It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-26-14

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!

Books I Read this Week:

Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin
Razorbill, 2014
240 pages
Recommended for grades 5-8

         I finished Nightingale’s Nest the other day, and was immediately sad.  I’m sad that my time following Gayle and Little John has come to an end.  But one thing’s for certain, they are still with me, and will be for a long time to come.
         This sweet and tough story lets readers suspend reality, while keeping the story grounded in absolute reality.  A serious juxtaposition between the world we are stuck in, and the world we want to be in-the world with magic and powers that cannot be defined by science and logic.
         There is gently Gayle, a foster child that claims her parents flew away.  She needs to wait in a tree for their return, and in the meantime spreads wonder through her otherworldly singing.  A song without words, that tells a story and has healing abilities.
         There is Little John, an older boy who carries the grief of losing his younger sister a year ago.  With a father that drinks, and a mother that needs help grasping the reality of losing her daughter, Little John is as lost as Gayle.
         The power behind beauty and ugliness in this book is stunning, and I urge you to spend time getting lost with these characters.

Aviary Wonders Inc. by Kate Samworth
Clarion Books, 2014
32 pages
Recommended for grades 2+

I first came across this on another blogger's Monday post.  Immediately I was drawn to the beautiful cover art, and being a bird lover I just typed in the title and requested the book through the library.
Well...I blindly opened this one up only to be terrified!!  Ugh, what a sad dose of reality covered in layers of beauty and fantasy.
Just in case you are like I was, totally unaware of this book's premise, it is a catalog for people to order bird parts to create their very own living bird.  Choose the body, the legs, the coloring, etc.  Since we've lost so many species, and are still doing so, Aviary Wonders Inc. began supplying the world with "design and build your own" birds in 2031.
Though the book looks fun and fanciful, the saddest page for me was the page showing the bird body as it arrives-no parts yet attached, holes where the beak and legs will attach.
A wonderful book to read and discuss with children.

André the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown
First Second, 2014
Graphic Novel: Biography
240 pages
Recommended for high school and adult readers

Hitting high on the best seller list for graphic novels right now is this big guy.
I admit that my most familiar memory of André is his part in The Princess Bride, not as his wrestling career.  But as I read I certainly learned a lot about wrestling and about who André the Giant was.
It's not all pretty, and this glimpse into André's life should not make its way into young readers' hands. 

 There is plenty of rough language and adult content, which is why I'm giving my copy away!  I'd rather this book make its way into some high school classroom library, or into the hands of an adult that is interested in reading about the giant!

Fill out the form at the bottom of this post for your chance to own my Advanced Readers Copy.

I'm Currently Reading:

Because it's almost time!!

On Deck:

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful reading week :)


  1. Aviary Wonders is quite the strange book isn't it? But it certainly gets its message across.

  2. I am so pleased that you loved Nightingale's Nest. Such a sad but memorable story and whoa, what a cover. Yes, Aviary Wonders kind of knocks you over with its message doesn't it?! I am looking forward to seeing some board books on your blog soon! Hope you are feeling well. Thinking of you!

  3. Aviary Wonders was really disturbing. I can't imagine handing it to an elementary student. I'll probably have to look at Nightingale's Nest, but I don't have a lot of fantasy readers at my school, and it seems like half of what is published is fantasy!

  4. I have Nightingale's Nest on deck for this summer! Aviary Wonders is one of those books that people really enjoy or are really disturbed by it! I think it's "the" book this year for sticking to people's memories! Have a great week!

  5. A Shackleton book I've never seen before! Must. Get. Now. I also had NO IDEA what Aviary Wonders was actually about. It sounds so strange and disturbing! Now I REALLY want to read it, LOL.

  6. So, I am fascinated by Shackleton. Thank you for sharing the new title. I NEED it. Have you read Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World? It is a fascinating account.
    Thank you for also sharing the Andre the Giant GN.
    Seems like I should know Nightingale's Nest and Aviary Wonders, but I didn't before now. Thank you for introducing me to them.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  7. Hello there Nicole! Now I really can't wait to get my hands on Aviary Wonders. A build-your-own bird picturebook - what an ingenious concept. I've heard of Nightingale's Nest, and I do think we already have it in our library. Will get to it, hopefully before year ends. :)

  8. Hi Nicole, I came upon Aviary Wonders at our local library. A lover of birds, I quickly added it to our pile of check outs. It wasn't until my son and I got it home that we took a gander. I was a bit perturbed by the book, also, but as you point out, there's a message to be shared.


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