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

Thanks to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA”. Check out Jen and Kellee’s site to see what others are reading through their posted links. You can also find posts from folks using the hashtag #IMWAYR on Twitter.

Not a high book count for me, but I’m glad I did finish two novels and even started on a third. I’m hoping to keep up with alternating newer and older titles as I plow through what is an always growing to-be-read pile!

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

Picture book:

Confession: I like this one way more than Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back, which has been a cult-like sensation with other book loving friends since it came out in 2011. Call me a curmudgeon, but I just didn’t like IWMHB. Honestly, I can’t tell you why, as this book is pretty similar as it involves theft and revenge, too. In this book, a small fish steals a hat from a large fish and is convinced he will get away with it. But will he? I love the subtle expressions and details in Klassen’s muted illustrations. Perceptive younger audiences might like this one, though I suspect it’s the irony of this one will be better appreciated by kids in grade 2 and up. (2012)

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Other books I finished:

Newbery Challenge 1936. I’ll be discussing this one further when I do my write-up on 1930s Newbery books, but this one was okay, though probably not one I’d recommend. We follow a very perky and animated young girl, Lucinda, during a year in New York, spent on, you guessed it, roller skates. Her cheeriness is diminished by a death of an admired young child friend and by a very strange and poorly explained murder of another adult friend, which I found very odd.

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Admittedly, I’m a huge reader of historical fiction so it’s no wonder I adored Hattie Big Sky, a Newbery Honor in 2007.  Sixteen year old, orphaned Hattie heads to Eastern Montana to take over the homesteading claim of a deceased uncle that she never met in 1918. The challenges of life in the harsh Montana prairie, concerns about World War I, and the 1918 influenza epidemic make for a very emotional and gripping read. Hattie’s determination against incredible odds will have you cheering. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Hattie Ever After, which is due out in early 2013. While considered a young adult title, I think it’s appeal can stretch in both directions. My fifth grader really enjoyed it, and there were no content concerns for me as a parent. I also think on a storytelling level, many adult fans of historical fiction will like this one as well. In fact, I sent my mom, who was visiting this weekend, home with my copy!  (2006)

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This week’s Reading Adventures:

Finish . . .

I’m not too far into this, but I can tell adventure-loving kids are going to enjoy this one. (2012)

Up next:

Not sure what is going to strike my fancy on the novel front. Sharon Creech’s The Great Unexpected? Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck? Something else? Hmm.

I’m also going to carve out some time to go to the library and find some picture books both new and old, including the 1956 Caldecott award books.

Do share what you are reading! Have a great week!

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11 comments on “11.05.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Okay, maybe I need to read This Is Not My Hat, since I was in your camp on the first one. We were reading another book illustrated by Klassen this week, and the bear showed up in the illustrations. My 3yo was thrilled, “Oh, that’s the bear from the hat book, remember Mommy!?”

    I loved Hattie Big Sky when I read it a couple months ago. I just received an ARC of Hattie Ever After through NetGalley, and now I’m trying to clear everything out of the way so I can sit down and read it (mostly) uninterrupted.

  2. I enjoyed This Is Not My Hat more than IWMHB, too. Something about the illustrations for this new one really drew me in. Plus for this one even my 3 year old could follow along and enjoyed the ending.

    Oh, and I really need to read Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After. I enjoy historical fiction and western frontier especially. I am requesting it NOW from the library! Thanks. 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    I love that everything about This Is Not My Hat is the opposite of I Want My Hat Back: Thief’s narration instead of victim’s, internal monologue instead of dialogue, dark backgrounds instead of light, horizontal pages instead of vertical, etc. I think that could be used as an interesting teaching tool on the decisions an author has to make about how to tell his or her story.

  4. Beth S. says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who didn’t love I Want My Hat Back. I liked it alright, but I didn’t understand the cult-following it had as you so eloquently stated. I’m glad to know the second book is better. I still need to get my hands on a copy.

  5. carriegelson says:

    Lorna I just requested The Great Unexpected so maybe we will be reading it around the same time? Wonderstruck was phenomenal, I thought. I love both of these Klassen titles. I saw Jon Klassen just recently and hearing him talk about these books made them even more special. He has quite a quirky sense of humour. But we don’t all share the same tastes and that’s perfectly fine. I have seen a lot of love for The Mighty Miss Malone and I just couldn’t finish it. Just didn’t get into it. I am however very interested in Hattie Big Sky. Normally I am a huge fan of historical fiction.

  6. I just brought home Hattie Big Sky, so will be reading it soon. It sounds great. I haven’t read the new Klassen book, & thought the first was definitely worth discussing, just not my sentimental penchant for picture books. Thanks for sharing so much, Lorna.

  7. I LOVED Hattie Big Sky! I found her to be very inspirational. And you will LOVE Hattie Ever After. It’s so good!
    THIS IS NOT MY HAT is a favorite of mine, too. I want to read Roller Skates now. Thanks for these great titles!

  8. I think you can’t lose with Wonderstruck or Creech’s new book.
    I, too, liked This is Not my Hat better though I was a fan of IWMHB.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  9. Myra GB says:

    A Newbery Medal book! Our Nerdbery challenge has been pathetic – I even doubt we’d reach our self-imposed target of 12 Newbery Medal books for this year. We have to rush through our reading, that’s for certain. Yikes! I’ve been seeing a lot of This is Not My Hat – I wonder if we have that in our public libraries now. Hattie Big Sky truly looks interesting. I hope I can read more Newbery Honor books next year. 🙂

  10. Lorna says:

    @Carrie–that’s interesting that you didn’t connect with The Mighty Miss Malone. When I read Bud, Not Buddy, I struggled with it as I was having a hard time connecting with the characters and story. I’ve got TMMM, but have been dragging my heels on reading it . . . I think I am leaning towards The Great Unexpected! 🙂

  11. Lorna says:

    @Myra–I hear you on the Newbery Challenge. It’s hard to get to those older titles, especially when many haven’t stood the test of time very well and when your TBR pile is stacked with so many other things catching your eye. If you or your daughter have enjoyed The Little House books, you might indeed like Hattie Big Sky. Super interesting time in American history for me.

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