Well, well, well – June is a little more than halfway done. This was my first (almost) full week of summer break. I had to go into my room on Monday, but I got to head home around noon. I spent a lot of time reading (and writing – thanks to Teachers Write!) this week.
Continued thanks to Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this each week.
I was lagging on the Newbery last week, but I snuck in a few this week. Before I go into that, here’s an interesting article for those of us that point out the racist/misogynist issues in these old (and some newer) books. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/magazine/how-to-read-a-racist-book-to-your-kids.html Many interesting points about the decisions we make about how we discuss these stereotypes and other items with the kids as we read books and watch movies with them.
Johnny Tremain – I’m a big fan of historical fiction, and I do like this book. Yes, Johnny is a bit of a jerk. I like him anyway. He starts out as a typically overconfident kid. He’s great, and he knows it. His life changes, and he learns and grows. I also know just enough American history to enjoy the story without knowing so much that I felt I needed to look for and nitpick errors in the tale.
Call It Courage – I detested this one in high school, but I didn’t hate it this time around. Maybe I should go back and try Moby Dick again (naaahh)
The Matchlock Gun The story itself wasn't bad, or hard to read. Like some of the other reviewers, I thought it just overly simplified the Native Americans attacking the settlers. Now, I want to keep in mind the time period this story was written - and the fact that it was a retelling of a story of some real people (who probably DID oversimplify the Indians. I doubt they really thought of them as people who were being persecuted. They just saw the threat to their own families). With that said, I think the story might be a very valuable tool to teach critical thinking skills to students. Perhaps pairing this tale with some historical data that highlights that persection, and asking students to tell the story from the alternate perspective, would make this book a valuable resource?
I, Robot – Asimov. This is a reread for me, but it’s been a LONG time since I read it. I love it, and I’d highly recommend it to YA readers. It’s a collection of short stories about the history of robotics (in the future). The stories all fit together well, and the content has solid science. This was one of the books that I mentioned in my “classics to read” for Sci Fi summer.
Fahrenheit 451 – Okay, just started this one. It’s also a reread. Kathy (@thebrainlair) and I are doing this one as our next buddy book before moving into a recent Sci Fi.
Graphic Novels / Comics
Cow Boy - by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulous. Wow, just wow! I picked this one up because they posted some of the content free online and I was hooked. Check out my full review on my blog from yesterday (or listen to it on the Kids Comic Revolution in July. http://comicsaregreat.com/) This was the first time I did an audio recording of a review, and I was nervous.
Babymouse: Burns Rubber – I’m trying to read through some Babymouse in preparation for the new book. I chose this one because I knew that there were Star Wars references. The Nerdy Book Club is doing a photo contest with the tag #Babymouse4Prez, and I wanted to do Star Wars themed photos. I’m pretty happy with the ones I created. Check them out here! http://www.flickr.com/photos/mselke/sets/72157630083582510/
Birds of Prey Volume 10: Club Kids - Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t one for younger kids. Not that it’s too violent or adult, but it’s more Teen and up. I loved the stories, and I got my first peek at a few characters my friends have discussed in the past. Black Alice and Misfit were particularly intriguing. I adore Huntress, and she features heavily in several of the stories.
Justice League Dark: Volume 1 – I’m so excited that my comic reads can now “count” on Goodreads, since the trades have started to come out. With an ISBN comes the ability to check it off as “read”. I loved the first few issues of this comic, but it quickly got confusing to me. There are a ton of characters, and I don’t have the background knowledge to keep them all straight.
The Plant Hunters – Anita Silvey. I don't have enough nonfiction on my shelves, and this is a perfect addition! Part adventure tale, part information about ecosystems and rare plants, this book is ALL awesome. Big thanks to Mr. Schu, as I won this book from him. I love Anita’s daily posts at the Children’s Book Almanac (http://childrensbookalmanac.com/) and this book impressed me even more.