Must Read 2018- Update #1

Thanks to Carrie Gelson for continuing to host this great challenge that keeps me slightly more focused than usual. I post my list on a bulletin board in my classroom so that some of my students keep me honest and also so they see some of the books that I am reading. That also helps a lot. I have made reasonable progress on my list for this year. Here are the books I read so far, starting with the titles I had cued up for January 1st!

Refugee by Alan Gratz- This book is every bit as good as the hype that I had been seeing. It is one of the most popular books in my grade 5/6 class this year, as many of my students purchased it at the Scholastic Book Fair and have been loaning it to classmates. Refugee was recently picked for Global Read Aloud next year.

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate- This is a short, but powerful read. It paired very well with Refugee.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman- This sequel to Scythe is YA that is set in a fascinatingly well built world. Not always the most comfortable book to read, but always thought provoking.

How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle- A historical fiction about the mistreatment of American Indians with just the right amount of humour mixed in.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling- This is another book that has a plot my students would call “sad” but has a dose of humour, mostly through the voice of Aven, a character I think many MG readers will grow to love.

Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds- A thoughtful take on the Spiderman story that I was not familiar with. I found Miles a well written character that I wanted to root for.

Waking the Monsters by Judd Winick- The fourth in the HiLO series of graphic novels. I read this before it went out on the shelf in my K-7 library. This series is funny and the art is engaging. The endings have cliffhangers and this one has been hard to find around the school since students started signing it out. They love it too.

The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater- I liked this book, but it hasn’t been a must read aloud with groups in the library. I haven’t found kids to be as engaged by the story. The art work is striking though.

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan- This is the third and final book of the Magnus Chase series featuring Norse mythology in the style that Riordan grew to prominence with Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I grew to enjoy Magnus more with each book.

The Oceans Between Stars by Kevin Emerson- A really exciting series that started with Last Day on Mars, this book picks right up where the first one left off. A really great MG sci-fi that my students, in both my 5/6 class, and the 6/7 that I have library with, are enthralled with.

Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder- A super cute early chapter book.

Deadzone by Jennifer Nielsen- The second in the Horizon series that was started by Scott Westerfeld. This one changes settings and has some creepy, thrilling action scenes that students in my school are going to love once we get a copy of Horizon to replace a lost one.

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer Nielsen- A YA that reminded me somewhat of The False Prince, which is still my favourite Jennifer Nielsen title. It has plenty of politics, and action but this one has a little bit of romance as well. Not so much that the hard core Nielsen fans I have in grade 7 are put off. The first reader is loving it.

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart- I enjoyed this book, but when I got to the end I really started to love it.

OCDaniel by Wesley King- My seven year old enjoyed watching me read this so she hum, “Weasley is our king,” repeatedly, but this was a great book that had a mystery going on, a coming of age component and an interesting characters struggling with growing up and with mental illness.

Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz– I just finished this book and it was cute and funny. There were a couple of lines of dialogue I am not sure I would want to read to some of the kids at my school (one about the crocodile wanting to kill himself), but I know my seven year old will love the humour and pictures.

I have 16 books read of the 65 on my list. Almost a quarter at about the quarter pole of my list. If I really thought I would read the whole list, I would feel I was just a little behind, but the reality is that I usually get more distracted as the year goes on, and I really expect to read about 75% of the list. I really look forward to seeing how others are making out. I am currently reading The Wild Robot Escapes, which is also on my Must Read list. Here is a pic of my list, let me know what I need to read RIGHT NOW! Thanks for looking at my list, and happy reading!

PBs, Early Chapters and some MGs UpdatedMG, YA, Adult updated

I also have a few more titles that I am just finding the covers for such as Resistance by Jennifer Nielsen, Call of the Wraith by Kevin Sands, Mission Defrostable by Josh Funk, Mighty Jack #3 by Ben Hatke, Inkling by Kenneth Oppel and Supernova by Kazu Kibuishi. Of course, these books are not out yet!


8 thoughts on “Must Read 2018- Update #1

  1. You have made excellent progress. Congrats! Wishtree is showing up on a lot of lists. Further proof that I need to read it immediately perhaps?


  2. Impressive reading Aaron. I had mixed feelings about The Antlered Ship from the start. I too love the art, but it’s a deeply philosophical book.
    I’ve been a fan of Tim Tingle since I read How I Became a Ghost, but his book that absolutely wowed me was House of Purple Cedar.


  3. You’ve read some great books this year! I really loved Miles Morales, Ship of the Dead, How I Became a Ghost and several others. I am not a big fan of The Antlered Ship. The artwork is lovely, but the text wasn’t catching me.


  4. Looks like many of us feel similar ways about The Antlered Ship. My students adored it though – mind you it was in context of our Mock Caldecott. Some amazing titles read! I adored both Charlie and Mouse Books by Laurel Snyder. I just finished Beatrice Zinker – it is super cute!


  5. I loved Refugee and Wishtree from your list. I’m adding How I Became a Ghost to another challenge I’m doing that has this requirement – Read a book by a Native American author. You are a prolific reader. Good luck as you move forward. I’m interested in The Wild Robot Escapes, but also trying not to get too distracted.

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  6. I know I should have put Refugee on my list but it just sounded so sad. I actually loved the writing in The Antlered Ship too but not sure it would be the best read aloud title. The art was just stupendous. Although we have several overlapping titles, I think I selected Drawn Together from your list. I am so looking forward to that one! I am in the middle of Miles Morales right now but struggling a bit–wanting more action, of all things! I think I need to shift my expectations so that I can enjoy it more.


  7. I am hoping to read Thunderhead soon too! While it was beautiful, The Antlered Ship wasn’t my favorite read aloud during our Mock Caldecott, but many students voted for it as their winner. You have a great list. I would definitely move The Hate U Give to the top of the pile and read Breakout as soon as it is available.


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