One of the better ways to spend a holiday Monday is connecting with other readers after taking a break from a little too long. Head over to unleashingreaders.com (thanks to Kellee and Ricki) or teachmentortexts.com (thanks to Jen V) to see more kidlit reading lists for the week.
Books I finished this week:
After re-reading House Arrest, I was thrilled to get this one through Net Galley. It is phenomenally good. The companion novel to House Arrest shows the world through Levi’s eyes several years after the events of the first book. Levi is about the same age as Timothy was in House Arrest. This was the perfect way to see how the Davidson’s life could continue. I loved some of the shapes the verse was written in and how the rhythms reminded me of the sounds of boxing. Levi is such a great character, and his relationship with those that care about him is so well defined and engaging to experience. I almost wrote read, but changed the last word of that sentence to experience because there is so much that you feel in this book the word read doesn’t cut it. I feel kind of bad telling you to run out and grab a book that’s not out until March, but at least you have time to plan your purchase.
Ame Dyckman’s books have become must-reads in my school and house. We pre-ordered this new title and it was full of giggles when read in the house and with a grade 2 class at the end of the week. Make sure you take the book jacket off and have a look too. Best question from the grade 2s pre-reading: “Why are those little guys reading the book upside down?” We answered that by the end of the book as well as learned about lemmings and a new favourite word, Ditto.
Global Read Aloud ended last week and this was the book that I read with my grade 5/6 class, partnering with classes in California, Argentina, and New Zealand. The book is amazing, even as a re-read for me. We used Flipgrid to make and share videos on some of the big questions that we had. Students became much more aware of their privileged lifestyle, and we also discussed things like the book’s mood, it’s dual narrative and cliffhangers. We also enjoyed the Livestream that Linda Sue Park and Salva did partly for the Global Read Aloud audience. Here is the link, skip the first 20 minutes though.
This is a book that I had been meaning to read for a while and it just kept getting pushed down the pile. I added it to my Must-Read-in-2017 list to help and still it lingered. Finally, a student getting really excited about the series got me to read it. I always loved the blurb at the top, I thought if that didn’t motivate kids in 2011 when it came out, what would? In the end, it reminded me a little more of Divergent than Hunger Games, but really its a tween dystopia set in a magical world. Just the type of book my own daughter seems drawn to right now, and sure enough she picked it up at her library shortly after I started reading it. It is an interesting world that Lisa McMann created and there are many lingering questions about that world after the first book ends that lead into a long series that one of my students is close to finishing (she is on book 6). Call me late to the party, but I was intrigued enough to possibly read sequels when I find the time.
Books I finished over the last month that I should have shouted about
The first in a promising YA supernatural trilogy, this book is a mystery, but its also about a community constantly dealing with tragedy, and how it and the individuals cope with this. It takes place in a remote Indigenous community in Canada’s north, and features some interesting characters such as a trickster figure, and a few of the teens who are well developed. There are some tragic events here for sure, but the interesting parts are how the characters deal with it and some of the Cree culture that makes this a unique story for this age group. Although, there is some explicit language (not much) used that is authentic but not typical of a middle grade fiction that I would shelve in my classroom I am so eager to find MG novels written by and about Indigenous peoples in Canada, I almost want to just buy this and throw it on my shelves anyways (for grades 5 and up). There really are not any other concerns I would have with my kids reading this, but again, its a series so who knows where it will go from here. David Alexander Robertson infuses some humour into the story with his teens’ wit, and most of all with the Coyote character.
I love reading this series with my seven year old.
This would have been great to have during the week of Orange Shirt Day but remains an important book to share with kids regarding the residential school impact. The back flap has some info about the author and why this story came to be.
This was a great addition to Jason Reynold’s Track series. The events happen after Ghost, but really it is Patty’s story, not Ghost’s at all. He is a secondary character. This series is going to examine the lives of its characters in depth and deliver great messages in an entertaining way.
This is our family read aloud. I usually have a few other books to list here, but I am between books right now and writing report cards too. I am going to reach to my Must-read-in-2017 list and choose something that my children or students have asked me to read like Cinder, The Whispering Skull, Into the Wild (Warriors) or Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great reading week!