I have struggled to find the time to balance work, reading and writing but hopefully I have found a way this week to finish this post and link it up with the great posts found weekly at teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com.
This is going to be a phenomenal book week at my school. We host Karianne Holt Monday as part of her tour of eight schools in my district. Tuesday is an amazing book birthday for many of the favourites in our building including Call of the Wraith, the fourth book of The Blackthorn Key Adventures by Kevin Sands, who were lucky to host last year, The Divided Earth, the third book of The Nameless City graphic novel series and Supernova, the eighth of the Amulet series. I am also excited to meet with my grade 7 book club about our current read Resistance by Jennifer Nielsen.
Maybe I am getting my feet under me for this year, because I finally had a pretty good reading week that wrapped up this evening.
Books I enjoyed this week:
It is fairly obvious why I read these three books this week. Red Moon Rising is a book I have meant to get to for a while. It is an interesting science fiction story set on a far off moon. Rae ends up living in two different worlds. The world of her family, a colonizing people, and also the world of the race that tries to fight back. Her dilemma was an interesting one. This took me a while to get into, but she was such a strong character I became very invested in her internal struggle and hope for a sequel. K.A. Holt is better known for her verse novels. House Arrest was the winner of our district’s Intermediate Book of the Year, and since I had a lot of students familiar with that title and passing it to their younger siblings, I chose to read Holt’s earlier Rhyme Schemer as an early year read aloud. It has much in common: a flawed, snarky narrator that you come to appreciate more as the book progresses. My grade sixes enjoyed the trip inside Kevin’s mind. Finally, tonight I re-read Knockout. I think I know where K.A. Holt is going next within the world that started with House Arrest, and I read this looking for info. I loved it. Not sure I found the info I was looking for but I did find out that one of the band names that Kevin from Rhyme Schemer comes up with is a band that Levi listens to in Knockout.
This was a not too subtle stab at letting kids know that they should unplug devices and get out and enjoy the world. These days, its not a message that kids are too young to learn, particularly when they can stand beside a phone obsessed older sibling or adult. The use of colour in this book was really clever as well.
Those of us that have read Cale Atkinson’s previous works have come to expect amazing artwork including brilliant, full colour pages that can hold your attention all by themselves, and this book delivers on that. It also has a nice story of Jo seeing that she will need to face many fears and find the courage to help a family member in need. This is a great addition to our library.
We discovered this book at my nearest independent bookseller, Mosaic Books in Kelowna. I admit that I picked it up because I have a colleague named Brock who has dressed as a pirate twice during school dress up days. However, the book itself is also quite funny with a boy and his imaginary friend travelling to fair, but… oh no… they forget Brock at the fair!
This book would seem to be great to use to spur on early creative writers. The idea jar holds a host of characters just waiting for their stories to be hold or combined with other characters for an even crazier story. There are just a few words here, designed to get your inner storyteller going.
This is a wacky one that my two daughters encouraged me to read. It is the first in a series. Cleaning up in the library this summer I found a book called Potterwookie, about a creature that comes from a boys closet that is exactly as it sounds, part Harry Potter, part Chewbacca. My Harry Potter obsessed eight year old claimed it. I later found out that this book, featuring a creature that is half Willy Wonka and half Frankenstein, is the first of the series. Why is a creature like this in the boy’s closet? Because he tosses everything into it, including books. It was wacky, and funny. I found it a little scattered but light hearted. It’s target audience is reluctant to read 12 year old boys (a bit of a stereotype but it looks like its marketed after Diary of a Wimpy Kid), like the main character, Robert. My children are neither but they laughed enough for me to read it. There are six books in this series and I will see how the first two go with library patrons. We had the second (Potterwookie) and I had never seen it signed out in my first two years as librarian.
My wife’s photography guide! She let me be an advanced reader of I learn things I never thought I would. I will finish this in the morning and go back to a book I started (barely) that got pushed aside. Arlo Finch and the Valley of Fire. The beginning was really good, there is a bit of mystery around the past of these characters that I am hoping to go back to. I was distracted by a large book order, and getting ready for an author visit. Tomorrow, I am distracted by my desire to read Call of the Wraith. Maybe I can sneak in both this week. I also have some picture books that are new to the library but not to regular contributors that link up to unleashingreaders and teachmentortexts. Happy Reading Everyone! Enjoy a banned book or two (I think that week has also kicked off!).