I am happy to be able to link up this post with Jen Vincent’s blog at teachmentortexts.com and Kellee and Ricki at unleashingreaders.com to see what everyone has been reading this week.
I actually have not read these books this week, but I will be listening to Kevin Sands talk about them on Monday in my school’s library. We have Kevin visiting our district for three days. A great way to start the week. He will be talking about what it was like to be a child in the 17th century, and also about secret codes, which are both a big part of the book.
Books I finished this week:
Ever since I read Rollergirl, I try to get everything by Victoria Jamieson. This series is obviously quite different though. This is the second, and follows The Great Pet Escape. Its a super cute, funny graphic novel about class pets that get into adventures at night when the school is empty. I think its a terrific series for early readers.
Honestly, I could not immerse myself in this story as much as I did the first one. The first half of the book seemed to dawdle a little bit. I did enjoy the last half as the mystery started to ignite a little more. The Pine family runs Greenglass House as an inn for smugglers. The setting itself is creative, unique and almost the most intriguing character in the book. Young Milo Pine and a friend work to solve a mystery featuring a kooky set of suspects that mingle through the inn as Christmas approaches. There is a supernatural component to the mystery as well as heavy use of an RPG called Odd Trails that allows the young sleuths to have the abilities necessary to effectively tackle the mystery. The mix of fantasy and mystery worked really well in book one, Greenglass House, but not as much in book two for me.
This is a very cute picture book about making new friends. There is also a lot about being brave here as well. It also has a lot of honesty to it. It seems like another huge Mo Willems hit. I had a teacher ask if we could do a Movember thing in November with Mo Willems books and the obvious answer was yes. I immediately moved to buy more of his books.
Loved this book! Read most of it in one sitting, and would have but life happened. The last 50 or so pages are especially brilliant, but the last page… wow. This writer can do so much in just a few pages, just a few words. A vicious cycle of violence is brilliantly presented in a way that will stick with readers. Will’s brother is shot. He plans his revenge and the novel goes through a 60 second span in which he considers the decision. Long Way Down was just put on the list of contenders for the National Book Award, but if you have read anything by Jason Reynolds you didn’t need to know that to want to read this book. It does not disappoint.
A graphic autobiography of a young girl’s journey through her school years with a focus on the ups and downs of forming and keeping friends. Its an honest and emotional read that I let out to a couple of my students in the first week of school. It was devoured by both within a couple of days. Students that are drawn to graphic novels or realistic fiction (mostly girls, I think but not only girls, I really liked it) will love this book.
I read this with my seven year old. I found it funnier than the first in the series. If you are unfamiliar, a Venus Flytrap aspires to be the greatest detective in the world with the help of his assistant Nina, the goat who eats nearly everything. In this one, President Horse G Horse reminded me of a certain someone. See if you can guess:
When the President is asked to take down a large statue if himself in order to save the world he replies, “Nope you stupid plant. And I’m the President, so you can’t make me! So HA-HA! So find some other way to save the city, the country, and the world. I’ll be busy taking photos of myself holding my salt and pepper shakers next to my limo parked under the statue of me!”
A really pleasantly illustrated book about perseverance and bravery. Lou has lots of fun with her friends but there is one thing that they like to do that she is not able to. She invents “SO MANY REASONS not to try” but in the end has the bravery to try. The ambiguous ending is actually refreshingly honest and worthy of discussion.
I am reading and enjoying the second half of Stella by Starlight this evening, a great book that I should have read long ago. It portrays an important piece of American history, as blacks in North Carolina have the courage to seek the vote and defy the KKK. With my class, I am reading Wonder, and it is going really well. My family and I are in the home stretch of the fifth Harry Potter book. With my seven year old, we are reading the third Dory Fantasmagory book. Every time we start reading this, my ten year old sneaks close enough to listen taking a break from whatever Rick Riordan book she has right now. She would never have picked this book up herself, but can’t resist the brilliant humor of these characters.
Have a great reading week everyone! Thanks for stopping to view this post.