As happens every Monday, Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers host a meme that is focused on children’s literature. A place to share what we’ve been reading over the course of the week. It’s a great way for me to think about and share what I’ve been reading, and an even better way to see what other people are reading and connect with them over books. My favorite activity, connecting with people about books.
Per usual, I can never really seem to get my act together every week to write a post, so I join in every few weeks. C’est la vie. I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty about that. I do what I can.
In no particular order:
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was talking about this one long before it hit the shelves. I listened to The Yarn podcasts about it, I read the blog posts, etc….and I was psyched to order a couple of copies for my library. Our students devour realistic graphic novels like Smile, Drama and El Deafo, and this one is a no-brainer. It lived up to the hype. I loved it. Found it funny, and sad, and real, and it takes place in Pennsylvania and Florida in the mid-70’s, as did my own childhood, so it spoke to me.
The description of this one reminded me vaguely of The Compound by S.A. Bodeen, and I loved that one, so I decided to try this one out and see how my students might like it. Jory lives with his mother, stepfather, a younger “sister” and a baby half-brother in central California. Jory’s stepfather Caleb is a military veteran and a strong believer in ‘signs’ that portend something awful is coming their way, and thus begins a harrowing few weeks as the family prepares for impending disaster by tunneling a bunker in the canyon behind their house that will be stocked with supplies, enough to last 3-6 months. Jory has always supported his stepfather, but things are getting more dangerous and Jory just isn’t sure about what’s right and what’s wrong. The tension builds over the course of the book, as Jory is forced to keep more secrets, to separate his school life from his family life and to watch his mother’s health slowly deteriorate. Kids will like this one, though it definitely has some darker themes, I’m saving it for the 5th grade and up crowd. Fans of The Compound, or Watt Key’s Alabama Moon will probably like this one as well.
This one I started reading solely because a coworker recommended it so strongly. I liked it quite a bit, but didn’t love it the way she did. I actually put this one down about a third through and didn’t think I’d finish it, but I did pick it back up. May is 16-years-old and still grieving the loss of her best friend, Libby, 3 years earlier in a car accident. She’s staying with her Dad in Seattle when she starts to see stickers and graffiti around town depicting a character that she and Libby had created years ago, but that had been lost when Libby died and her father got rid of all her stuff. May is confused and a little bit frightened, but determined to find out how this long-lost character can possibly be resurrected and who is behind it. It takes a while for the story to start, and I can’t say I was particularly surprised by the outcome, but the writing is strong and the characters are interesting. I can see the 6th-8th graders really enjoying it.
This is a cute, short chapter book about young Dory who is getting ready to start school, but her older siblings are not convinced she’s ready for school since she still acts so “babyish” by throwing temper tantrums and still playing with her imaginary friend. Dory has an outsized imagination that keeps her entertained until her older siblings are willing to actually play with them. Rollicking humor, lots of drawings, sure to engage those who are ready for a step-up from the early readers.
Can’t wait to see what everyone else has been reading lately.