It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8-20-18
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 and recommendations!
Books I've Recently Read:
Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement
by Stephanie Roth Sisson
Roaring Brook Press, August 2018
This lovely picture book biography is told in a variety of techniques. Some pages tell the story in traditional picture book format, some are told through panels, and you will also find some nonfiction text features.
Readers will meet a curious young nature lover, and will follow her as she grows into a courageous advocate for our natural world.
Will make a great read aloud!
The Sinking of the Vasa: A shipwreck of Titanic proportions by Russell Freedman
illustrated by William Low
Goodwin Books (Henry Holt), August 2018
How wonderful to read and travel the world, to read and skip through time. Are you familiar with the Vasa? The massive warship built for the Swedish Navy in the early 1600s? It seems like Freedman isn't keeping any secrets with a title like this, but there is so much to learn in this book. From the gorgeous detail, the impressive size, the maiden voyage and the folks on board, to centuries later when underwater salvage is possible.
Another fabulous read aloud.
When Paul Met Artie: The story of Simon & Garfunkel by G. Neri
illustrated by David Litchfield
Candlewick Press, March 2018
Oh my, how I love this book! Told in poetic narrative, each page titled after a Simon and Garfunkel song, we follow S & G from fourth grade to present day.
My parents had many of the duo's music, and the memory of playing those tapes tickled my brain while I read. I almost had to pause to play a song. I certainly had to play some after finishing the book!
The illustrations are folksy and are simply perfection. The story is readable enough for students as young as third grade to easily enjoy, yet deep enough to process and dissect with older students.
I will be sharing this with my students for sure. Perhaps it will propel us into talks about dreams, talents, and fears. And of course, there will be music. Lots of music.
Hazelnut Days by Zaü
illustrated by Emmanuel Bourdier
Mine Edition, May 2018
Realistic Fiction: Father incarcerated
Mine Edition books describes themselves as publishing: "Beautifully crafted picture books that open the door to the world-created by authors and illustrators from around the globe." Pretty excellent.
It isn't until the final page that we see the young boy's father is with him during visitation in prison. The boy describes his father through the story, in positives and negatives, the balance we all find within. The pictures and colors reflect well the tone of the story.
Depending where you live, it might not be rare to have students in your midst that are dealing with a similar life experience. There must be such an internal struggle when someone you love is incarcerated. If you do not work with children that might see themselves in this story, share it anyway. Talk about it. Make it not shameful. Look at the young boy on the cover, his openness, his hope, he is not to be shamed for his father's path.
The next two could be used hand in hand:
The Day War Came by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Rebecca Cobb
Candlewick Press, September 2018
Published in association with Help Refugees
Marwan's Journey by Patricia de Arias
illustrated by Laura Borràs
Mine Edition, May 2018
Two stories of children fleeing war-torn countries. Would we have thought years ago that we would be building classroom libraries with titles like this? Would we have thought that people around us would be so loving and open to sheltering refugees? Would we have thought that on the other side of us people would be so fearful or hateful? Whether we thought it or not, we're here, and it's books like this that help us navigate these times, these topics, these realities.
I find myself saying again that the illustrations are perfectly matched to the stories.
On Another Note:
The Treasure of Mad Doc Magee by Elinor Teele
Walden Pond Press, August 2018
*Blog tour coming soon! Stay tuned for post and GIVEAWAY!*
Don't you just love Walden Pond Press?!
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Candlewick Press, September 2018
There are wonderful, wonderful parts of reviewing books. Mainly, the books, right? Right. But then there is the reality that I am often reading books that I might not have chosen on my own. Case in point, this title. I mostly likely would not have chosen this book on my own if not offered a copy. And even as I began reading, and even as I kept reading, I thought that this book was not quite to my liking. But then this happened: I finished it last night and now I miss these weirdos!
A story of two enemy people, the elves and the goblins, both writing history to favor themselves. Both peoples painting the other to be worse, to be wrong.
When the elfin nation plots to send a deadly gift to the ruler of the goblins, a wild story of betrayal, hope, loyalty, and scholarly studies, takes off.
It'd be weirder and funnier if it wasn't 100% truth. Because even though we're reading about elves and goblins, we are reading about people, and the way we separate and wonder about, and fear the unfamiliar.
I'm Currently Reading:
There we go, that's more like it ;)
Thanks for stopping by!