It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12-9-13

Visit our hosts Jen & Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their reviews as well as links to all the other blogs participating in the book sharing fun!

Books I Read this Week:

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
367 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

As a longtime fan of Cynthia Voigt's writing, I was quite excited to get my hands on a copy of her newest title.  Sitting near to 400 pages long this is a book that will appear daunting to readers that choose books based on length, which might not be a bad thing, because I sense this book needing a reader that is willing to stick with a book through the highs and lows of a plot. 
I say this because I found myself slow to warm up to this book.  Once I was about 50 pages in I found myself quite interested in solving a mystery alongside Max...I'm not sure why it took me so long.
Certainly a quirky book, a unique main character, and many subplots to keep action going once it kicks into gear.  In the end I can certainly say I enjoyed this story!

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson
Knopf, 2013
Historical Fiction
256 pages
Recommended for grades 5-8

I listened to this as an audio book, and I've got to warn you, the reader's voice is a bit screechy as he gives his best English Cockney accent.  I wasn't sure if he was hitting a stride with the accent, or if my ears were growing accustomed to it, but towards the latter half of the book the sharpness of it had slightly subsided!
This historical tale nicely weaves together many facts of the who, what, where, when and why's of the Cholera outbreak in 1854 in a particular English neighborhood with a young character struggling to survive a tough existence.  I didn't really care for the subplot around a mysterious man named Fisheye Bill Tyler that Eel lived in constant fear of.  When Fisheye entered the story I just found it as an unnecessary distraction from the main storyline.  Of course, I'm sure many kids would like the added action, and find that to be more exciting than another outbreak of Cholera!  To each his own.  Not a standout of the year, but not too shabby!

I'm Currently Reading:

So funny!

On Deck:

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful reading week!


  1. Serafina's Promise is a title I keep seeing. I need to find myself a copy! You always have some novels that are new to me - appreciate learning about books I haven't come across and your honest reviews. The cover of Mister Max looks great!

    1. Well I am glad that I can share new titles with you, since you are always sharing new ones with me!! I meant to tell you that Mitchell Goes Bowling was a hit at Thanksgiving with my family. There was no one there under the age of 25, so you know it's a good picture book when the grown-ups crack up over it! The cover of Mister Max is so cool. I kept looking at it while writing my post.

  2. Hello there Nicole, the book cover and book title of Cynthia Voigt's newest novel already resonated with me. John Connolly has a book of quite a similar title ("The book of lost things") that one is quite creepy though. I have yet to read Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming series, I think I still need one more from that entire series, that's why I haven't started it yet. Have a great reading week!

    1. A cover can be a magical thing that makes us really want to get inside the pages. The illustrator did some nice work with this story. I haven't read Connolly's book by the same title, but I did see it when I was searching for an image of the book. This book is SO vastly different from the Homecoming series, which I remember loving as a younger reader :)


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