Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4-28-14

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers.
Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

The last day of vacation has arrived for me.  I spent some time in my classroom gearing up for the upcoming week, and then calmed and strengthened my mind and body with a wonderful yoga class.   How do you carve time out for yourself each week?

Books I Read this Week:

Cooper & Packrat: Mystery on Pine Lake by Tamra Wight, illustrated by Carl DiRocco
Island Port Press, 2013
Mystery
152 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

Another title from the 2014-2015 Maine Student Book Award List.  I've got one more title to read after this one, and then I will have read all 41 titles.
This story is set in a Maine campground, which makes for quite a cool setting for adventurous kids!  I did a lot of camping growing up, and was able to feel the setting vividly as I read.  Cooper wants to be a game warden when he is older, and has a passion of keeping an eye on the wildlife around his parents' campground.  In this story Cooper is especially interested in watching the loons that nest on the campground's pond.  Cooper wants to make sure the loons successfully nest and raise young on the pond because he feels that the loons are a big draw to customers of the campground.
I enjoyed this story very much, but I did find several things worth pointing out that got in the way of me loving this book.  First, the print is so small that it is going to turn away some readers.  Second, the illustrations are very goofy and cartoony, not really matching the realistic feel of the story.  And finally, there is a scene in the book where one character reveals a story around a truly traumatic event that he lived through, and it is all but brushed aside by the characters.  I felt that the author needed to provide a reason for some of that character's actions, and used this awful moment in his life to be that reason, which is fine, but it was just too underdeveloped for me to be okay with how it was handled.

A fun picture book by a team that you just can't beat!  I plan on reading this at Morning Meeting in hopes of dashing away the Monday blues that my students just might bring with them on their first day back from vacation.

I'm Currently Reading:

Remember to be on the look-out for my upcoming stop on The Dyerville Tales blog tour!  Highlights include a chance to win a signed copy of the book, and a guest post by the author!  
Date: Tuesday, May 6th.

On Deck:


Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week, and if you're returning to school from vacation...deep breaths, big smiles, and don't forget to pack a piece of chocolate in your lunch!





10 comments:

  1. President Taft... looks interesting. I just borrowed The Dumbest Idea Ever from the library but that doesn't really mean I'll have time to read it! I'm always hopeful, though, lol.

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  2. I have January 1905 in my library and have meant to read it for the longest time - thanks for the reminder!

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  3. Print size is SO important to readers. I don't understand the way some MG books are formatted!

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    1. The entire book, from cover to print size, etc, is so hugely important! It really makes a difference for readers.

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  4. I've read a couple of mixed reviews of President Taft, but I do love that author-illustrator team, so I am eager to get my hands on the book! I just bought Jeannine Atkins's book on writing, which I was so excited about, but the print is absolutely miniscule. I can't imagine what the publisher was thinking designing the book this way. It's rare for the layout or look of a book to be so off-putting to me that I don't want to read it, but that's the case here. Disappointing!

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    1. Ok, truth be told, Taft was not amazing...but I do love those two, thus influencing my review. It is so sad when a great book is tarnished in some way, and small print can be a killer!

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  5. I want to read The Dyerville Tales - I think students in my book club will be very excited that Kozlowsky has written another title. I look forward to your review.

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    1. And dare I say, I'm liking it even more than Juniper Berry!!

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  6. Hello there Nicole, I hope you had a lovely break and great for you that you managed to find the time to do yoga - I've been trying to keep my Sivananda yoga classes regularly too every Saturday. These are all unfamiliar titles to me, congratulations on making a great deal of headway on the nominated titles for the Student Book Award.

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    1. Thanks Myra! On those nights that I don't know if I can muster the will power to get to yoga on Sunday nights my husband gently reminds me how good it makes me feel, and that is always enough for me to get a move on! Hope you're having a great week!

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