Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday Reading - Wonderful Shares



Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. It's been a nice break and I really haven't read much except one adult book. These I read early in the month. As you read, you'll know that I enjoyed them all.



         I enjoyed this second book, though there were lots of repeats in order to bring anyone who hadn't read the first book into the story. The tension continues, the plans continue to help everyone survive, but evil is there, those who are not interested in anything but destroying.
          I read book number three with trepidation, wanting it to be as good as the first two, wanting Eric Walters to wrap up this amazing story in a satisfactory way. He did more than that. I liked number three very much. I became wrapped up in this sixteen-year-old Adam's world, one that he certainly had no wish for, but one where he stood up for good, remained true to his beliefs and fought hard for them, was hurt by them, yet did not waver. I don't know how a teacher could have students read all three, but know that they would bring discussions like no other. What would they do in these situations? How would they react? I taught middle school-aged kids for a long time and often felt helpless knowing they were so capable yet our world today does not often ask real tasks of them. I know they could do more if only given the challenge. It's a terrific trilogy that I enjoyed very much.

          As you see, from "We Need Diverse Books", a new collection that is easy to imagine readers loving, hopefully, teachers reading it aloud so that every single student can learn so many ways that acts of kindness can occur. Each story has its own magic, sometimes fantastical, often realistic, but always satisfying. I am grateful to this organization that is giving us ALL the faces of our students and to the writers who brought life to some of them.

           Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following picture books. 

         First published in the UK, out this month in the US comes a series of trickster tales from Mulla Nasruddin, a 'trickster' beloved by Muslims all over the world. He is wise, a fool, sometimes an iman, a teacher or a judge and when you read stories about him, you will understand why you both laugh and learn. I loved reading these by Sean Taylor aloud to my granddaughters to see how they would react and they loved them. Shirin Adl's collaged illustrations sometimes are set against painted backdrops, and the differing depictions of Nasruddin are creative and varied. They're also filled with details like the double-page spread of the market. 
The stories are brief, just right for beginning a school day with a smile and a brief discussion. What do they mean? Often, Nasrudden caps the tales with answers, yet other times, he allows the reader to do the solving.


          And from Australia, a hilarious cumulative story by Meg McKinlay that will have every young child shouting Duck! No one will listen to Duck's cries, not the horse, nor the cow, nor the pig, nor the sheep. In fact, they tell him "You need to stop this nonsense right now!". They believe he is only naming them all 'Duck', and there is a surprise, perhaps. When reading aloud, it will be fun to see if the listeners predict what's really happening. Nathaniel Eckstrom's illustrations are bold and bright cartoon-like pictures and simply done, just right for young readers. He adds some chuckles on the end, copyright page giving reference to Baum with a street sign that says "Kansas" with a newspapers' headlines saying "Batten Down the Hatches" and "Tornadoes Hit Kansas”.
         

And thanks to Charlesbridge for SumoKitty, a book about change and challenge, but resilience when it's very needed!


       
             A homeless kitty finds his way into a sumo wrestling training camp, but it's soon found he's sneaking food, thus is thrown out again. The appearance of mice saves the day because one of the wrestlers, Kuma, is afraid of mice. If this Kitty can take care of THAT problem, he's home, and fed! Unfortunately, he doesn't follow the tough workouts that the wrestlers do, becomes a bit heavy, without energy. Learning the ways of the training makes a big difference and I had to cheer SumoKitty on to his success. 
           Despite the fact this is really about a Kitty, readers can learn so much about Sumo wrestling from David Biedrzycki's story. Also, instead of a glossary, he adds small asides that explain some of the vocabulary. For example, "Yokozun" (yoh-koh-zoo-hah) means "grand champion" and "rikishi" (ree-kee-shee) means "wrestler". Biedrzycki's illustrations keep the action exciting as he follows both Kuma's story and that starving cat who finally becomes "SumoKitty". Pages before the title page offer some sayings to live by, ones readers will see played out within the story. If you need a boost, post these words where you can see them each day: "Fall down seven times, get up eight."

What's Next:  Still reading the long and wonderful The Overstory by Richard Powers, fascinating and heartbreaking because of the fires in the Amazon. I have The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf which I'd love to read soon!

14 comments:

  1. You know I need to get that Sumokitty book! One of my students has just started Rule of 3. I imagine if they like it, I'll buy the rest of the series for them. Nothing so horrible for a book lover as loving the first book of a series and not being able to get the others!

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    1. SumoKitty is hilarious, Elisabeth, and I hope your student likes Rule of 3. I donated my copy to the bookstore & was able to suggest it yesterday to a young reader. She was happy to find another dystopian series. Thanks!

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  2. I am sorry that Riding a Donkey Backwards is not available at my local library. Hopefully when the American version is available they will purchase a copy. I'll also be looking forward to Duck! and SumoKitty.
    I started reading The Boy at the Back of the Class on Sunday. It will be fun to see what you think of the book.

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    1. I hope you do eventually get Riding A Donkey Backwards, Cheriee. I loved it, a fun look at old learning in new stories for me. The others hold loads of smiles! I'm looking forward to The Boy at the Back of the Class, but think it won't be soon. The Overstory is very long! Thanks!

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  3. Duck! sounds amusing. SumoKitty sounds like a fun book, too. Have a great week!

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    1. Yes, both are lots of laughs, Lisa. Thanks!

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  4. I am so glad that you enjoyed The Rule of Three. It is one of my daughter's favourites (she's 12 and convinced the rest of the family to read it). We are having Eric Walters to our district in October. Hopefully, you found The Fourth Dimension as well. I really loved your description of Duck! and I will check around for SumoKitty too. They both sound fun! Thanks for the post.

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    1. I donated my "Book of Three" to the used bookstore where I work & had the pleasure of introducing it to a young girl on the weekend. She will love it I bet, like your daughter! How great that you're having Eric Walters to your district! I haven't gotten that last one, waiting to finish what I need to read first, but I am so looking forward to it, Aaron. Enjoy Duck! & SumoKitty, lots of fun! Thanks!

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  5. There's a catch-22 to repeating information on future books in a series (like in The Rule of Fight for Pow3r) for people who missed the previous book (or who cannot remember the details). But I'm very glad to hear more about this one. And now I really want to read Riding a Donkey Backward, but I cannot seem to find it in Goodreads. Maybe it'll appear on publication day. I really like the art you showcased here, too! Have a wonderful reading week, Linda!

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    1. I understand about the series. This time, fortunately, I read all three in about a month because they were older. As for Riding A Donkey Backwards, it comes right up for me, Shaye. Perhaps try the author, Sean Taylor? Thanks!

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    2. Well, I don't know what went wrong since I tried more than once and it wouldn't come up as an option. But I was able to go through Taylor's page and find it. Maybe a glitch the first go around. I've also noticed that sometimes it'll come up on one platform, but not through the app. I have to be diligent. Thanks for encouraging me to try again. This one looks like it's well worth the effort! :)

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    3. I've struggled with finding a book sometimes, too, Shaye. Glad to hear you were successful! Enjoy it when you can and have a great week!

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  6. "The Rule of 3 sounds like a trilogy I would really enjoy. I will have to try and find them and read them. "Duck" and "Sumokitty" sound delightful! Hopefully I can get my hands on them. They sound like students would really enjoy them.

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    1. All of them are good to read in different ways. Thanks!

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