Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6-17-13

Thanks to Jen & Kelle for hosting our weekly book sharing!  Since I've started participating in this weekly post I have been introduced to countless new picture books, enjoyed comparing my opinions with others' on middle grade novels, and had the pleasure of "meeting" so many wonderfully bookish people that I might otherwise never had the opportunity to cross paths with!  So join the fun!  Visit Teach Mentor Texts for all the inspiration you need.

I've been in a bit of a reading lull.  I place the blame partly on school's final crazy week.  See what I was up to here as I take you on a little video tour of our third graders' final projects of the year.
The second thing I place blame on is being so darn busy!  

I'm certainly not without books to read.  The problem isn't finding a book, but rather, deciding between too many appealing choices.  I should probably focus next on my library books though, otherwise I'll have angry librarians after me!



So forgive this measly reading week, but check out the treat at the end!

Books I Read this Week:

Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis
HarperCollins, 2013
Science Fiction/Fantasy
368 pages
Recommended for grades 5+
(amazon recommends ages 8+...I don't think a second/third grader would fare well with this story!)

I listened to the audio version of this book, and it is one you can't miss!  If you like and have the time for an audio book, this one is read wonderfully.  Performer Johnathan McClain brings life and personality to all the characters.
The premise of the book is that Jack, along with some other 13 year olds, are taken to a remote and mysterious island, snatched right out of their lives and families.  On the island Jack meets professor Bhegad, who is planning to use the chosen children to help him find Atlantis.
As much as I loved the reader, the story wasn't one that I was overly in love with.  If you loved the Percy Jackson series...go read that again.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Micelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Balzer + Bray, 2013
Historical Fiction Picture Book
32 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

I love sharing picture books with my third and fourth grade students.  This was enjoyed by all students, many having lots to say about this story, the history, immigrant experiences, etc.  Without one small young woman taking a stand, who knows how long others would have had to suffer until job laws changed.  

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy) by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
Dutton Children's Books, 2013
Realistic Fiction with a splash of Fantasy/Folklore
Recommended for grades 4-8
344 pages

Sammy is bullied.  Badly.  The fact that he always has a snarky comment on his lips doesn't sit well with the lead bully, James Lee.  After one too many dunks in the toilet, Sammy would do anything to not be James Lee and the Boyz' target.  One evening at Hebrew lessons Sammy notices a book on the Rabbi's shelf.  The book is about golems.  Sammy knows a golem is made of clay and protects the creator.  Stealing the book, Sammy decides to make his own golem.
The relationships between Sammy and the friends he makes, the golem he creates, and the bullies he fears, feel very natural, despite the fact that one of the above is made from clay.
I love the words Sammy uses.  As he uses a good word, either spoken or in thought, he often thinks to himself how cool the word is, usually defining it, giving young readers lots of exposure to high level vocabulary throughout the story-and not in a preachy way!
I loved this story!

I'm Currently Reading:

On Deck:



and also


and hopefully...


And the treat I promised:

Contest will run through June 20th at midnight!  Good Luck!




8 comments:

  1. Brave Girl will be in my library with my next book order. Kids always are amazed to see how life was different for kids at in a different time period. Even though many have chores at home, would today's kids be able to work as hard as kids during the Industrial Revolution?

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    1. You are so right about the different lifestyles of children in different eras, and how it is important for kids to see the differences. Kids find it amazing when they discover out how hard children had to work a hundred years ago. I don't think many of us would survive the day to day doings that people did a hundred years ago...I know I'd be more exhausted than I am now!

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  2. I loved Brave Girl. B.U.G. looks like one I will need to read. Thanks!

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    1. BUG is so much better than my tired mind could put into words last night! It is a very deep book, and some readers will see it that way, but it is written to be light enough to not weigh younger readers down. Lots of avenues for discussion. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Loved Brave Girl, think I'll skip your first one, but BUG is very intriguing, never miss Jane Yolen's. I also am interested in the MacLachlan book. She's always good, too. Thanks for the honest reviews!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I try to be pretty straightforward with how I feel about a book, even though it sometimes means less than shiny review posts! I hope BUG gains momentum.

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  4. I wonder if my son would like Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises - he is in Grade 5 and loved Percy Jackson series. Now he is reading through Rangers Apprentice series and loving it. Brave Girl looks like a fantastic read aloud for this age group. I love sharing nonfiction titles and the resulting discussion.

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    1. I bet your son would like it. I'm reading it from my own adult perspective, but I think there is enough adventure and action to keep kids hooked. I just think the Percy Jackson series is better written and has more depth.

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