's catch up time.  Since I last wrote I finished several books, all good, but one that I finished this morning was awesome.  

Henry and Mudge and The Starry Night and Henry and Mudge and The Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant--I'm beginning to find some audio books for the beginning readers & found these by Cynthia Rylant who is always so good! The first is a wonderful story about going camping. It's short, but manages to get all the good parts in: animals, hiking, backpacks, dogs sniffing, campfire cooking, cozy tent, and amazing stars at nighttime. It's good!  The second I can imagine when just beginning to read that kids will delight in this simple story of fun with older relatives.
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee--This is another audio book for early readers, and the first time I've met Clementine. This third grader certainly livens things up, including saying some humorous puns I'm not sure early readers will understand, but I did and thought they were funny. She gets into some hot water with an 'older' friend, Margaret, because of some things that happened at Clementine's birthday party. She is unique and very loved by her mother and father. Kids will love the adventure(s) in the series.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth--Wow! I finished this book and do not want to give away anything to those who have not read it. I enjoyed the complicated plot, both the surprises and the expected. I liked that the author allowed Tris to grow older with even more layers exposed, and now more to be explored. I am interested in what's next, and when an author is writing a series, I assume that the end of this book is not really the end. There are many characters to keep track of in the book and I found myself saying things to myself like, who is this, where did she (or he) come into the plot? It was not a distraction, but expected with such a long book. Some characters developed in interesting ways and I liked that they were unpredictable, like real life! It was a satisfying read, and I'm actually happy that I'll have to wait for the next one. I need some time for other kinds of stories first and to think more about this one.

One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt--With adoption experiences in my family, including one who came to us from a series of foster homes, this book touched me like no other this year, although I continue to be amazed at the wealth of marvelous books for young adult and middle readers published since January. I've read book after book that I've given a high rating, that I will recommend to students and teachers for their students. One For The Murphys, a first novel by Lynda Mullaly Hunt tells the story of Carley Connors, thrust into a foster home, the Murphys, where she begins marking the days when she can escape what she thinks of as her prison. The heartbreaking (as well as heartwarming) part is that she begins to realize what families can be, how mothers should love. She comes into the story strong, having learned to survive because she must, but continues her story, learning that strength for life comes in other disguises, too. It's a good story for many kinds of students to examine how families work together for everyone's welfare and support.

NEXT:  I've started (finally) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater, and believe it will be a good read.  And I now have a copy of Irene Lathan's Leaving Gee's Bend which I'm looking forward to.  

And, I'm still reading Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle with a Google Group of blogger friends.  It's been terrific to read and discuss the book with others.  

I feel as if I need to be reading faster because I know work is coming soon, yet I have so much to do for school too.  Where did our lazy summer days go?


  1. I can't wait to hear what you thought of Scorpio Races. I read it this winter and loved it.
    The Divergent series are high on my to-buy pile as is One for The Murphys.

  2. One For The Murphys is really an amazing book for engaging students and for getting them to talk about emotional issues! Leaving Gee's Bend is on my list--I'll look for your review of that one.

    In the meantime, enjoy a lazy day or two!

  3. Glad you had a wonderful trip and have your grandson coming.

    One for the Murphys is a book I still can't get out of my mind. Carley will be a character that will stay with me for a long time.

  4. I'm on the hold list, waiting patiently, for One For the Murphys. I can't wait to read it because everyone loves it.
    Insurgent is so great! I can't wait to see what happens with book 3...I just wish we didn't have to wait so long! :)
    Happy reading!

  5. I LOVE Write Beside Them. One of the best professional books I've ever read. I can't wait for Penny's new book to come out in November.

  6. I loved "Insurgent" and hoping to read One for the Murphy's - all reviews have been exceptional for it.
    Write Beside Them looks very interesting. I'm already involved in 4 online book clubs.

  7. Welcome back, Linda! I loved One for the Murphy's, too.....such a wise book, and so filled with love.

  8. Wow, I really need to get around to reading One for the Murphys! It seems like everybody adores it!

  9. I need to get One for the Murphys higher on my list. I keep hearing wonderful things about it! I haven't read Divergent and Insurgent yet, but again - they are on the list. My list feels never ending!

  10. After seeing OFTM on so many bloggers' list this week alone, I have to definitely check it out now! I love it when the same books keep popping up on other people's sites!

  11. Just about to start Insurgent and I have Murphys on my summer list- looking forward to both.
    Glad you had a wonderful trip!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  12. Welcome back, Linda! I'm glad to hear that you had a lovely time with family. I can sympathize with the heat, in fact, now that I'm back in Singapore, I promised that I won't complain anymore ever of our humidity here as I found the blister-inducing heat in Washington and Las Vegas to be quite unbearable.

    I am intrigued by the Veronica Roth series, will probably look into that sometime soon. :)

  13. Sounds like you had a great trip! We have done two roadtrips so far this summer. We are always on the lookout for fun things to stop and do after sitting in the car for a while! I'm excited for One for the Murphy's! I've seen so much about it. I thought the writing was excellent in Scorpio Races but the plot wasn't entirely for me...I'm not a huge horse fan. I still enjoyed the writing. :)

  14. Reading is a great vacation! Glad to hear you took some time off and will be taking more to visit with grandson soon! You've gotta love Henry and first graders loved those books so much. They are the perfect "chapter book" for beginners, with lots of white space, good challenge words, great pictures and wonderful characters!
    You have me intrigued with Insurgent. May have to pick that up!
    Good to hear from you and that your summer is going well!

  15. I read One for the Murphys this week too. The writing and the way she ties the emotion and the story (including the title) together is just amazing. I wanted so badly for the ending to be different. But I think that would make the book "ho hum" instead of the gift that it is.


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