Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Monday December 31st



Again - big thanks to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this each week. Check their site for more amazing book lists.


The very last day of 2012 is here. I still have a few books I'd hoped to finish this year, but I feel like I made a huge dent in my to be read list. Well, maybe not a "dent". For every book I finished, I think I added at least 3 more.

I was going to do my "overall stats of 2012" here, but I think I'm going to power through at least one more Newbery book before I do it. So I'll post that later this week. I've also followed the tradition of posting some of my "favorites of" lists....

Favorite MG books of 2012
Favorite Graphic novels of 2012

and I still plan to do a YA list and a "girl power" post. That post will also include movies and some of the news of the year.

Before I jump into this week's reading (I swear, it's coming), I'd like to reflect just a bit on some of the amazing things my friends here helped me do this year.

Thanks to the friends who convinced me to try the Slice of Life challenge in March. I did post a slice every day, and I've been pretty good about posting each Tuesday. That really got my butt in gear, thinking about everything as a writing seed. It helped me think about audience, and how students must feel as they write and share their thoughts with others.


Kellee and Kathy (aka @thebrainlair) helped me find my particular "niche" - by encouraging me to read and write about science fiction books. Thus was born "SciFiSummer" and my current run on SciFriday (science fiction and science NF books).

Even bigger thanks to Kathy for being my Book Buddy. Batty About Books has been a marvelous opportunity for me to get to know HER, as well as to explore books in more depth than I thought possible. We will be posting about Batty About Books as an experience on Nerdy Book Club in January.

Okay - this is getting to be a bigger speech than the Oscar winners give. Sorry about that! With no further ado, here is my "Reading Roundup" for this last week of 2012.


Picture Books:
One of my goals in 2013 is to read more picture books along the way. I only have my reading groups for short periods, and I have a lot of material to use with them, but I do believe I could incorporate some of these amazing books into those groups. I had read 3/5 of the Nerdy winners, so I finished the last two. Plus I just HAD to read I'm Bored due to all the recommendations. Loved it! I adored Flying Books - it was like the "Up" of picture books. Each Kindness was lovely, but I think it's strength is more in it's message (especially in a year when Wonder was on all of our minds). I may use that book with my group that is finishing Great Gilly Hopkins.


Newbery: 

I'm up to 58! I had hoped to hit 60 this year, but that's not going to happen. I do have my 59th half done, though.

This one was okay, but I thought certain plot elements could have been given more of a "punch" to the story. Miguel hopes to be able to join the adults in taking care of the sheep this year as they take them up into the mountains for the summer months, and that's what the whole book is about.



Graphic Novels & Comic Books
I wasn't as big a fan of Cardboard as many of you are, but I did really enjoy Bad Island!
I also finally bought myself a volume of Batgirl starring Stephanie Brown. She's adorable! I'll be tracking down the first two of these ASAP. While I still adore Barbara as Batgirl, I know understand why people were so annoyed to lose Stephanie.




Fantasy and Science Fiction: 
Necromancing the Stone rocks. Snarky humor with lots of action. If you like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, you'll love these characters. (conversely, if you loved Lish's books, check out Dresden Files!)

The Spindlers was also a fun read. A girl must go rescue her brother, whose soul was stolen by "spindlers". Her adventures underground gave off a Coraline/Juniper Berry vibe.

Ready Player One is targeted toward adults. Teens would like it, as long as they have background knowledge about the 80s. I know many who adore this book. I listened to it (Wil Wheaton narrates). I thought it was good, but lagged in parts as the story gave endless details about anime, movies, and video games from the 80s. I think if I had read it, instead of listening to it, I would have enjoyed it more. I would have skimmed the sections that weren't as interesting and that would have made a big difference.


Professional Development

I finally made the time to finish The Book Whisperer. I wish every teacher read this book. As a teacher who has taught both ends of the reading spectrum (From 5th graders who could barely handle Henry and Mudge to 1-5th graders who devour everything), I appreciated how Donalyn made her book about ALL readers. Seriously, if you haven't read this book, you are missing out.



Well, maybe a few of you made it all the way to the end of this War and Peace summary.... Thanks for stopping by!


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