#IMWAYR August 2

IMWAYR

August is already here. Hard to believe, but it did bring a little rain to much of my province and that was a much needed thing. We have had wildfire smoke over a at least half of our province for the better part of a month, but it got really thick in my hometown for the first time. We had been fortunate that it had been moving in and out but not in the last couple of days. The rain helped a tiny bit on the smoke front, it now smells like an extinguished campfire outside, but I hope it really helps the fire crews do their important jobs.

I certainly spent less time outside with the situation being how it is, and I am trying to start a slow ramp up to my school year, which starts in less than a month for our professional development days and just over a month for our days with students. I am going to start some professional development reading with a focus on mathematics, but while this was on mind last week too, it did not happen. Here is what I was able to read this week.

Books I Finished

Romeo and Juliet

I finished my little run of Gareth Hinds graphic novels that cover some works of classic literature. My oldest got me into his work and I found a couple at a used book store a couple of weeks ago. Last week, I touched on Beowulf. Neither of these are new, this one was published in 2013 but they certainly make the work more accessible. This title features some great research on what Verona would have looked like at the time, a multi-racial cast and a while the text is necessarily shorter, it remains faithful to the original in most ways.

What Comes Next

This book arrived in June, and I got an e-ARC at a virtual event right around the time that it was published. I don’t usually seek out a book that has a dog on the cover for some reason so that might be why I did not read it right away, or it was the end of the school year and I had a huge stack of these books to read. I have only read the author’s first in the Mr. Terupt series, which I should really go back to. I liked parts of this one, but not as much. Thea is a girl grieving after a traumatic event that she witnesses. This causes her to withdraw and even to stop speaking for a while. She remains a reluctant speaker for a while.

To me, this book read as being for kids a little younger than the 12 year old character and I don’t think it would click with many of my students that age. Two characters dealing with tough times or behaviour issues have their problems solved quite easily. A change in scenery and a new arrival helps Thea find joy and become more open to sharing her feelings with others. The hint of magical realism and coincidences would also play better with my younger intermediate aged students, grades three, four and some fives, I think. The story check in at under 200 pages so the length will work as well. It’s a book that will pull on their heartstrings.

Rebound

This is the sequel to the Newbery winning The Crossover, and is also a tale of characters dealing with grief, in this case a boy looking to bounce back, or rebound from the death of his father. The boy is Charlie Bell, who is the father of the twins Josh and Jordan from The Crossover. Rebound has the same rhythmic verse that this author is known for and is a great window to how the character Chuck Bell evolved into the man that he became in The Crossover. Here, young Charlie is really struggling in the months after the death of his father. Living with his grandparents for a while in the summer, and interacting with a cousin at the Boys and Girls Club are some of the things that help him find joy in the world again. The story has lots of humour, and I enjoyed how the reader gets to see that there are several key moments in his life that dramatically impact the path Charlie/Chuck takes in his life. The ending is great, and although I think you should read The Crossover before picking up Rebound, I think I liked this one even more than the first. It took me a long time to get to this one, I think my library had almost no budget when it came out and the other local libraries did not pick it up either, but it was worth it.

Dark Waters (Small Spaces, #3)

This is the fast paced third installment of the Small Spaces series. I enjoyed the action and the return of a secondary character from the first book. For me the ending was a little abrupt, which is hard to talk about in a review, but I almost wondered if my e-ARC copy glitched a little and I missed a few chapters at the end. It had a preview of the first book that appeared twice and showed fifty pages left at the end, so who knows.

The ending that I had was a bit of a cliffhanger that could have been the end of a chapter in the lead up to a climatic confrontation with a villain that I expected to see more of in book three, or it could have been the build up to book four. I will have to check with the published version that arrives August 10, but I have also seen other reviewers say that the ending was abrupt. Overall the series is a very good creepy, middle grade addition to my library as I always have readers looking for this type of book.

The Bug Club

The Bug Club is a non-fiction graphic novel full of the author’s observations and interests regarding bugs in Elise Gravel’s unique style. It comes out August 10th as well. It reads almost like chatting with someone really interested in bugs. Some might think the illustrations target younger readers, but the facts are more for in about grades four or five. The text features a mix of common and lesser known bugs. The author does mention that she just prefers to not draw overly realistic insects, and that it is just a style choice.

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

This picture book came out a couple of years ago, and I think several regular bloggers in this link-up have read and reviewed it, but if you missed it, as I did it is worth a look. It’s about how changes and transitions in life can be really hard, but this story is a really positive look at them. My wife does a lot of photography and posts it in many locations online. One of the things that she does that I really enjoy is she uses song lyrics to caption her photos. This book reminds me of a song lyric too, from the 1998 song Closing Time by the band Semisonic, the line is “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” That is what young readers will see in this book. As one door in life seems to close, another one might open that can also be wonderful. The illustrations are great as well.

Camp Tiger

My last book for the week is another one that has illustrations that pulled me in. I am most familiar with the work of John Rocco through his illustrated versions of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, but his picture books are also striking. Here, the illustrations work very well with the story that is a subtle metaphor for growing up and being given more responsibilities. The boy in the story is moving from Kindergarten to grade one and is a little sad about it. He also has his mother adding responsibilities on him at home as he gets older. The story here centers around a camping trip. I think older picture book readers will appreciate the metaphor more, and make good connections as far as the camping goes. I could see using this with grade 5/6 class.

Currently Reading

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1)Nightbooks

I am making what for me is a rare foray into what some would call an adult book. Ancillary Justice is a book I have had on my shelf for a while and I am happy to finally be starting a new science fiction series. Nightbooks is our family read aloud and we have enjoyed the first third of it.

Thanks for coming here to read about my last week. I am hoping to read more of the reading weeks of other bloggers at the link-up hosted at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. Thanks to the ladies that host us at their sites and have a great reading week.

#IMWAYR July 26

This post is my kind of late submission to the link-up hosted at Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts, thanks to the ladies that host. I haven’t had the most prolific reading week and doom scrolling for wildfire news is pretty much the number one reason. Not the best way to maintain some semblance of mental health and I thought writing this post would get me off the social media and government information websites and also push me to read a lot more in the next week. My region of the province of BC has been fairly hard hit with a number of large fires. I am not on notice to evacuate (Here you get an Evacuation Alert- be ready to go within an hour of the Evacuation Order, which could come at any time and means leave promptly) but a couple of my co-workers are and some of my students. We are fortunate to be sure, but still concerned for others and watching the skies and the Internet far too much. Here are the books I was able to finish this week:

Finished Reading

Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, #1)

I was able to obtain an e-ARC of this book from the publisher at a School Library Journal conference, I think it was Day of Dialog. I am a huge fan Kevin Sands’ The Blackthorn Key Adventures and had been anticipating the start of this new series for about a year. When my youngest child (11) saw it on my device she asked if she could choose it for our Family Read Aloud, and that is the only reason I have not read and reviewed it sooner.

Whereas The Blackthorn Key Adventures are historical fiction with some mystery thrown in, this is a new genre for Sands-fantasy. The setting feels Victorian influenced to me, with a hint of steampunk but there is a moderate amount of world building, creating an original setting for this cast of characters.

The characters include several youth are brought together to pull off a heist by the mysterious Mr. Solomon. The incredibly challenging job they are meant to pull off will require the divergent talents that each individual possess, them to work as a team, and to go against a powerful group of magic users that should not be crossed. To me, it ended up feeling like Oceans 11 meets Peter Nimble.

The story is told through Callan, who has been warned to stay away from magic but needs to pull off this biggest con of his life in order to have the life he never dreamed he could have. He becomes the boy with the plan and feels a lot like Kevin Sands earlier protagonist, Christopher Rowe in that he has had an apprentice in the past that he draws wisdom from but is really on his own now. I mean that a positive because I really enjoyed that character as well.

This is clearly the first in a promising new fantasy series for middle grade readers, complete with its own mythology, magic and world building. It’s current publication date is September 28.

Beowulf

I am not as familiar with the text versions of this story as I probably should be, but I enjoyed this graphic version. The author, Gareth Hinds, chooses to work with a lot of classic material. My daughters have enjoyed his versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey so when I saw this one, I decided to give it a try. Hinds chooses to write it a little like a superhero comic book, choreographing some action scenes to tell the major points from the original story (as best as I can tell). In this chapters of his life, the values and spirit of the title character emerge in his actions, and this might be a good entry point for younger readers. The notes in the front and back of the text shed more light on the process and some of the historical background. I didn’t love the colour palette, as I found it a little dark, but overall the book worked really well for someone like me that hasn’t read the source material in its entirety.

Anne's School Days: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables

This is the third of an early chapter book homage to the original Anne of Green Gables. I have a few superfans of the novels at my school and I buy this series because they sell it to early readers. I think the team adapting the original novels do a great job of highlighting a few of the major events that help shape the character Anne Shirley, including some of the rich and varied language of the original that give it a bit of the same feel as reading the Mercy Watson series.

 

 

The Battle of Hackham Heath (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years #2)

This is a spin off of the original Ranger’s Apprentice series that I started reading about 10 years ago. It has become one of the favourite middle grade adventure series in my household. These are set in an alternate medieval world in which Rangers function as kind of a spy service for the king in a sense. There are few Rangers, they are an elite group, but they would handle problems that armies or knights are not discrete or covert enough to handle. This is one of the two prequels, and really are only for fans of the original series. I think the three that take place after slightly better in that it has more female characters in lead roles. I still enjoyed this book, which continues to tell the background story of The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the main series.

Currently Reading

Romeo and JulietDark WatersNightbooks

Not much, really. I started the Gareth Hinds adaptation of Romeo & Juliet that I bought at the same used bookstore as Beowulf. I had trouble getting into it, but I am finally starting to. Later today, or tomorrow I am likely to start the third Small Spaces book, Dark Waters, which comes out next week. Tonight we will start our next Family Read Aloud and I think my wife is choosing Nightbooks by J.A. White, a book that none of us have read.

Thanks for taking the time to read through what I have been up to, looking forward to reading about the week that other bloggers have had. Have a great week!

#IMWAYR July 19

IMWAYR

This is another Monday post that I am happy to be linking up to other posts at Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts, thanks to the ladies hosting our link-up at those sites. 

This month, I am picking away at books that have languished on my list for a while (just due to having too many on my list to read, not because they are not great) and books that I want to read before I put them in my K-7 library in the fall. The former are usually books that are in my classroom (I teach grade 5/6 when the library has to be closed- my split is about 65% classroom/35% library).

Books I Finished This Week

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

This is the second of the Lunar Chronicles series, and I have it in my classroom. My oldest (14 yo) read the whole series and has been pushing me to go back to it. I typically read the first of lots of series, enough to let a student know about it and possibly recommend it, and sometimes I just don’t get back to reading the rest of the series as things get busy. I was a little late to the party with this series in the first place, but I got back into this about three years after reading the first. It was still a really good series. These are kind of MG/YA that use fairy tales as a springboard to telling a very original story with extensive world building. In the first, Cinder is an ace mechanic, and a cyborg (which are second rate citizens in this world) who has to deal with an awful stepmother and stepsister. She does meet a prince too. So, elements of the fairy tale are there, but there is also a plague running world wide and a group called The Lunars who are looming from space waiting for the right time to invade and take over. 

In this second story, there is Scarlet, who is not that little but does wear a red hoodie. Scarlet’s grandmother is in trouble, and there is a character named Wolf, who may or may not be trustworthy. This books extends Cinder’s story and adds Scarlet to it, while weaving their tales into the world building that has been done. Very ambitious and entertaining. This book upped the violence level compared to the first one, so these are twisted fairy tales that you do not give to really young students. Upper intermediate in my case, mature grade 5-7 students will be more than okay reading this though. Highly entertaining series.

Geeger the Robot Goes to School: Geeger the RobotLost and Found: Geeger the Robot

This is an early chapter book series with a few pictures and text that is nicely spread out. It is Geeger the Robot’s first day at school in book one. Geeger eats what others do not want anymore (spoiled food, ideally) and is able to turn it into electricity. When he wants to make a friend, he decides to go to school. He has some of the typical first day nerves. His biggest problem is that he does not always know what he should eat and what he should not, and with his lack of knowledge of the wider world things like skipping ropes look like food. His friends and teacher help him out.

I didn’t love how the robot had little background knowledge yet was still worried it would make the teacher mad (not what I really want kids thinking about), but overall the first two books had some good character development and lessons about learning from mistakes, believing in yourself and others and the value of trust and friendship. There is a fair amount of repetition in the second book to remind young readers about Geeger, almost enough that kids could read these out of order. There is some humour to go with the story as well, but I wouldn’t say that going for laughs is the primary goal with this story. This is a good option for early readers with the glossary, and pronunciation provided for some words that Geeger was learning (and maybe the reader too)

53474126. sx318 54017921. sx318

Ame Dyckman books are very popular in my school library. This started with Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear. They are a great mixture of humour, heart and message. They are popular with teachers and students. Her collaborations with former Simpsons artist Liz Climo (You Don’t Want a Unicorn and You Don’t Want a Dragon) tend to be more popular for their laughs.

These two are more like the former in that they are cute and funny but not likely to get the loud laughs that the You Don’t Want… series gets. Tiny Barbarians was my favourite of the two, a very cute story about a young one using their imagination to play. You can see the cover with Tiny using a colander as a helmet, a bath mat that went around the toilet as a cape in order to face down dragons and other enemies along with a trusty cat. You can’t see them wielding his paper towel roll as a fierce weapon. This was an entertaining story and I loved the illustrations from Ashley Spires (a BC author/illustrator whose Most Magnificent Thing is also very popular with teachers and students in my library).

The New Kid Has Fleas is a story about a new kid struggling to fit in, and not being thought of or spoken of in the most flattering light. There are kid talking about her behind her back because she looks and acts differently. When one of the classmates has to work with the New Kid on a project she learns that while the kid is different (there are details that show her being raised by wolves- living in a cave, having a squirrel as a snack), she is actually nice and good to work with. The student that was forced to work with her (random groupings) chooses to work with her later and pull her into a social circle. There is a little karma for the student that started the rumour too. It didn’t all work for me: I thought the raised by wolves thing is kind of joke and kind of serious. Not sure how it will work for kids, but the message was a good one.

Current and Future Reading

Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, #1)The Battle of Hackham Heath (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years #2)Dark WatersBeowulf (Graphic novel)Macbeth

Still enjoying Kevin Sands new series, it arrives in stores in October as a family read aloud. We all love his Blackthorn Key adventures and are looking forward to finishing this new book this week. I am reading another second in a series. Like Scarlet, this is a series I started and enjoyed and then moved on to read other series. The Battle of Hackham Heath is a second in a spin-off series based on the author’s Ranger’s Apprentice (RA) series. RA is an alternate medieval world with very well defined characters, and another favourite in my house. After this I might read my e-ARC of the third book of the Small Spaces series or one of the two graphic novels by Gareth Hinds I found at a used bookstore last week (really my first time in a store like that for a while). 

Thanks for reading my post, looking forward to catching up with other readers that link-up as well. Have a great reading week!

Monday, July 12th Reading Update for #IMWAYR

IMWAYR

Happy Monday to everyone! I am happy to be writing this post and linking it up with the others at Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts (thanks to our hosts). We are still in the midst of a tough forest fire season in BC. I am grateful to not have any too close to my home, we haven’t had an evacuation alerts (prepare to leave your home on short notice) or orders (go, right now!) yet and some within a couple of hours have lost their homes. It had put a bit of a damper on the summer, which after having such an odd school year with covid, we were really looking forward to. We have restricted our travel plans a bit, we had planned to travel locally and we can do so somewhat but it is harder with wildfires in all directions. One of the things that we can do as planned is get lots of reading time in. Here are some books I enjoyed this week:

Finished

I Hear You, Forest

This was a nice nature themed book that focus on sensory experience. Teachers might enjoy reading this with their classes before heading outside or to make connections with if students go camping or walking in nature. I am interested to see where this heads, as I read it was the first in a series exploring different environments and ecosystems. I am not sure if the other books are by the same author/illustrator team, or if the publisher plans future books to be by other contributors. I read an e-ARC of this title provided by Edelweiss, it comes out on September 7.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

This was also a title I read through Edelweiss, and it is out in November. It’s based on the famous poem by Robert Frost that was first published in 1923. This picture book version first came out in 1969. I picked this because my wife has long been a fan of his poems. I enjoyed this, and I think there are some opportunities for inference with students here, and the pictures will help steer them as they interpret the poem a little bit for them.

56917488. sx318

A funny picture book that starts with a chicken crossing a road, but don’t worry this is not a story you have already heard. This story is not about why the chicken crosses the road, but is the story of what happens after the chicken is killed trying to cross it. Yes, a ghost chicken.
I loved the chicken’s interactions with the other ghost animals as he tries to navigate “the other side”. This is a debut picture book author working with an illustrator that I am very familiar with from The Bad Seed books and Hike, more recently. It has many word play jokes that some of my young readers love and others do not get, but overall I had a few laughs and enjoyed it.

Arrow

This novel tells the interesting story of Arrow, a boy who grew up in the rainforest, raised by animals and mostly by the Guardian Tree, an elder of the forest, of sorts. This ancient tree is the narrator. When other humans arrive in the forest for the first time, Arrow wants to trust them, but the Guardian has been stung by humans before, and wants to hustle them away from the forest it has worked hard to preserve and hide from humankind.
Arrow’s interactions with humans are particularly interesting given that he knows very little about them, about their tech, their motives and their language. As the Guardian does not know that much either, sometimes there are descriptions of human activities or objects that are quite different, through their eyes.
This is contrasted by his interactions with the Guardian who is able to communicate with Arrow and other animals, and also see what other animals are seeing. As more humans find this forest, there is more conflict. The theme of conservation and the need for all creatures to work together to protect the land is well done and there is an author’s note and more resources at the end.

46223373

This is the sequel to the graphic novel All Summer Long, which was really about Bina trying to find herself, and this is a good continuation of that story. She has issues with her best friend, with find a band to play music with (her passion), and relationship issues. Her confusion about how she feels and how to handle things when her friend gets a boyfriend are really well done. This is a very good upper elementary/middle school GN series.

Recipe for Disaster (Didi Dodo, Future Spy #1)

This early chapter book is in the author’s previous Inspector Flytrap universe. It is a silly romp with a lot of characters doing wacky things. I think it’s funny, and if you have readers looking for solely that in a transitional chapter book this one will fit the bill. If you have Inspector Flytrap readers in your library as I do, this will also fit the bill. I didn’t love the colour scheme of the illustrations with them being kind of black and white with a green gradient. I would have preferred more of a full colour mode, I am thinking of Dav Pilkey’s Mighty Robot series (illustrated by Dan Santat). I think some of the same readers would engage in these series.

Currently Reading

Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, #1)Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

My family have been reading an e-ARC of Children of the Fox, and we have enjoyed it. We are huge fans of Kevin Sands’ Blackthorn Adventures, which is a historical fiction/mystery, and it has been interesting to see his writing in the fantasy genre. There is significant world building here, and the plot is kind of a heist set in a Victorian-esque kind of fantasy world. My oldest (14) is really excited to see me pick the Lunar Chronicle series back. I just started reading Scarlet, which is a YA-fractured fairy tale. I really enjoyed the first book, Cinder but it was a few years ago.

Thanks for stopping to see what I have been reading, looking forward to reading what others have posted. Have a great reading week!

It’s Monday, July 5: A Reading Update

IMWAYR

My first full week off of school, and I decided to celebrate by writing a blog post, something I did not make time for during the 2020-2021 school year. A lot of this summer will hopefully be making time for things that I wanted to do but couldn’t during the school year, but… we have an early start to the forest fire season here in British Columbia, and that will likely play a role in what I am able to do this summer. Thankfully, we got some relief from the mid 40 degree temperatures (over 110 in Fahrenheit, if you would rather). As tough as that was, we do feel fortunate as a town about an hour and a half from where I live, Lytton B.C., was pretty much completely destroyed in a fire. There are fires throughout the southern half of our province and smoke is present where I live but there is just enough wind that it isn’t too bad.

I feel fortunate to not be directly impacted by a wildfire, and also because later today I get my second vaccination. My wife and I have been pretty patient and are ready to head in this morning. That means we will have to sit and wait at the clinic and afterwards for the fifteen minutes. I don’t have to tell people that read Monday Reading Update blogs what the main benefit of that waiting time is… reading, of course. With that, I will share the four books I was able to finish last week in between cleaning up my classroom and the school library for the summer.

Books I Finished

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Originally called The Girl Savage, this was a book that was a recommendation from a student. I introduced her Katherine Rundell early in her grade 5 year. I have really enjoyed a few of her books including The Wolf Wilder and The Explorer. I had this student read The Explorer and The Good Thieves and she wanted more by this author so she read Rooftoppers, which I had in the library and this book which I had yet to read but had purchased for our classroom. It is not my favourite of Katherine Rundell’s, who I really love for some of the unique phrases she has that stick with me. The bar is high for me, so I can say it is not my favourite but still like it. It is an interesting story of a untamed girl living in Africa, who lives on a farm (but she does not have a farm in Africa). Through some tragic circumstances, she ends up being sent against her will to a boarding school in London. It starts about as badly as possible, as the girl, Will, has never really had to follow rules, and she becomes an immediate target of mean girls. She handles things in her usual unique way.

Roar of the Beast

I enjoyed the first Cardboard Kingdom book and this pulled me through the second. I am not sure this one had quite the same magic as the first one. I wanted some of the characters to be a little more developed as I read this one, but that had me wondering if that wasn’t also true of the first book. However, I was pulled in by the novelty and creativity that I remembered from the first book. The kids in this book, and there are a lot of characters have super imaginations and create costumes and whole words really, out of cardboard and other objects. I really recommend the first one, if you haven’t enjoyed it yet.

Grumpy Monkey Freshly Squeezed

My first time reading a Grumpy Monkey book. It was an entertaining, easy to read GN with themes of belonging, and being kind and helpful mixed with humour. I will likely read more of these.

Jim (the grumpy monkey) has some strategies for managing his stress including a stress ball and a walk. When other animals join him on his walk, the strategy does not work as well, his stress ball gets ruined and the walk changes. Jim handles the changes by thinking of others and being kind. In some ways, this becomes a different stress management strategy, but also provides comic relief for the reader.

Born Behind Bars

I really enjoyed this author’s The Bridge Home during Global Read Aloud and was eager to read this new novel that comes out in September. I was given an e-ARC at an online conference by the publisher. This is the story of a young boy born to a mother who was imprisoned just before he was born. Set in Channai, as The Bridge Home was, it gently pulls you along through Kabir’s tale. His life is sad but he is with his mother, who he cherishes and there are a few other nice women in their part of the prison as well. One day, Kabir is shocked to find that he has aged out, and will be sent out, alone. He has never been without his mother and never lived outside of the jail. There are great scenes of Kabir seeing many things for the first time, and he also has to deal with the world that he knew was cruel enough to throw his Mom in jail without any read evidence. This was perfect for fans of The Bridge Home (a character makes an appearance here), A Wish in the Dark (the premise is kind of similar) and Amal Unbound. I am really hoping to pick this one up on its release date of September 7.

Dead Voices (Small Spaces, #2)

One of the things I hope I get to do in the next two months is read a lot of sequels that I did not make time for while re-reading my Book Club picks for my students and trying to read widely for the library. The first of these sequels was Dead Voices, which takes place a few months after the events in Small Spaces, that short creepy book your grade four and five students are always asking about (if they are anything like my students). In the first book, Ollie, Coco, and Brian had to work together to face the scarecrows and the Smiling Man. This time, they hope to have a nice relaxing ski weekend in Vermont. They hope to be just like the normal kids they’ve tried to be all fall in school. But, there are things in store for them. This was a very satisfying sequel for me, and I have the third book lined up through NetGalley.

Currently Reading

Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, #1)Arrow

Children of the Fox is my current family read aloud. My 11 year old daughter was looking for a book to choose, and I let her scan the e-ARCs I had. I know she loves Kevin Sands from his Blackthorn Key mysteries and would be curious about his new series that comes in the fall. We are a little over half done and quite enjoying it. It is a fantasy, heist book, kind of like Oceans 11 with kids as theives and a whole lot more world building and magic. I just started Arrow this morning. It is recently released but I am reading an e-ARC through Edelweiss.

That’s my update, thanks for stopping here and I hope to read more from others about what they have been up to.

It’s the last Monday in May, what are you reading?

Hard to believe it is the last Monday of May, and for me tomorrow is the first day of the last month of the longest school year ever. At my school, we continue to walk the fine line between covid protocols and providing kids with a great last month of the year. We are trying to run things like track meets, and year end trips as we have in “normal years”. This includes a District wide reading event that I help run, which will be virtual, but still include students from most, if not all of our elementary schools.

A busy time of year for most educators, and it does cut into my reading time to be certain. But I have finished a few good reads this week that I would like to share with others at the link-up hosted by Unleashing Readers (thanks to Kellee and Ricki) as well as Teach Mentor Texts (thanks to Jen).

Books I Enjoyed This Week

Summer Camp Critter Jitters

I was lucky to get this e-ARC from Edelweiss. I really enjoyed the earlier collaboration from these writers, First Day Critter Jitters, with these animals all struggling with different aspects of their first day of school. This one obviously follows the group to a summer camp. It hit all the right notes for me. Lots of connections here for students as the animals share some of their anxieties about the camp and work together to make it a good experience. Even though this is only the second book with these critters, I can still predict what will happen based on the characters. That is nice with young readers developing their predicting skills as well. I find the sloth to be a great character for that.

The Wolf Mother

I received this e-ARC during School Library Journal’s Day of Dialogue virtual conference. I have been a fan of these non-fiction books that focus on an animal important to the ecosystem of the Gitxsan First Nations in my home province of BC. This might be my new favourite in the Mothers of Xsan series. It shares important stages in the life of a wolf, its importance to the ecosystem and the way it cares for its pack. I enjoyed reading about how this is similar to the way the Gitxsan look after the people in their villages as well. The illustrations are also spectacular.
If you are new to this series, you can really jump in with any of the other books which feature sockeye salmon, a grizzly bear, an eagle and a frog. This book will arrive during the next school year, and will be on my pre-order list for September (it is currently scheduled for a Sept 28 release).

Pleased to Meet Me (Me vs. the Multiverse, #1)

A witty story about a boy who doesn’t believe he has any real strengths. When he discovers parallel universes full of different versions of himself, he needs to use the strengths of some of his new found friends, and the strength in himself to foil an evil plot. The little differences in each of the world were creative and the way that these differences created crazy little versions of our world were super fun and full of laughs. The underdog characters are also worth rooting for. A promising start to a series. I was given a copy by the author and publisher in exchange for a review and I am looking forward to reviewing the second book in the series before it comes out in the fall.

Ghost Boys

I finished re-reading this book yesterday for our school’s book club and the District’s Battle of the Books. In our version of Battle, students form teams and are challenged to answer questions about all of the books against teams of students from other schools. I chose this book because I wanted our book club to be able to engage in many different conversations about racism and we have discussed Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, we have researched Emmett Till and Tamir Rice. Also, we have made connections to systemic racism in Canada, especially targeting Indigenous Peoples (including a horrific discovery last week at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, about 100 km from my school, of what ground penetrating radar has revealed to be a mass grave with over 200 Indigenous children who were forced to attend the school).

In this story, Jerome is a 12 year old boy who is shot and killed by a police officer. He “sticks around” as one of the Ghost Boys (other black boys who were also murdered) and ends up engaging a young white girl in several conversations in order to bear witness and help her learn how to keep his story alive and tell it until skin colour doesn’t matter. Are we making progress? Not enough. This story is great for students who would not really be ready for something like All-American Boys or The Hate You Give.

Currently Reading

BloomEcho MountainChildren of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, #1)Rez Dogs  

The first two books here are re-reads for our Battle of the Books, my book clubs in class (which we call Literature Circles) should be finishing late this week. Children of the Fox is an e-ARC that we are reading as a family, and Rez Dogs is my next e-ARC.

Thanks for stopping by to view my reads for this week, hopefully I can carve out the time to view lots of other people’s reading weeks.

It’s Monday, May 24, what are you reading?

I have a long weekend, and I want to carve out time to share some recent reads and see what others who post to the hosts of this link up (thanks to Jen from Teach Mentor Text and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers) have been reading. Here are some books I have recently enjoyed, mostly over the last week.

Books I Finished

55277615. sx318

This series is consistently very funny and a hit in my library. We don’t actually own this one yet (my wife offered to lend it to me) as we have some budget issues, but I plan to have it for our September 2021 start-up. What makes this one so good is that my young readers know the Bruce character so well. When Bruce leaves without warning for a trip and his cousin arrives and appears to be him, Bruce’s friends and family are surprised at the “new” Bruce but readers of this series find the differences and the reactions hilarious.

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles

I have been reading a lot of novels-in-verse by Shari Green this year after including her story Missing Mike in our District Battle of the Books set, which my class uses for Literature Circles (Book Clubs). In this story, Bailey is staying with her mother’s mother, a Grandma she doesn’t even really know while who lives in a small island community, while her parents go on a retreat to try to fix their marriage. Bailey is a girl that wants to believe that everything will be fine, even if a miracle needs to happen. During her time on the island she makes a close friend, finds out why her mother hasn’t been speaking to her grandmother and never loses hope that things will be fine with her family when her parents return. The books is filled with people who make mistakes, offer forgiveness, and learning to the make the best of their situation. I have been enjoying all Shari Green’s novels-in-verse lately.

Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn

This is another collaboration from the team that brought us The Princess in Black, which is very popular in my library. This is a really cute story that I think kids will also enjoy. The pictures will yank in a lot of my young readers. The plot is about the kitty who really wants to be a unicorn, but has friends that tell her she is not. This makes her sad until she meets someone who sees her the way she wants to be seen, and then the cuteness continues.

Thrive (The Overthrow Book 3)The Traitor's Blade (The Blackthorn Key, #5)

The week before last I extended my reading in these series. I finished Oppel’s The Overthrow series with Thrive and really enjoyed this entire series. I had a lot of requests from students and teachers to read this last book. I also read the fifth of Kevin Sands, Blackthorn Key series, which extended the plot that really started with a villain that pops up in an earlier book. The best part of this 17th century mystery series is the relationships between the characters which allows me fall right back into this world. The puzzles, and action don’t hurt either.

Displacement

I won this book from a giveaway at Completely Full Bookshelf (thanks, again). It was a really interesting graphic novel about a girl who goes through displacements that send her to other times to have share an experience that a loved one had. It ends up being an interesting way to have this character learn about her family’s past as Japanese-Americans who were themselves displaced by their government and moved to internment camps. It was a beautifully drawn and well told story.

25332004. sy475

We also finished our family read aloud, The Riverman trilogy by Aaron Starmer. This is what many would call a “strange” series that is kind of hard to describe. Ultimately, it is about imagination, storytelling, things not always being okay and infinite possibilities. My oldest compared it to Christopher Nolan’s movie Inception (high praise for her).

Currently Reading

Pleased to Meet Me (Me vs. the Multiverse, #1)

I just started the first in this series by S.G. Wilson. It’s a story about a kid named Meade, who find notes inviting him to a Me-Con, a conference with other versions of him that live in parallel worlds. The fun is in the little differences from one world to the next, worlds that have more global differences such as the British winning the Revolutionary War or smaller changes such as Meade getting to see a concert when he was younger and ending up being interested in music. I also continue to re-read all of the books in my class Lit Circles unit. This week I am focussed (well, actually not really focussed but trying to be) on Ghost Boys, Bloom, and Echo Mountain.

Upcoming Reads

One of the only things I do love about the pandemic is how many events have gone virtual. My own Battle of the Books will be virtual in a few weeks as the students in my school cannot gather with the students from other schools as we did in 2019 as in years prior. I don’t like this, but as a rural teacher, I do enjoy attending book related events that I would not be able to otherwise. I did so last week and got some ARCs from the School Library Journal Day of Dialog. This event might have been virtual before and I might not have noticed, but I am much more aware of looking for these events now that there are more of them. I picked up the first in Kevin Sands’ new series at this event and my youngest wants it to be our next family read aloud (we rotate picks). I also intend to start Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, which is on my must read list of 2021. This year I featured almost all books that slipped through the cracks for me. Ones I meant to read but never got to from three to five years ago. I have a student in grade 5 that is in my class and has been reading all of Katherine Rundell’s novels this year and she beat me to this one. She needed to talk about it the other day, so I have to read it in order to have a better conversation.

Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, #1) Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

That kind of sums up my reading life lately. I have a few things that take up more of my time than I would have expected when our pandemic life started. I would have guessed that I would have more time with the number of things we can’t do right now, but the opposite is the case. However, it does seem more hopeful that our province is coming out of the worst of it. How quickly will life truly feel back to normal?  I see flashes of it now, and that gives me hope. I hope you have a great reading week, I look forward to reading all of your posts.

It’s Monday, and Back to School Day 3/29/21

IMWAYR

A whole lot of mixed emotions today. I am happy to see students today, and start working with them in their book clubs that we are forming in grade 5/6 later this week. But, I am also sad to see the end of Spring Break. School is a lot tougher for everyone in my family this year and I think this is the only year that we would have voted for a longer break if possible. This is life for everyone right now though. If I wanted to really complain, I would mention that it snowed yesterday, but really it will be gone is a day or maybe less (I think).

Time to get to the reading I was able to finish in the past week! Thanks to everyone who posts at our linkup, I do enjoy reading about the titles that you enjoyed, and especially to our hosts at Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts. Update: I started this Sunday night, got to this point, and then didn’t return to finish until my kids’ bedtime. I got totally Mondayed today, thought I would finish a few different times today.

Books I Enjoyed This Week

55723446. sx318

I saw this book on Edelweiss Plus and my curiosity wouldn’t let me escape without requesting it. I am not really that familiar with this LyricPop series of books, which illustrate pop songs in picture book format. I know this song fairly well, and was sort of the intrigued with the idea, but it didn’t really work with me. The illustrations are fine, but I couldn’t help picturing images from the music video in my head. There is a sweet story to the picture book, but I couldn’t really get the rhythm of the book. It literally uses lyrics from the song. I think as I am not a singer and when I read a book that feels like it should be sung, my brain doesn’t feel quite right. I can see how this might appeal to some people, but it wasn’t really for me.

21378592

This book I did really get into. I like to give a disclaimer when its an author I really love, because it means I am likely into the book before I start, and this is the case here. This isn’t a new book, but one I kept meaning to pick up but didn’t because it seems I am also chasing the newer books lately. I really loved Rundell’s The Explorer and get a real kick out of her use of language (“books crowbar open the world for you” was a favourite line). This book reminded me a little of The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke in its second half, but really pulled me in with the relationship between Charles and a girl whom he rescues as a baby from the English Channel near the beginning of the book. Rundell’s children are often free spirited, forces of nature and this child is no different and she finds an ally in Charles who supports her search for her biological mother. He tells her to “never ignore a possible,” and she embraces her strangeness in a way that makes her a very interesting character.

WinkThis is a re-read for me, I am using this as one of the Book Club/Lit Circle choices for my grade 5/6 class. They look at the cover and back of the book and see that 12 year old Ross is going through the diagnosis of a rare eye cancer and they worry that it is a super sad book. It is actually quite funny as well though, and the combination of the character’s social awkwardness, love of cartooning and burgeoning love as music (a major outlet for him as he deals with his health) works really well together.

Agent 9: Flood-A-Geddon!

This is a new graphic novel series from the creator of the Bird & Squirrel series. It is kind of a standard secret agent against a super villain trying to destroy the world type of book. It totally acknowledges this and pokes fun at itself for it. Agent 9 has always gotten the job done, but usually by causing a lot of damage too. I was thinking of Mel Gibson’s Lethal Weapon character. He kind of gets one more chance to complete his mission without damaging property and equipment, and along with his robotic partner Fin. They must foil the bumbling villain King Crab. It is silly, and fun.

Mirror's Edge (Impostors, #3)

This is the third in the series that spun off from Scott Westerfeld’s very popular MG/YA Uglies series. It is full of high technology rebellion and deception. Twin sisters Frey and Rafi continue to work with various rebel groups to wrest control from an old boy network that rules. To say much more to anyone thinking of starting this series wouldn’t really work out, but the ending will have big fans of this series talking for a while. It arrives a week from tomorrow.

Currently Reading

The Whisper: The Riverman Trilogy, Book IIThe Benefits of Being an OctopusThe Train of Lost Things

The Whisper is book two of the very odd, and creepy The Riverman Trilogy, our family read aloud. I am re-reading The Benefits of Being an Octopus for the same class project as Wink, I love this story a lot and the main character will be loved by all of the students who choose it. The Train of Lost Things is another book that I have been meaning to read for a while, but only just started when I went for a drive and didn’t want to pack a device that held the book I was reading (Mirror’s Edge). It has a very interesting premise, that there is a place where only the most loved and lost things end up. The main character is desperate to have an item back and needs to find it. I like the references to trains in books like The Polar Express and Harry Potter along with the acknowledgement that this is a very different train.

On Deck???

In the Wild Light

If I keep saying that I will read this, will it actually happen? I should know better than to request ARCs that don’t come out for several months (August). I finally went through the ones I had and realized that I needed to read Mirror’s Edge sooner, but this is the one that I really wanted to read. Maybe this is the week? I hope you get to read exactly what you want this week! Thanks for stopping here!

It’s Still Spring Break, what are you reading? 3/22/21

IMWAYR

I am continuing my 20-21 pattern of being very inconsistent with keeping a weekly reading blog. I was surely much better in 2017-19, but I feel fortunate that I have a second week of Spring Break in which to recharge for the last third of the school year and sneak this blog in. Covid is certainly a focus of everything these days and my work life has this as a background. In my province, we have been face to face all year with about 500 new cases of covid each day (with a population of around 5 million). It certainly impacts most of what we do. We have been on a bit of a vaccine rollercoaster with things looking good right now. At one point, we were hearing that we might be vaccinated in about the next month, then plans seemed to change and there would only be an age-based rollout. I was looking at perhaps August for vaccination. Now, there has been a change in supply and it looks like April for teachers once more. It has been a strange year again, so far, with lots impacting what I am allowed to do in my library (K-7) in terms of events (no gathering, not as many events that build community), and what we do at home to make life more fun for everyone (lots of games with the kids, not as much reading). Thanks to Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting the link-up for this group once again.

Books I Enjoyed This Week

30316180 I wanted to make sure that I covered some books in each section of my library over the Spring Break and while I don’t have a dedicated early chapter book series, I always have books that fit that criteria in a display for at least part of the week. Our school is organized into age cohorts, and there is only one cohort allowed in each day, so I don’t have these books out when the gr. 5-7 cohort is in. This book will be displayed when I have the grade 2-4 cohorts in. You can really see a lot of what it is about from the cover. There are magical creatures and a girl who is concerned about their health and very focussed on science. In this first book of the series, she learns that her mother has been able to see magical creatures for a while (she thought she was the only one). They come to her when they need help. When Mom is leaving for a work related trip, young Zoey asks if she can help any creatures who ring the hidden doorbell at their barn as a request for help. Naturally, the dragon on the cover does and Zoey goes through quite a process of hypothesizing what might be wrong and how to help, along with her cat Sassafras.

The story has a real science based focus. The Mom is a scientist, no detail on what she specifically does and Zoey has to go through several theories of what is wrong and test them out. I am hoping the magical creatures will pull a few readers into trying this series.

A Wish in the Dark

This was a family read aloud for me, my wife and my two kids. I had read an ARC of this one almost exactly a year ago from writing this today and I loved it. It is a recent Newbery Honor book. If you haven’t yet had the chance it is a really interesting story with some creative world building inspired by Thailand. I have read that it is inspired by Les Miserables as well, but I am not as familiar with that story and I read it without thinking about that part at all. Our main characters are Nok and Pong who grow up together in a prison, where they were born. Society is really controlled by one man, the Governor who is able to control light and energy. After a Great Fire, his power is really the only source of energy that is considered safe and this gives him great power. As Nok and Pong grow older, one of them escapes Prison and one is eventually released, they begin to see better ways for society to function without one person having so much power. It sounds like it could be a dark (mood) book but it isn’t really.

56174697

The third book of the Mighty Muskrats series is another mystery set in fictional community of Windy Lake First Nation. Most readers, especially non-Indigenous, will learn a lot about the ways that many Indigenous peoples live, particularly in rural, reserve areas.
I would say that each book has one topic that is a theme in the plot and something that young (or old) readers likely know little about. The ’60’s scoop in the first book, land use in the second and in this one treaties are an important topic. The Burgled Bundle of the title is the missing Treaty Bundle. I didn’t have much knowledge of what a treaty bundle is, but throughout the story Hutchinson weaves in a lot of information about how treaty bundles tell a story of a people and I also learned more about the ways that Indigenous peoples use story, ceremony and information in this book. This could start a lot of conversations about the ways that Indigenous peoples in Canada hold and pass on their knowledge and stories that is quite different from how non-Indigenous people have do.
The four main characters, Sam, Chickadee, Otter and Atim, are cousins that all live on the reserve but have slightly different backgrounds and personalities that allow them to rely on each other’s strengths to solve these mysteries, and also to learn about their culture from their Elders as they grow. Readers, particularly those of non-Indigenous ancestry like myself, can learn with them about ideas like ceremonies, treaties, the unity of Cree people from different areas, the importance of the land, and many other smaller seeming parts of daily life.
I always enjoy a new Muskrat Mystery. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this before its April release.

35519109. sy475 This is another series that I really enjoy, that I started reading because of a few of the people that I saw reading it in our Monday link-ups. If you have never tried one, they are really written for adults although my thirteen year old really enjoyed the first book of the series. They are really short novellas that take place in a corporate dominated space-faring world. The main character, The Murderbot of the series title, is a self-aware droid who develops a keen sense of justice, an addiction to watching its favourite serial media, and a heavy dose of snarkiness. The series is so much fun.

Positively Izzy This is actually the second of a series, and I don’t even have the first one in my library, which I need to rectify soon. It is more of a graphic novel, but it has some text sections. I know one librarian that shelves a copy in her fiction section, while mine is in my graphic novel section. It is for fans of Telgemeier and Jennifer Holm’s Sunny Side Up books. There are two different plot lines running through this book, one that involves a daydreamer named Izzy who lives with her single Mom and two sisters. She is a typical daydreamer in that she does not focus on schoolwork or her home life. She does really care about drama. The other character is Bri, who has the label at school of being a brain, but wishes people would see the other aspects of her personality. The two plots come together at the end but seem unrelated for much of the book. The ending was enjoyable, I will get the rest of these for my graphic novel readers.

43319583. sx318 I typically find the Branches early chapter books from Scholastic to be fairly reliable short books I can get to emerging readers. I am kind of struggling to find readers for fairy tale type books lately. One of the teachers I talked to about this feels that readers in my school don’t really know the fairy tales until they have been in a school for a few years and by then not many are reading early chapter books. This book doesn’t have a particular fairy tale that it follows but is in a fairy tale world in which summer is not leaving to make way for winter. Kara and Zed find a message from the Ice Princess asking for help with her Magic Mirror in order to bring winter back. As no one appears willing to help the not well liked Ice Princess, these two head to the Ice Princess’s castle to save the day. The plot seemed a little like Frozen, with some twists and I liked the resolution. I didn’t love the whole story but if you from a character perspective (Kara does something in the beginning I did not like) but I think this could be a good one for young readers who need a short chapter book.

53077036. sx318 sy475 I had a student who really loves wolves, but also loses a lot of books, so after searching for new wolf books I stumbled across this one. It is a non-fiction story that is probably familiar to many adults, the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. The focus here is on how bringing back the wolves made so many changes to the food web and indirectly to the land itself. It’s well illustrated and has a number of text features. I think it will be a good choice for teaching intermediate aged students how to use non-fiction books in addition to helping kids learn about the connectivity of living things in an ecosystem.

Currently Reading

WinkThe Whisper: The Riverman Trilogy, Book IIRooftoppers

I am re-reading Wink, a story of a middle school kid who just wants to blend in and be normal but has a rare cancer near his eye that makes that impossible. Believe it or not, it is actually a very funny read. The character finds a lot of strength from a new found love of rock music. I am using this for a Literature Circles/Book Club unit and my District’s Battle of the Books. I am re-reading The Whisper, book two of The Riverman trilogy, with my family. We typically start a lot of series and don’t continue with them lately so my oldest and I decided we would use our consecutive turns choosing to finish a trilogy we started about a year ago. Rooftoppers is a book that was recommended to me by a grade 5 student who I had recommended Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer and The Good Thieves to. She said it is her favourite 2021 read so far and I just noticed that it is this author’s most popular book on Goodreads. I have only read a couple of chapters

On Deck Reads

In the Wild Light

I have put this book here twice already. Sometimes I don’t get to the books that are on my devices, out of sight, out of mind I guess. I do better with the books that are on my physical shelves. Also, this ARC is not actually released until August, so there is no urgency on my part. However, I do feel like I haven’t read any YA this month/Spring Break so my next book will be YA for sure and I have loved Zentner’s The Serpent King and Goodbye Days.

Thanks for stopping by here to see what I have been read. I need to get off the computer for a while, but hope to check out what others have been reading over the next few days.

 

It’s Monday March 1, what are you reading?

IMWAYR

I missed out on posting last week as I was writing report cards and that really got the best of me last week. Now that I am done, I am grateful to be able to post on some of the books I have read the last two weeks. Two weeks of school left before Spring Break, and we are back to our weekly recorded message about a covid alert in one of the four schools my family attends. We were getting them once a week, always on a Sunday night for some reason. I think we had three weeks in a row, but then finally a bit of a reprieve. Until tonight, when my oldest daughter’s school got one. We have been really fortunate that none of us have had covid-19 yet, and I certainly feel for all of those that have lost loved ones or been sick themselves. We have had some heightened anxiety over hearing that there was someone in the school who soon after tested positive, but these are the times we are in and that is just the way it will be for a while longer.

Books I Enjoyed Since My Last Post

Click (Click, #1)

I missed this graphic novel that seems a good choice for fans of Telgemeier and Hale when it first came out. It is another good story about managing the changing relationships in the middle years of school. It takes being left out of the groups performing at a talent show for Olive to realize that even though she feels like she kind of clicks with all the kids at her school, she doesn’t have any really close friends. She is lucky to have an aunt to help her figure out how to deal with this problem. I have this in the library now, and of course it got signed out right away. I should get the feedback to buy the rest of the series soon.

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

 

I have a group of readers within my grade 5/6 class this year that have really been loving novels-in-verse. Its not only the format, but the ones that I have had them read feature really well written characters. This one is by a BC author, whose Missing Mike I really enjoyed, and decided to include in my school district’s Battle of the Books this year. My class starts this in early April, when we are back from Spring Break. In anticipation of Missing Mike being a hit with my novel-in-verse fans, I bought this one. It has been out for a while and I quite liked it. Macy is dealing with her Mom’s upcoming marriage, which she is not a big supporter of, partially because she will be moving out of her home and into her Mom’s new husband’s house. Just before that happens, she is also struggling with a dispute with her best friend at school. As she is preparing to move, her Mom has her help the lady next door (the other title character) who is also preparing to move. Macy hadn’t really gotten to know her to well, and going through the neighbour’s old stuff sparks a lot of neat conversations about life that drive the rest of the plot. Macy’s deafness makes it more challenging to communicate but Macy’s hearing is not really the main part of the plot.

Fox & Chick: The Party: and Other StoriesFox & Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories

To be honest, I don’t always have a lot of luck finding readers for Early Reader books such as this. Elephant and Piggie is one exception. I have some other really good series, but readers that I think would love this type of book seem to either stick with picture books, or Elephant and Piggie. I did enjoy these first two Fox + Chick books that have three stories in each of them and have some of the buddy humour that is essential to this type of book. I know these books have a lot of fans in this group, if you haven’t checked them out, and you have young readers in your life, I encourage you to do so. They are very cute and funny.

27206486. sx318

A little book about a big power hungry grasshopper who likes to boss the other insects around. Of course he needs to get what is coming to him and have a smaller creature prove that being big and loud is not everything. It is a classic underdog story and shows that all different types of creatures can make an impact.

Currently Reading

Where We Used to RoamOne More Thing: Stories and Other StoriesAirborn (Matt Cruse, #1)A Wish in the Dark

It has been a little slow in terms of my reading lately. But this week should be much better. I should finish Where We Used to Roam tomorrow. I am really enjoying it, it releases on Tuesday. The plot reminds me a tiny bit of Kate Messner’s The Seventh Wish, a book I liked. I was up late reading this book last night. Once in a while I read a short story or two from B.J. Novak’s short story collection. The author of The Book With No Pictures, and a writer/actor from the office, Novak has some funny moments in this collection but it is not really forcing me to read it exclusively. My class is really enjoying Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn, we are a little over half done. I hope we can finish before Spring Break starts in two weeks. My family read aloud is A Wish in the Dark. It is a re-read for the adults. We really loved this book and wanted to share it with our 13 and 10 year old daughters.

On Deck Reading

Game ChangerIn the Wild Light

I still want to get to these two ARCs that I have, but I think I said that in my last post. I will read one of them this week. I have a few picture books to get to as well. 

Thanks for reading my post, and I hope to get to read what everyone else has been enjoying. Have a great week!