03.04.13 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”.

The week slipped by without a ton of time devoted to reading, but below you’ll find what I did read.

Other posts from last week, including my two Book Fairy visits:

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Click the book cover’s to be taken to Goodreads for a more complete synopsis of each title.

Picture Books

This cute early reader picture book won the Theodore Geisel Medal for 2013. Fun pictures, sparing use of words, and some cool fold out pages will make this a hit with the preschool and kindergarten kids. (2012)

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I did not like this one as much as some of my other Twitter and Goodreads friends. It is the story of a young bat first taking flight and exhibiting use of his “good sense”. This is one those picture books that for me was more appealing for the art than for the story. It would be great text to use, though, when talking about bats in a classroom setting. Recommend for grades K-2. (2012)

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Middle Grade/YA

Ugh. I finally finished this 1940 Newbery Medal winning book. I continue to feel really poorly for the kids of this era. I found it quite dry and the treatment of Native Americans in the text was always negative. The only comfort I take is in thinking how wildly popular cowboys and Westerns were at the movies and on the radio during this time. I’m going to take a leap that rugged frontiersmen fell into this lauded group as well, so maybe they didn’t mind reading about Boone. This will not be a Newbery I can recommend!

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I really enjoyed this tale, a story of the friendship between Jack Baker and Early Auden, young boys at a boarding school in Maine, just after the end of World War II. Early, is quirky and precocious and exhibits what we’d today identify as Asperger’s syndrome. Jack is the new kid, who’s world has been turned upside down by loss and loneliness.  They are truly amazing characters,  and their story is one that is both thought-provoking and filled with all out adventure. The mathematical concept of pi is used as allegory and parallels the real characters’ story, which I suspect will be confusing to younger readers and others might even find that story element taxing by the end. This is one of those “kids”  books that I think will actually have a more appeal to older readers and adults. I’d recommend it for middle school and up, perhaps even as a book club or small group read aloud where there can be plenty of time for discussion and reflection. Many elements of the book, including the character of Early and the setting, reminded me of John Irving’s books–I am going to go out on a limb and say his fans should check out this book.  (2013)

Up this week . . .

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

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9 comments on “03.04.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Sarah says:

    It wasn’t on my radar before, but after reading a few reviews the last couple of weeks, Navigating Early is firmly on my reading list.

  2. Beth S. says:

    I think you will really enjoy Bomb. I’m loving it right now.

  3. I would definitely agree with you about fans of John Irving liking Navigating Early – definitely has a similar feel. I enjoyed the book very much, but also agree it would be a hard read for even middle school kids without the book talk to go along with it. I would love to hear if teachers or students are reading it yet in class. I am a second grade teacher, so obviously I’m not!

    And I recently found Nic Bishop books – where have I been?! I just finished 3 of them because I am looking for possible read alouds for my non-fiction unit in reading workshop. I love Steve Jenkins non-fiction, especially the artwork. Two non-fiction authors that would be nice to compare with my students.

  4. Ha! I love the idea of John Irving fans liking Navigating Early. I loved that book, but I’m not sure of the audience, as well. I’m looking forward to your thoughts about Hide and Seek– I loved Capture the Flag…Thanks for the sharing.

  5. carriegelson says:

    Lorna, I am hoping to read Navigating Early this week as well. Picking it up at the library tomorrow. I know what you mean about Nightsong – the art really sells it. What made me like it more is reading it aloud with my class and watching their reactions. Kids really connected to the little bat.

  6. Earl says:

    I felt the same way about Nightsong. As if I didn’t want to read Navigating Early already but mentioning that it’s reminiscent of John Irving made it climb up my TBR list.

  7. Myra GB says:

    Hi there Lorna, I’m glad to finally have a picture of what Navigating Early is all about. I know that I enjoyed Moon Over Manifest – and that it’s a novel that required a lot of reflective thought – slow to warm up, but the pace quickens somewhere in the end. I hope it’s the same with Navigating Early. Aww, so sad to hear you didn’t quite take to Nightsong – I enjoyed its poetic feel and the black background and soft illustrations. My daughter just finished reading Amelia Lost for her biography project in school and she came up with a picture book project based on it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing all this! 🙂

  8. I do feel intrigued by the cover of Nightsong. Even if the text is so-so, it looks like beautiful art!

  9. Lorna says:

    Yes, the art and that Bat are so adorable and expressive, even with the dark tones. Worth checking out!

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