Thanks to Carrie Gelson at There’s a Book for That for organizing this great challenge. I started the year with a list of 66 books. After three months, I was hoping to have read between a quarter and a third of the total number of books (17-22). Last year I did a great job (if I do say so myself) in the first three months and then really lost focus so I was hoping to get off to a good start and read about 20 of my books. Turns out I have read exactly 20!
Here are the books that I have read:
Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels
These are the most recent five that I read. I am evaluating books for a Lit Circle unit and Battle of the Books that I do each year. Counting on Hope and Samurai Rising are on the long list for next year. I like the setting and curricular ties for Counting on Hope and the fact that Samurai Rising is non-fiction (although a tad violent for grade 5). I read Scar Island because we are using The Honest Truth this year, and I know kids will love the action of that book. Horizon was a book we discussed at our school when Jennifer Nielsen visited. She is writing book two of the series. Scythe was a book I won on Goodreads, and it was super interesting. A very grim topic, but I think some of my mature grade seven students (I see them in library and was their classroom teacher last year) would enjoy it.
The Seventh Wish was a book I wanted to read for possible use in my Lit Circle/Battle of the Books next year. I think it is a strong contender, but it may get selected for Global Read Aloud, in which case I would not use it. It handled a relevant subject in a great way. I had to read Wrath of the Storm to finish the exciting Mark of the Thief series by Jennifer Nielsen. Auggie & Me was recommended last year by students and I was happy to read the back story of Julian in particular. I don’t read as much YA as I did when I was at a middle school, but Ember in the Ashes was a book I kept seeing online and I really enjoyed the plot and setting. I am not racing for book two only because I can’t see a place for it in my elementary setting and also the love triangle aspect of some YA just seems a little forced. The Inquisitor’s Tale is one of my favourite books right now. I am not sure how it is going to work with for grades 5/6. It will be a challenging read, but rewarding for those with high ability or perseverance.
Early Chapter/Emerging Readers:
This is an area I am trying to focus on a little more. My oldest kind of skipped this stage with the exception of Magic Treehouse, so I am hoping to build a better knowledge of these books.
I really enjoyed all of these books. Most of them are first in a series except The Princess in Black, which is the fourth. I have read the previous three with my youngest, who at six is just starting to read some of these books on her own. She read all of The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation to me (a first for us, and so this is officially one of my favourite books ever). Weekends with Max and His Dad is, I think, a stand alone and a good addition to any library. Roscoe Riley and Dory are really funny characters and I have been able to hand Roscoe to a number of students already. I very much want to read more in these series with my children and students. I have been really enjoying Kate Messner’s writing lately and the Ranger in Time series is no exception. I am handing it to lots of late primary students.
You Don’t Want a Unicorn was one of the funniest picture books I have read for a while. My grade five/six class really enjoyed it (they saw me cataloging it for the library and insisted that I read it to them). If I Had a Gryphon is similar and attracts readers as well. Up and Down in the Garden and Down in the Dirt is the third Kate Messner book on this list, and I really love this whole series and they way the books explore nature with readers. Born in the Wild is a second NF picture book (another area that I do not feel I have read enough) and it is really good, but I enjoyed Lita Judge’s How Big Are Dinosaurs? a little more.
This is a series I really should have checked out sooner. I have never had to sell this to students because they always recommend it to each other, so I hadn’t picked up until recently. My oldest was amazed that I had not read it yet, and that was another reason. I really enjoyed it, and read the second as well. I not dying to read the rest of the series like many of our students, but I am interested enough to pick one up when I want a quick read.
Progress to Date 20/66
Likely to read soon:
The Whispering Skull (Lockwood and Co. #2)
Me and Marvin Gardens
These are either student recommended or potential Lit Circle books for next year.
Here is a link to my full list if you have any recommendations for what I should not miss out on. Thanks for reading!