05.21.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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 look 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.

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Click on the cover images for the synopsis of each book. 

My Reading Adventures from the past week . . .

Not exactly a bountiful week for me reading wise, but I’ll blame the very summer-like weather we’ve had the last week in the Seattle-area. It’s a rare spring to have a week of sunny and 70, so we’ve all been a bit distracted! 🙂 The rain is back, however, so maybe my reading focus is, too!

Proving to be a hard act to follow:

I absolutely adored the Dunderheads picture book when I read it last year. I found it to be an amazing book mashup of Miss Nelson is Missing and the oddball gang of misfits from Ocean’s Eleven. This sequel didn’t meet the high expectations I had for it, but it is often hard to follow something that was so original and creative. It felt a bit choppy and didn’t have as many belly laughs for me as the original. My daughter, however, declared it to be, “Awesome!”, so check it out for yourself. Recommended for Second Grade and up. (Candlewick Press/2012)

Some great 2012 picture book releases:

A lovely book. Uncluttered in both the text and the images, and I mean that in the nicest way. A book about waiting and anticipation. A book about joy. A book about wanting to share that joy with others. A bonus, there’s sparkles that you can touch. I’d recommend for Preschool and up, and definitely try reading it with your big kids for the message. (HarperCollins/2012)

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I’m still mulling this one over and it is definitely one to re-read. Klassen’s illustrations are amazing and I LOVE that they don’t print his books on shiny paper; matte paper works so much better for his work. The story reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree with the characters aging and nature changing with time. It is mesmerizing to look at and think that such a thing could happen. I have to admit at the end, I had to check that I hadn’t missed a page, because it just ends so quietly. I think it would be a great example of text that doesn’t have to have a big crescendo finale.  I’d recommend this for grades 5 and up, and think it’d be particularly well suited to read and discuss together. Jen, at Mentor Texts, did a great review of this and has many thoughtful ways to use it in the classroom with older students. (Candlewick Press/2012)

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Finished this chapter book for the Newbery Challenge:

Newbery Medal Winner, 1930. This tale is told from the perspective of the doll as she reflects on all the owners and adventures she had. This one was readable, though it felt too long.

Upcoming Reading Adventures:

Continuing this family read aloud . . .

I love that my kids squeal for “just one more chapter” when I attempt to stop reading. And I love it even more that some element of Wonder comes up in conversation during the week.

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A 2012 animal tale for middle graders . . .

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Some historical fiction from Jenni Holm:

Happy Reading!

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8 comments on “05.21.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. So agree, Hitty was way too long. And it kept reminding me of A Friendship Doll, which I enjoyed more. Love Turtle in Paradise!

  2. Lorna says:

    Katherine–I’ve got the Friendship Doll on my bedside table . . . I too am guessing I’ll like that more! I am adoring Turtle in Paradise. Turtle’s demeanor reminds me so much of Opal in Because of Winn-Dixie.

  3. Oh, count me in as another who loved The Friendship Doll (although I haven’t read Hitty so I can’t compare the two). Really enjoyed Turtle in Paradise as well. Plant a Kiss and House Held Up by Trees have been two of my favorite picture books I’ve read recently. They are so different but both very special.

  4. Beth Shaum says:

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I loved your suggestion about what literary characters you’d invite to a dinner party. Count me in for whatever you want me to do! 🙂

    I’m reading WONDER to my students right now and they do the same thing that your kids do: beg me to read just one more chapter. That is the best feeling in the world.

  5. You have some great books coming up- Neversink is so much fun, Wonder is amazing and Jenni Holm doesn’t do bad books!
    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  6. I’m going to have to add The Friendship Doll & Turtle In Paradise to my lists. They are reviewed several times lately, so I need to check them out. So glad you’re reading Wonder to your children-terrific book, lots to discuss there! I actually was puzzled over the Kooser book. I think I should re-read it again & again because I thought it was just sad. The illustrations are quite amazing, however. Thanks for telling about all these books!

  7. Neversink is still on my TBR pile…which of course grows every week 🙂

  8. Lorna says:

    One of this weeks, I’d actually like to see a drop in my TBR rather than an increase! 🙂

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