Visit our hosts Jen & Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their reviews as well as links to all the other bloggers participating in the book sharing fun! There are so many new books to discover, and so many great conversations to be a part of!
Books I Read this Week:
The Key & the Flame by Claire M. Caterer
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013
Recommended for grades 4-6
As I was moving through this story I had just the right student in mind to give it to next. Because this book is certainly not for the average reader, this book is one for our readers that love getting lost in a book, the longer-the better. And my little Harry Potter loving reader will have fun with this hefty fantasy.
I loved the beginning of this book. A family moves to the English countryside for a summer, a key is bestowed on a young girl, and time/dimension travel commences. Things then became almost tiresome for me as I read hundreds of pages about three children trying to find their way back home. But even though I found myself bogged down, I think the story will still be plenty fun for kids.
Battling Boy by Paul Pope
First Second, 2013
Recommended for grades 5-8
Cool cover, right? Actually, I think the covers of all my reads this week are pretty excellent.
I can't say I enjoyed this book, but that's simply because I am not a 5th or 6th grade boy, not because the book isn't awesome...because I'm pretty sure it is...
Battling Boy is sent away from his home planet for his coming of age testing at age 13. And his task, to get rid of some baddies. Good thing the planet he lands on is riddled with them.
The pace of the action and the style of the drawings makes this book zoom by at a breakneck pace. My favorite characters in this book are the creepy, covered in mummy-like wrappings, creatures that are praying on kids in the opening scene. They are topnotch as far as thingsyoudon'twantcatchingyou goes.
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K. G. Campbell
Candlewick Press, 2013
Recommended for grades 3-6
Awe, Kate...in all of my favorite children's literature two of her characters have melted my heart like no other: a mouse named Despereaux and a china rabbit named Edward. But now I've met Flora the cynic and Ulysses the squirrel poet, and the heart melts again.
If there are two things I can say I know about Kate DiCamillo they would be that she loves the art of crafting words and can do so in ways to help us open our hearts to the beings and places around us, and that she truly believes in the power of light and illumination.
I was scared to read this book. I won't lie about it...I've had it on my shelf for months now. I needn't have been frightened of being let down, for I love Flora and Ulysses. Not like I love the mouse and the rabbit, but in a different and much their own kind of way.
This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Recommended for grades 4-7
Rachel/Ratchet is a young girl that wants to know more about her mother and wants to make a friend. Being home-schooled, Ratchet spends all of her time with her mechanic father, learning more about how to put an engine back together than she learns about long-division. The journal Ratchet keeps is one of her homeschool assignments, filled with a wide variety of writing forms. It is through these poems and essays and fables and narratives that we learn of Ratchet's inner workings.
All her life Ratchet has missed her deceased mother. With only one of her mother's possessions, Ratchet feels like she doesn't really know much of anything about her mother. In working to uncover details about her mother, Ratchet discovers more than she anticipated.
My heart broke and soared for Ratchet through the ups and downs of her quest to learn more about her mother, and through her first encounter with real friendship.
I am quite sure that if Ratchet's dad met me in real life he wouldn't like me though. I'm not sure if he could like anyone except someone exactly like himself. His preachy and insulting ways completely turn me off from him as a character, and I'm not sure if I ever warmed up to him. If I did, it was fleeting.
I'm Currently Reading:
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are staying warm and enjoying some good books :)