Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday Reading - All Kinds of Stories

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with others who post their favorites. 
I'm struggling with some tech issues - ugh! So, I may take a few days to read posts.

          This is a debut novel by Kate Allen. I have been on large and small sailing boats, have never followed or searched for sharks, but learned much about them in this poignant story of Lucy, daughter of a marine biologist and a rescue diver, a middle-school girl with a friend named Fred. She lives in a small fishing village with a next-door neighbor named Mr. Patterson, has a few fishing friends named Sookie and Lester. She is surrounded by caring people all through the town this summer and she has challenges to me that such a young one should not have. What I loved most is that Lucy is shown to be a regular young teen, thinking about things in simply regular ways. Her mother died suddenly when Lucy was eight, her father is rather quiet about it, until this summer when Lucy begins working on a school project, a kind of field guide, with her friend, Fred. Lucy is an artist who wants to get things right, draws and re-draws, seeking the realistic look of the sharks. When more tragedy strikes, she begins to learn more about her mother's interest and takes leaps into the research that surprise everyone. That journey helps her neighbor, other friends, and especially her father. She is that 'line tender', keeping everyone connected. It's a beautiful story, made more special by the shark drawings that head each chapter.

       That same mysterious outage that has rendered useless all recent computer-driven devices (cars, phones, etc.) is the same as the first three, but this time, it's in a different place, with a new family as the main protagonists, especially Emma, fifteen. She has just moved with her ex-Marine mother and younger brother, Ethan. It's a brand-new condo building and near a lake with islands. They're used to periodic black-outs, but on their way to a weekend camping trip on an island in a lake nearby, the power still is not back. Thus begins their survival, taking all belongings possible in their canoe, for first a few days camping, but with stress increasing as they realize how serious it's going to be.
        This family eventually joins a larger community, an interesting group including all kinds of people in a small and isolated little town (also on an island), and the challenge to create a group that will fight to survive is one of many challenges. I read through it rather quickly, was not as intrigued by this particular set of characters as I was in the earlier books. It is perhaps because no matter the different community, I knew what kind of things were going to happen.         

       I'm not sure this book is for children, perhaps only for them to read with their parents especially.  This late August into September, I think it's for parents who've said goodbye to their college-age children, one of the toughest goodbyes I've had as a parent. From baby hood to older adult, Tony Johnston writes goodbyes to a young child, this time a boy, all the way until he's sitting with his older mother, holding her hand. Each poem includes something to do with hands, walking to school for the first time, feeding birds with one's hands, waving goodbye when going off to college. "The boy is going off to school./He asks, "Will I have friends?" "Of course you will," his mother says. They walk there holding hands." It's made even lovelier by Amy June Bates' soft watercolors.

           Julie Fogliano and Loren Long have created a poem in words and art you don't want to miss. It is gorgeous to see along with enjoying the unique way Julie has written her lines. I imagine teachers may have fun with these while writing with students. "If I was the sunshine/and you were the day/I'd call you hello!/and you'd call me stay." There is more and more to savor.

        Filled with all kinds of kids, all busy being children who are doing what they do, play and run and smile and have wonderful times moving! This particular book is a shout-out for kids with super-sonic energy. They need to be acknowledged and helped to find activities that will benefit from that energy. Susan Verdi talks about this in an author's note. Andrew Joyner's colorful pages fill with children "powered by play, friendship, compliments, love and laughter." 

Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following book!

         A large book, just right for a few children to lie on the floor and turn the pages together, looking for the places they know, wondering about the places and things they have not yet seen. I took my students to NYC one year and this would have served as a travelogue for us, wondering if we could fit just one more place into our busy days. I imagine those who have spent much time in New York City or who live there will enjoy it even more. Not only does Ingela Arrhenius include the icons like Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge, but adds the other enjoyments of pretzels and bagels, dog-walking and street performers. It's simply fun to gaze on every page.

Now Reading: A book first out this year in the U.S., but there is already a 'number two' in the U.K. - Malamander by Thomas Taylor.


  1. I can't wait to see "If I Was the Sunshine." I have loved every Julie Fogliano book. The Line Tender sounds excellent--this isn't a title that was on my radar, but I will surely find it now.

  2. The cover of The Line Tender is beautiful, so quietly sad and introspective. It's been on my TBR, I really must read it. I recently finished Malamander and enjoyed it, I think it will be an interesting series!

  3. I see so many lovely titles here, Linda. I absolutely adore the cover to Loving Hands! That's just gorgeous!! And I'm delighted to see you enjoyed The Line Tender -- both lovely and tear-jerking at the same time. I certainly look forward to hearing more about Malamander once you've finished. I didn't have that one on my list, but now I do. Thanks for the shares!

  4. I read the Line Tender this summer when I was on the Cape - bought it at a local bookstore. I loved it. Have you read Song for a Whale? There were many connections for me. Just ordered If I Was the Sunshine. Thank you!

  5. Thanks, everyone. I'm happy that you found some new ones for your own reading & that you found some of the books wonderful already! I'm still messing with a tech problem, but will come by soon!

  6. Unstoppable Me sounds like a useful book. If I Was the Sunshine is beautiful.

  7. You have shared so many amazing titles today Linda. I am left wanting more hours in the day to read everything people are talking about today!

  8. I need to get to The Line Tender. I've heard nothing but amazing things about it! I loved if i was the sunshine. It was fun to read it aloud and listen to the kids guess what the riddle might be. It was a good lesson in perspective too since kids really needed to picture the riddle.

  9. I may need to get If I Was the Sunshine. It feels like one I want to visit again & again. Yes, there are so many great books out, hard to keep up! Thanks, Lisa, Cheriee & Michele!

  10. Looks like some great books on your list this week. They're all new to me, so I need to get to the library and check them out. Feels like I'm getting behind in my reading. Even though it's almost fall, the weather is still summer and I guess I just haven't gotten into curl up with a book mode yet. But the cold weather will be here before you know it, and then I'll get into my cozy spot with all these awesome books! Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  11. I added The Line Tender after seeing your review on Goodreads, and I also want to find If I Was The Sunshine too. Thanks for the great post! I see your point about The Fourth Dimension as well. I did not like it quite as much as the original three. Have a great week!


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