02.25.13: 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”.

I missed last week’s It’s Monday! post as we were enjoying a ski vacation and I was plagued by a inconsistent wi-fi that was consistently annoying. But avoiding the internet meant I could get quite a bit of reading done in between ski runs with my family! The books below cover reading from the last couple of weeks.

Early Chapter Books

Frankly Frannie by AJ Stern

My littlest book hound, Small, aged 8 recommended this beginning chapter book. Frannie is reminiscent of Junie B. Jones with her attraction to odd ball goof-ups and misunderstandings. She also has the same problem with mid-pronouncing words like Junie B., which personally I find super annoying. I find other characters in early chapter books, like Clementine and Marty McGuire, a bit more enduring than Frannie, but I understand the appeal of this series. Recommended for ages 6-9. (2010)

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Middle Grade/YA

Every Day by David Levithan

I really enjoyed this, more than I thought I would. A, wakes up every day in a different body and must live the life and challenges of the a person be they male or female. Usually, he just drifts from one body to one body making little impact on each person’s life or memories. But as Justin, he meets Justin’s girlfriend Rhiannon and he wants to maintain contact with her. It all becomes very complicated as he struggles to continue to see her and explain his dilemma to her. I was wary, as in a way, this reminded me of The Time Traveler’s Wife, which I didn’t like very much, with the challenges of “not always there” love, but I found these characters much more appealing. I also really liked Levithan’s broad range of characters that really allow the reader to get inside the minds and lives of people potentially very different from themselves be they obese, LGBT, or have mental illness. Great for older teens and adults. (2012)

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Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and have an especially big spot in my heart (and bookshelf!) for historical fiction set in the West. Throw in a strong female character and I’m bound to be over the moon about a book. This book (released 2/12/13), which is the sequel to Hattie Big Sky, fits those categories perfectly and does not disappoint. Kirby Larson is a master at this genre and her commitment to research is so very evident in this book. The details of 1919 San Francisco were just so vivid for me. As I read it, I wondered if an older Hattie, dealing with more adult things like a career and courtship might be less appealing to older middle grade or middle school fans of the first Hattie, but Tall, my eleven year old daughter is really enjoying it, too. Thanks Delacourte Books/Random House for the Advance Reader Copy! I’m hoping my schedule will permit me to go see Kirby when she’s at a Seattle bookstore later in the week. Recommended for historical fiction fans, ages 10 and up. (2013)

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The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

What a lovely book, crafted beautifully by Linda Urban. Ruby is her small town’s Bunning Day Essay Girl and we follow her through her day as she prepares for her speech. Through flashbacks, we learn that not all is perfect for her, even on this day of honor. She misses her Grandma Gigi terribly and wants for anything to relive her Gigi’s last day. Urban is a master at conveying children as complex emotional beings. And nobody does a more emotionally packed short sentence than Linda Urban. For those who’ve read it, you know what I mean: “There is no apple crisp.” She knows just the right words to say, and not a word extra. Thank you Harcourt Children’s Press for the advanced reader’s copy. This book will be published March 5, 2013. With the flashbacks making this storyline non-linear, I’d recommend for strong readers age 9 and up. (2013)

Ongoing . . . 

For the Newbery Challenge. Very short and very sleep inducing. Moving at a snails pace with this one.

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So far, I’m only a few chapters in and I’m completely mesmerized by the story.

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

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9 comments on “02.25.13: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Myra GB says:

    Lots of YA love here, Lorna. I’m intrigued by Every Day, I’ve read about the concept and it seems like something that would appeal to me. Add the fact that I just read my first Levithan novel and completely fell in love with the narrative (“The Lover’s Dictionary”) – I like how he experiments with the form and structure and content of his novels, and it works beautifully! Perhaps I’d borrow Every Day for our next bimonthly theme (“oddballs and misfits”). I also can’t wait to get my hands on Navigating Early, I enjoyed Moon Over Manifest, so I’m sure I’d love this one too. I’ve been hearing so much about the Hattie books, i really feel like I’m missing out on a lot. Soon, the book would find its way to me, I’m sure. 🙂

  2. You have some of my recent favorites here (Navigating Early, Hattie Ever After and The Center of Everything). The Leviathan book sounds really interesting, what a unique concept.

  3. Beth S. says:

    Lots of great books this week. You’ve got a lot that are on my “I would totally have read this already if my TBR pile weren’t so darn huge” list. 🙂

  4. So I guess Navigating Early will need to be my next read. Just got it in the mail this weekend. I’m also looking forward to Hattie and Center of Everything, but don’t have those yet.

  5. Linda Baie says:

    I must say, all of your books are on my lists, Lorna. I just started Hattie Every After, am so looking forward to it. And only recently about Frankly Frannie-sounds cute! Thank you!

  6. carriegelson says:

    You did some fantastic reading this week! I am so excited to read the second Hattie novel. I just need to get my hands on it! Every Day really is so wonderful isn’t it. Raises so many questions about what we hold to be “fixed” and true. I hope you read Aristotle and Dante . . . also deals with all those important questions about who we are and who we love. I hear you on the main characters of these titles aimed at beginning chapter book readers. My favourites are also Clementine, Marty and I love Gooney Bird! Have you seen the series just being published in the North American market: Violet Mackerel. Quite lovely I have first two and the girls in my room are loving them!

  7. Lorna says:

    @Carrie–Thanks for the introduction to Violet Mackerel books, and yes, I will most definitely be reading Aristotle and Dante; reviews, yours included, sound lovely.

  8. Earl says:

    Some good books you’ve mentioned that I will eventually read! So many books, so little time!

  9. I’m late to the party but wanted stop by after seeing the books you shared here! You’ll have to tell me what you think of Navigating Early after you finish and after our little Twitter chat this weekend! I loved Hattie Ever After – such an excellent sequel. I loved it. I also really loved Every Day! I have to say the Time Traveler’s Wife is my all-time favorite book and I have reread it multiple times. I can see how Every Day might remind you of it but that it’s different at the same time. I struggled with the ending – so sad but so right at the same time. I can’t see how it could have ended any other way. Also the kind of book that I would love a sequel but know that I actually would much rather love that there never is a sequel just because of how open ended it is. (I kind of feel this way about The Giver as well…almost wish the other companion-type books were never written…but yet, I love that they are…it’s confusing!).

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