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
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.
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.
This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!