Once again, it's time to share my weekly reading accomplishments. Top by Teach Mentor Texts, where Jen and Kellee host this feature each Monday.
I'm making an effort to read more picture books this year. As I read, I'm finding that I'm making connections to the content I cover with my older students. I've found a few gems already that will make great introductions or help enrich what I do with my upper grade reading groups. I've also discovered that kids LOVE picture books. Even my most "wiggly" groups sit still, enraptured, when I read a picture book. Yeah, that rocks.
Two new favorites this week -
One Cool Friend - I adore the style of the illustrations in this one. They just totally drew me in. The boy with his formal outfit and little rosy cheeks.... hooked.
Chloe and the Lion - If you read one picture book from last year, make it this one. Absolutely funny, with a unique illustration style.
Chu's Day - this was cute, but not as awesome and I had hoped. I knew it was targeted at little ones, but I guess I was still hoping for something more unusual from the mind of Neil Gaiman.
Newbery Challenge (now at 59/60)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond: I did this one as an audio book - and it's a reread for me. I do love it, and the narrator did a nice job with the voices. I had forgotten, though, how angry the witch hunts and trial scenes make me. Humanity is just one long history of intolerance and injustice, isn't it? Pointing fingers at those we don't understand - and don't agree with.... some things never change.
I was in the library, searching the graphic novel YA section for Ghostopolis. A young lady handed me this one and said I would like it. It is from First Second, and definitely has their flair for the eclectic and unique. I'll be writing this one up as a separate review for the blog (and I recommended it to Hannahlily for her Black Whimsy blog!)
Unwanteds was one that my older son insisted I do as a read-aloud with him in the evenings, even though he had already read it twice at that point. We got about halfway through before he had other books he wanted me to switch to reading - but I decided to finish it on my own. I enjoyed it a lot, but it was a bit heavy handed on some of the messages. Still, the fact that Connor was so in love with it makes it a winner in my book.
Insurgent is part of my Book Gap Challenge AND a "Feminist Reads Challenge". Book Gap because I need to give myself permission to read sequels. Feminist because Tris is pretty kick-ass. Though I do sometimes get tired of the teen drama over romance (which is one of the reasons I absolutely loved Wool - reviewed for my Sci Friday last week)
The Fellowship For Alien Detection
by Kevin Emerson
Hardcover, 432 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2013 by Walden Pond Press
I have this ARC from Walden Pond Press. I'm about 150 pages into the story and really loving it. The first protagonist, Haley, reminds me of Lois Lane. How can you get better than that? Part mystery, part science fiction - I can't wait to finish and review this book for you! (If Haley continues to be such a strong young lady, this will also count in my Feminist Reads Challenge)
Newbery Challenge -
Carry on, Mr. Bowditch (about 100 pages in and enjoying this one)
Audio of Maniac Magee (this is a reread for me)