Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#MustReadIn2017 #NPM17 - Sharing Books & A Poem

           Several years ago, Carrie Gelson of There's A Book for That and Maria Selke of Maria's Melange started us down the path of giving love to all the books that came before, the ones we have on shelves, but still haven't read! There is a small group of us who began sharing lists titled #MustReadIn2014.  My list is now #MustReadIn2017, a few from the previous lists. You can see #MustReadIn2016 above, too.
        Thanks for hosting, Carrie!  Find the latest group update HERE!

"A Poem begins with a lump in the throat." 
                                                                   ~Robert Frost

        Perhaps we can say that about all the books we read?


April is  #NPM17 - National Poetry Month.


    Poetic things of interest:  
Irene Latham's  Progressive Poem's schedule is on the page above.  
        If you'd like to see what everyone is doing for Poetry Month, look HERE at Jama Rattigan's post at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

              My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS. My point of view may surprise you, but I'm excited to write, share, and read how everyone writes to meet their special goals for celebrating poetry month. 

             Here is my poem today with a connection to "MUSTS".

My Tiny List

I retired a while ago,
no need for ‘musts’,
my life is slow.
The list is small,
it doesn’t grow.
Time to read
the overflow.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

         MY "MUST READ" re-cap so far this year. I become so excited when I hear about a new book, especially by a favorite author. It's hard to pull a book that's been sitting on a shelf too long unloved and start reading. This particular group has helped, and I've read some beautiful books since the new year began. Out of 26 books, I've read 7! I'm slowly reading Mary Oliver's Upstream, and just got The Meaning of Maggie from the library. I own most, so I don't have to wait to begin any. Here's a little bit about the ones completed. If you see one in the first list that you adored, let me know. 


All The Answers - Kate Messner
The Way to Stay in Destiny - Augusta Scattergood
The Meaning of Maggie - Megan Jean Sovern

fiction YA

I Will Always Write Back - Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda with Liz Welch
One Safe Place - Tania Unsworth
Anna and the Swallow Man - Gaviel Savit
I am The Messenger - Markus Zuzak
The Birchbark House - Louise Erdrich
Libertad - Alma Flor Ada
Crow - Barbara Wright
I’ll Give You The Sun - Jandy Nelson
The Best Man - Richard Peck
90 Miles to Havana - Enrique Flores-Galbis

fiction middle grade

Dash - Kirby Larson
Love, Amalia  & My Name Is Maria Isabel- Alma Flor Ada
Countdown - Deborah Wiles
Graceling - Kristen Cashore
graphic novels

March Two and Three  - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman,  P. Craig Russell
Upstream - Mary Oliver   (now reading)

Blue Birds - Caroline Starr Rose  - About the lost colony of Roanoke, a native girl and a colonist girl become secret friends. I didn't connect with this verse novel as I do with others. It could be that I struggled to believe it could be possible. There is an underlying sadness throughout, knowing both communities will not survive.

Glory Be - Augusta Scattergood  - I enjoyed this, even though again there was so much conflict in the story, and sadness again in this era of the beginnings of the work to achieve civil rights for all. This is based on the true story of a town that closed the town swimming pool instead of integrating it.

March, Book One - Lewis, Aylin, Powell - graphic, and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, beautiful and harrowing. It deserves all the awards it has earned.

When Friendship Followed Me Home - Paul Griffin - There is so much involved in this book with a sweet main character who has so, so many challenges. He's been in foster care, finally adopted by his loving social worker who dies soon after. There's that loving dog, a new friend, homelessness and abuse, too. It's a lot to take in, but a good story of friendship, with the dog and with a girl. I enjoyed it.

The Girl Who Drank The Moon - Kelly Barnhill - deserves the Newbery Medal. I loved the complex story that came together so beautifully.

Parched - Melanie Crowder - Hard to read because of the story itself, but it's a page-turner about children in other countries who must take on adult challenges to survive. The need for water in some places is dire, and this story shows that well.

The Seventh Most Important Thing - Shelley Pearsall - Read most recently, and loved every bit. I liked the magic/religion in it, think it was done with respect for all who believe in some unseen power that helps guide us.

Next: The Meaning of Maggie - Megan Jean Sovern


  1. Hi Linda! You have an excellent selection of books! I see we have some in common too. And, of course, I see some I need to add to my list. I'm not retired so my list overwhelms me at times. It's a balancing act indeed! Your poem, MY TINY LIST, is perfect, petite, and precise. Thanks for sharing! ~Amy

    1. Thanks, Amy, can't wait to see everyone's list, and I do understand about being overwhelmed, even though I am retired!

  2. Graceling has been on my list before, but never got to it. I thought about adding it this year. I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts about that one.

    1. I'd love to get to it, Michele. I've seen that others loved it! Thanks!

  3. a great list! And such a comfort to know that others have unread books on their shelves, too. :)

    1. And there are more than these! What a challenge to read the older ones and keep up, Jane. Hope you found a few new ones, here for yourself!

  4. When Friendship Followed me Home was such a fantastic title. I can't stop thinking about those characters. Also loved The Seventh Most Important Thing. You are making great progress!

    1. Finally picking those books up and reading! Amazing what we leave behind. Yes I loved the two you mentioned! Thanks, Carrie!

  5. I will have to get Upstream. Mary Oliver's essays often don't work as well for me as her poetry, though when I read quotes from them, I always think I'm going to connect with them. I think I read them too quickly so maybe need to read them more like poetry. I have When Friendship Followed Me Home from the library right now but haven't started it yet. I am over halfway through Glory B--and it was way overdue with interlibrary loan and I had to return it! So now I'm a bit flummoxed as to how I will get it read. Maybe just buy my own copy. I think it would circulate pretty well in my Children's Lit course.

    1. Reading Upstream a bit at a time helps me. I'm in no hurry & enjoy her musing. I thought Glory Be introduced the myriad of conflicts at that time well for middle graders. "Friendship" is sweet & so full of challenges, just like some kids' lives. I liked it! Thanks, Elisabeth!

  6. I loved your description of The Seventh Most Important Thing. I should have read that one by now. I have had it for a little too long. My wife and daughter both read All the Answers and recommended it to me.

    1. Yes, please read it! And thanks for your recommendation of All The answers!

  7. Favorites from your UNREAD list: THE MEANING OF MAGGIE, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, DASH, and COUNTDOWN. I've wanted to get to GRACELING, too, but never have, and I even own it! I've read THE SEVENTH MOST IMPORTANT THING aloud to my 6th graders two years in a row and love it! Shelley Pearsall is amazing to Skype with, and one of my students saw The Throne of the Fifth Heaven in D.C. over spring break and sent me a picture!! SO AMAZING!

    1. Thanks very much for all this info, Holly. I've read the earlier Wiles books, & know I would love Countdown. I do have Dash & I'll Give You The Sun. Terrible that we keep ignoring some books! Love that you have a picture of the "Fifth Heaven", wow. And so like hearing about your students loving The Seventh Most Important Thing. Tell them I did, too!

  8. I'm thinking of getting the March set for my 12 year old this summer. He asked for a book club/reading a book a week challenge. (Be still my heart...or he knew mama would make him do Something, so he took initiative...) Thank you for the update!

    1. That's great to hear about your son, Kendra. I think he will enjoy them, and then they might spark an interest in other books about that topic? Or, more graphic novels.

  9. While I haven't read any of these that you have finished, we do have some of the same books. I am so excitedly looking forward to reading what you think of Maggie. I just adore her and the rest of her family.

    1. I just started Maggie last night, and already hear that voice loud and clear, Cheriee. So many of you have said it's great, so I'm looking forward to some good reading! Thanks!

  10. I love the visual format for the books you've finished! I haven't read the March books yet, but you've just nudged them a little higher on my list. The Girl Who Drank the Moon was beautiful--I used it as a "first chapter" read aloud a few weeks ago with some 4th/5th graders and the language and story were absolutely captivating for them. You've shared a lot of titles I haven't read yet--I need to bookmark this post to refer back to. Thanks for sharing your updates and happy reading! :)

    1. Thanks, Sarah, love hearing about your reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon to your students, and that they loved it. It is certainly a special book.

  11. I got Upstream for Christmas and haven't read it yet. Many of the titles on your list are ones I want to get around to someday soon too. But I have read Dash, and you'll love it! Don't wait too long to pick it up. I just got the first March book from the library, so I can get started on this trilogy. When Friendship Followed Me Home is also on my want-to-read list.

    1. Forgot to comment on "My Tiny List." I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Retired too, but I rarely feel that my life is slow! But I am managing to get around to some of the overflow and to blog a bit more.

    2. The poem isn't "exactly" true, Ramona, but I do have more time than when rushing out the door to school, and that means a bit slower. Thanks for the heads up about Dash! I've always liked Kirby Larson's books, just am late for this one, and now probably new ones! Happy Friday!

  12. Thanks for sharing your reading life with us, Linda. I enjoy this one paragraph reviews. GRACELING is one of my favorite fantasy books. I'd call it YA, though, for the violence -- beautiful as the book is.

    1. Thank you for your idea of Graceling. It's been a while since I even put the book on the list, will fix it, Laura.

  13. I've had All the Answers for a while now, but still have not yet read it. I have to read one of Augusta Scattergood's books, too. So many other great titles on your list!

  14. Hi, Linda! Life is crazy, and I'm only now getting around to posting my #MustRead list and reading others'. Of the books you've completed, I have read The Girl Who Drank the Moon since it won the Newbery and liked it a lot. I've also read Glory Be and The Seventh Most Important Thing-- both books that I loved.

    On your unread list, I have read:
    All the Answers -- a really good story. Turned out to have some more serious moments/ themes than I originally expected.
    Crow -- this is a fantastic historical fiction book based around some real events that happened in Wilmington, NC that I had never known about. The main character is strong, and I found the story riveting. Highly recommend!
    I Am The Messenger-- Zuzak had me with The Book Thief. Both are very good books, but very different. I really liked I Am the Messenger-- it has a good deal of mystery wrapped up in it. In a strange way it reminds me of an "older" When You Reach Me....
    Countdown - fabulous! Great historical fiction with wonderful references to events of the day, but also a great story with strong characterization, too.
    The Graveyard Book - one of my all-time favorites, but I first "read" it as an audiobook. I can't remember if you do audiobooks, but if you do, this one is wonderful. Gaiman reads it himself, and I was totally hooked!

    We have some titles in common, and of the ones you finished, I'm really interested in the March trilogy and When Friendship Followed Me Home. Thanks for sharing! :)


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