It’s Monday- New Year’s Eve Edition

My family always considers the first day before a new school year the real New Year’s Eve, so if you are starting tomorrow with children as well, I wish you a Happy New Year. I am squeezing in some time today to share some great books I read this week that come out tomorrow as well. This post, as per usual, is linking up to the other great posts at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortexts.com, great places to fill your To-Be-Read lists.

Books I finished this week:

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Alan Gratz is really on a roll with the success of Refugee, which I haven’t read as my copy is still on route from a Scholastic book order I placed, but this is also a really great book. As you can tell from the cover, it is about censorship and the banning of books in a school library. Thankfully, this is not something that I have experienced first hand, but Gratz has used the experiences of others to write an interesting tale of an introverted girl named Amy Anne who attempts to find her voice, speak up and take action (just like her favourite book characters do) against this problem and even in her own family. In the first thirty pages, I worried that this might be one of those books that your book lovers enjoy, but falls flat with others, but I got more involved with the characters, particularly the family dynamics and the growth that occurred. It would make a good read aloud from grades 4-6. I managed to get a copy through NetGalley, but I will be buying my own copy at some point so that others can root for Amy Anne.

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This is an excellent picture book with a great message and amazing colourful art that is a trademark of any Cale Atkinson book. I was able to view this on NetGalley, however I could not get a couple of the pictures and text to go together quite the way they are intended to on my IPAD, I think it is operator abuse as I am kind of new to Kindle and NetGalley. Inspite of the technical glitch, I loved the story, and I am eager to find the copy that I pre-ordered in my mailbox.

As a teacher or librarian there is a lot that one could do with predicting and picture clues here just by looking at the cover, it really reveals much about what the story is really about. Oliver goes through a lot trying to force himself into a fit with different groups, and learns that there are much more satisfying ways to find a space that feels right for him. This will be a great addition to my library and it officially comes out tomorrow.

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I also really loved the second book in this series. I pre-ordered it because I had a horde of grade four and five boys wanting it after reading the first one, Mighty Jack. This one ended in a cliff hanger, and so when my copy I arrived far earlier than I expected I read it quite quickly and then passed it on to my seven year old. It was great! The story seemed to expand and get even more engaging. My child was able to explain some of the aspects of the world that Ben Hatke has created that I was missing not having read his earlier series Zita and the Space Girl. I have gone back and started to read that. Honestly, I still very much enjoy this book without knowing that stuff, but if you have Zita and the Space Girl and haven’t read it yet, it is a great series and so is this. Highly recommended for all intermediates, this book is also released Tuesday.

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This book has been out since May, and likely you have already heard of it, but my budget was shot in the library by the time this one came out, and my local public did not have it, so I only recently acquired this and got the chance to read it. It is exactly what I was hoping for when looking at the cover. It’s a very good tale of a boy conquering his fears to jump off the high board. Excellent illustrations with the perspectives of looking down from the board, up at the ladder and more. I really enjoyed the father as well. I will be reading this with library groups soon.

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This is also a book that is not new, a YA classic that I had just never quite found the time to read. I made some time recently, as it is on my Must-Read-in-2017 list, thanks to Carrie Gelson for organizing that. I really can’t say too much about this book without possibly spoiling it for others who have not read it, but its brilliant. A very important read for adolescents with much to say about depression, finding your voice, relationships, and sexual assault. I am curious what grade levels teachers and librarians have offered this book to. I don’t really want my grade five students (in my class reading this) but I can really see some grade sevens reading it before high school. If anyone has something to offer to answer that, I would really appreciate it.

Currently Reading:

The Assassin's Curse (The Blackthorn Key, #3) Another book that releases tomorrow that I got a kind store owner to sell me early. I started this last night and gulped down about 200 pages. I love this series and these characters. If you are familiar with this series, you will likely love it too. There is so much history in this one. If not, I highly recommend The Blackthorn Key.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Firelight (Amulet, #7)Zita the Spacegirl

These three I am reading with my whole family (Harry Potter) or with my seven year old. I am enjoying all three of these.

Happy Reading to everyone, and now back to prepping for the first day of school!

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5 thoughts on “It’s Monday- New Year’s Eve Edition

  1. Good to know that about Zita and Space Girl. I guess reading these will have to satisfy us while we wait for the next MIghty Jack sequel. I’ve got Jabari Jumps in a Pile of Books here and will start reading them as soon as I finish responding to blogs. I haven’t even read Mark of the Plague and you are reading this new one! Ban this book is one I’ve added to my never ending list…

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  2. Ah, I did not know about Ban This Book! It is ~relevant to my interests~ so thank you for reviewing. When I took education classes, Speak was usually referred to as a book for Grades 7-9, but I think most especially 8th grade since that’s when everything happens to Melinda.

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    1. Thanks for the comment on Speak. I might shelve it in my classroom and not the library and try to keep a better eye on it. I think some of my more mature grade sevens would get a lot out of it. I teach 5/6 but the grade 7s come to my room for books a lot when I am teaching and the library is closed.
      Ban This Book is really good. It is a little surprising that the character is in grade 4, as I almost thought some of the things that were done were what older kids might do (go to a school board meeting). It is a good length for that age though. I wonder if 6/7s will connect or not. Some of my students don’t like it when the main character is younger. Librarians will love it!

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