I’ll cut to the chase here . . . I’m faltering big time in my Book-A-Day Challenge, but enjoying it nonetheless. The last three weeks have been a whirl with birthday parties and a two week road trip to California. Lots of great reading done as you can see in the recap below.
My reading was not completely abandoned however, just slowed. With over 2,700 miles logged on the road, we did get to complete two highly anticipated audiobooks.
My Goal: 75 Books in 75 Days
Days so Far: 42
Read, so far: 31
Children’s, picture books
- Weslandia, written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. What a gem of a book! Wes, is a quirky and inquisitive boy who doesn’t quite fit in with his peers. His response however is an amazing tale of creativity and shows the power of self-motivated learning. His classmates ultimately reach a new level of respect for Wes, as we all should. Beautiful, bright illustrations accompany. Would be an excellent read aloud in class for both building classroom community and social studies.
- June 28, 1999, written and illustrated by David Weisner: In the lines of Weisner’s other “What if . . . ” style books. Somehow this one didn’t grab me as much as Tuesday and Sector 7, two other favorites of mine from him.
- Press Here, written and illustrated by Herve Tullet: A simple concept book that is highly interactive and sure to bring a smile to your face. Would make a great gift for toddlers and preschoolers, though everyone in my house loved it.
- Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator, written and illustrated by Mo Willems. In case you didn’t see the trend, I’m a huge Mo Willems fan and this funny, lovable book is no exception. It is filled with lovable interactions between Amanda and her stuffed alligator who just adores her.
- Tumford the Terrible, written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman. Gorgeously illustrated. Tumford is a playful kitty who is well loved, but sometimes finds himself getting into trouble and struggling with saying I’m sorry. Reading this book provides a great teachable moment in why we say I’m sorry and the unconditional love that stands there with it.
- Chicken Butt! and Chicken Butt’s Back!, written by Erica Perl and illustrated by Henry Cole. I’m pretty sure you’ll laugh outloud when you read this pair of books. Both have super fun word play (especially the second one) and will be appreciated by those families who love to gently tease (and maybe irritate!) with jokes like this one: “What’s up?” — “Chicken Butt!”
Children’s/Young Adult, chapter book
- Marty McGuire, by Kate Messner with illustrations by Brian Floca: This is the first book in the Marty series and will surely be enjoyed by fans of Ramona and Clementine books. Marty (a girl) is a third grader who gets herself into and out of humorous scrapes and fixes with friends, teachers, or parents. Very fun and well enjoyed by my second and fourth grade daughters as well.
- The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, by Jeanne Birdsall: Hooray for the return of the Penderwicks! We listened to this as an audiobook on our road trip and it was much loved. In this one Mr. Penderwick begins a slow re-entry into the world of dating, much to the chagrin of his daughters. An elaborate and often funny scheme unfolds to stop the process. Like the first book, we all adored the girls’ adventures and sometimes mishaps.
- The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, by Jeanne Birdsall: Again an audiobook. This time the Penderwicks travel with their aunt to Maine for a holiday, but the eldest sister Rosalind and Mr. Penderwick are not there. I must say I missed them and enjoyed the other books better. Still a fun listen though, as all the elements of “unplugged”, creative adventures prevail.
- Room, by Emma Donaghue: A disturbing premise about a young college-aged woman being abducted and held captive in an underground room for five years while he sexually abused her. She bore a child, Jack, during that time and it is from his perspective that the story is told. If the subject matter doesn’t push you away, I do recommend the book. The viewpoint of Jack on his tiny, isolated world is just fascinating and thought provoking. Not only is he a young child, but his limited experiences and deep bond with his mother make for a unique point of view. Still thinking about this one days later.
- The Night Bookmobile, written and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger: This is actually a graphic novel and my first for adults. Niffenegger is the author of Time Traveler’s Wife, and like that novel, this book is full of Chicagoland and literary references. The main character magically comes into a bus that contains all the books she has read over time and revisits them over the years. I found this to be a really creative concept and format. It definitely gets you thinking that you are what you read.