Weekly, the folks at Teach Mentor Texts, Jen and Kellee, host the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA” It’s a chance to recap what I’ve read in the last week and a peek at what I’ll be reading in the week ahead. Check out Jen and Kellee’s site to join in, or see the links of other readers to find out where their reading adventures have taken them. Click on the cover images for the synopsis of each book.
My Reading Adventures from the past week . . .
A Picture Book from a favorite author/illustrator:
Patricia Polacco is one of my most favorite author/illustrators and I enjoyed her newest release. A nice biographical story about an inspiring art teacher, who also sheltered young Trisha from those who felt art instruction had no value in her life. Gives great insight in to Trisha’s process and passion at this early age. It didn’t quite make me cry the way Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Junkyard Wonders did, but it is still beautifully inspiring. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/2012)
A “new to me” author/illustrator team:
Husband and wife team, David Small (illustrator) and Sarah Stewart have a good thing going in picture books. I enjoyed The Journey but I really enjoyed the rhyming text and story, in The Friend which are partly inspired by the writer’s own beloved nanny. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/2004)
Some other picture books I enjoyed this week:
Finished Middle Grade Chapter Books:
This wasn’t at the top of my to-be-read pile for the week, but I found it on the New Release shelf at the library and loved her book Sarah, Plain and Tall, so it spoke to me in some way. Sweet tale of a grandfather-grandson relationship as the grandfather’s health starts to decline. A predictable outcome, but a nice message of honoring and celebrating others. I’d recommend for grades 3-6. (Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins, 2012)
Funny book, with quirky middle school aged characters looking to solve many social problems using the wisdom of an origami finger puppet. Short chapters are often laugh out loud funny, and I can understand while this series is such a hit with middle grade readers, including reluctant readers. While the primary narrator and many chapter contributors are boys, a number of girls do appear in the book and I think the humor and social dilemmas will appeal to girls, too. I’m looking forward to checking out the other books in the series, Darth Paper Strikes Back, and the yet to be released Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, to share with my ten year-old daughter. (Abrams Books, 2010)
*Gasp* . . . a finished adult book!
I’m torn with my review of this one. I know a lot of people loved this book. As a reader, I struggle with non-linear stories as well as books with fantastical elements and this book was both. It really did come together for me in the last 125 pages, so I can get the book’s appeal, and it truly was unique. If you’re on the fence about reading it, I suggest giving yourself some time with it, and decide for yourself.
Upcoming Reading Adventures:
Continuing this chapter book . . .
Our “whole” family read aloud. We’re hearing from Auggie’s sister Via now. I love having the different perspectives.
I’m really going to starting this book for the Newbery Challenge
1929 Medal winner. A story set in 15th century Poland.
I’ll also get to this stack from the library: