Visit Teach Mentor Texts to see what Jen & Kelle have been reading, and to find a list of other participating bloggers sharing book love this Monday!
I have four, count 'em, four(!!) days until summer vacation. And while I have yet to enjoy the type of summer vacation most people imagine teachers taking, it is, nonetheless, a break from the rather hectic pace known as: the school year.
I'm hoping to maintain my reading stamina throughout the summer. I will be continuing to work double jobs while also pulling together my end of summer wedding! I'm confident that I won't lose the desire to carve out some reading time no matter how busy (or lazy) my summer days might be.
What about you, do you amp up your reading time, or do you find yourself reading less once summer is upon you?
Books I Read this Week:
A Girl Called Problem: a novel by Katie Quirk
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2013
Recommended for grades 5-8
Shida is a thirteen year old girl carrying around a family curse and a name that does little to let anyone forget it: Problem. When the members of Shida's African village, Litongo, decide to move to Tanzania for greater opportunities, Shida is thrilled. In Tanzania Shida will be able to go to school as well as have the chance to learn more about medicine and healing from the nurse.
But once Shida's friends and family have settled in Tanzania they find that the welcome they had hoped for is not reality. The young girls face strong opposition to their schooling, even by one of the two school teachers. As Shida tries to find a way in her new home she must also carry with her the hardships from her former life in Litongo, including a mother that shows little interest in much of anything lately.
With each chapter opening with an African proverb, young readers will be exposed to a vastly different lifestyle than the one they live here in America. Wisdom, kindness, deep love and utter betrayal pack themselves well into this 240 page story.
The glossary in the back of the book illuminates some of the language used in the novel and also includes photographs and author insights.
I enjoyed accompanying Shida throughout this story and hope many other girls, young and old, will enjoy it just as much!
Bad Girls, by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Stemple, illustrated by Rebecca Guay
Recommended for grades 6+
I was reading this the other day when my friend poked the cover and said: "Jane Yolen, as in Owl Moon?" It goes without saying (though I'm saying it anyway), Jane Yolen can't be pigeonholed. In this interesting creation Yolen and her daughter team up to explore some 26 Bad Girls from around the world. 2011's How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O'Malley shares a similar format with Bad Girls. Both books have short nonfiction (with pizazz) chapters on particular historical figures. Both books share the not so glamorous sides of those public figures, and both books are incredibly fun to read!
Each chapter is dedicated to one or two bad girls, and what follows is a short comic depicting mother Yolen and daughter Yolen debating the accused bad girl of her guilt or innocence, though it's never as clear as one or the other.
My only qualm about rating this book so highly is that I don't think it truly delves deeply into any one of the bad girls' lives. I knew a lot more about some of these women than others, and because of that some chapters interested and informed me, while others made me want to say, wait a minute, there's more to this story!
Pug and Other Poems by Valerie Worth, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Margaret Ferguson Books, 2013
Recommended for all ages!
Valerie Worth is a master or words. We know her for taking the simple and putting the most perfect words with it. Be it a chair or a cow, Valerie can help us see it and appreciate it in an entirely new way. So of course, we expect nothing less of her here! Each short animal poem in this little collection is as darling and as true as we could ever hope to find. And the illustrations, the illustrations bring this to a new level. Steve Jenkins' beautiful collage work will have you appreciating the time and attention to detail of each animal image. This is needed in all of our poetry collections!
I'm Currently Reading:
I'm Currently Listening to:
Thanks for stopping by, as always, I love to hear your thoughts!