Once again I am happy to link my weekly reading recap with those of other book bloggers. Thanks again to Kellee and Ricki at unleashingreaders.com and Jen at teachmentortexts.com for hosting.
My first week back at school was nice and I got to check in with my readers about what they read over the holidays and in some cases which books they got as gifts. We have been able to talk about what books we are really looking forward to reading this year. Several of us cannot wait to get our pre-ordered copy of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, which came out Tuesday, but we are still waiting for our copy. I think Monday is the day!
Our district has a Battle of the Books that is geared for grades 4-8, and our books were unveiled to kids this week. This is our fourth year, and now we have enough momentum that there is always a lot of buzz about what the books will be, and for many of our students that list will form a good portion of their must read titles for the year. This year, we moved from our usual set of 6 novels (which form a book club/literature circle set for many classes) to 9 books:
Everyone’s Battle of the Books is a little different. In our case, it just means that all schools have lots of copies of these books, and most will use them for book clubs. They are discussed a lot by students. My class will have intense literature circle discussions after Spring Break and our culminating district wide event features at least two teams per school facing off in a competition answering questions about the book. These books will be regular fixtures on my Books I Enjoyed This Week list as I re-read all of them a few times before the end of the school year.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
This was a book I ordered into the library but it had a few young readers who called “Dibs”. I finally managed to get to it at the end of the Winter Break and finished it this week. It is really great. The blurb on the front by Kenneth Oppel really captures it for me, it has that classic feel to it. I really enjoy his Victorian world from previous novels such as The Night Gardener (we used that for our first Battle of the Books) and the Peter Nimble books. The characters in this book were his best ever, I believe. Nan, Charlie, Toby and Newt were all quite memorable for me. This is a story of chimney sweeps in the Victorian age and there are some historical details for sure, but there are far more parallels to made to themes of friendship, poverty, class, and religion.
I am a big fan of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, and I have read the first to a few classes over the years and there are always a handful that will go deep into the 12 books this series offers, and then move to the spin-off Brotherband Chronicles. A discussion with a student I read this to a couple of year’s ago prompted me to read this short novel that fills in some of the facts about the origin of the relationship between the series two main characters, Halt and Will. In just a few pages this story demonstrates the strength of those characters, the world building in the series, and a few sharp action scenes. This is certainly for fans only (Goodreads lists it as book 11.1 in the series).
I recently began re-reading The Rule of Three, an exciting MG/YA with a dystopian feel that tells the story of a neighbourhood coming to grips with surviving a virus that cripples all of the world’s computers. The chaos ratchets up exponentially as the days pass. My family is reading The Lost Hero, as both my daughters are huge Riordan fans, enjoying the mix of action and humour. In my grade 6 classroom, we are through seven of nine chapters in Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries. This week in chapter seven we had to decide which was the lie: a story of Ben Franklin proposing the need of a food additive to make flatulence more appealing to our sense of smell, a girl saving a beach full of people from a tsunami, or a teen whose electromagnetism crashed most of her personal electronics including cell phones and watches. There are many activities that can happen while reading from the writing of possible fact checking Google searches to ideas for our own writing (Two Truths and a Lie- The Winter Break edition was an assignment this week for my student writers). All three of these books have been fun to read.
On deck reading
As much as I enjoyed Rule of Three the first time I read it, I never got to the sequels. At the time, I was overrun with other books to read. I may correct that after my re-read. Also, my pre-order of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise might arrive tomorrow, and that will be hard to pass up. I would like to get through these and start another of my Battle of the Books re-reads.
Thanks for stopping in and checking out my reading for the week. I hope to see what you have been up to as well. Happy reading!
12 thoughts on “It’s Monday What are you Reading? 1/13/19”
Glad you hear you enjoyed Sweep! I JUST checked out one of the Two Truths and a Lie books this week, so I’m excited to see what this is all about very soon. I sure hope we get a copy of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise this spring. I requested it be ordered a couple weeks back. Fingers-crossed! I’m not familiar with The Rule of Three series — after your blurb, I’m going to have to look it up. Have a great week, Aaron!
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The characters in Sweep are great. They stuck with me, too. What an amazing storyteller Jonathan Auxier is!
I still need to read SWEEP! It needs to me to the top of my list and soon! You will love Coyote Sunrise! It is truly a #heartprint book! Have a great week!
I enjoyed Two Truths and A Lie, though would have liked it more with a class! Sweep is a favorite from last year, love his books, and am looking forward to Coyote Sunrise! Thanks, Aaron, enjoy your ‘battles’!
Coyote Sunrise is one ARC I was hoping to get at NCTE, but I missed out. I haven’t actually read any of Dan Gemeinhart’s books yet, so maybe that will be the one! I also still need to read Sweep. I have it from the library right now but also have 80+ other books so…. who knows if I will get to it this time? Your Battle of the Books program sounds so fun. My Children’s Lit class usually participates in the March Book Madness picture book category if I can get my hands on all the books. But I’d love to do something with chapter books and have some lit circle/book club type discussions. Maybe I’ll try to pull something together for us in March!
Ooh, that “Two Truths and a Lie” series looks so useful when teaching kids how to analyse and process news with a critical eye – just because it’s on the internet or in print doesn’t mean it’s true!
I really enjoyed The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. If you like road trip stories, you’ll enjoy it, too. Thanks for sharing this week. I haven’t read the other books on your list, so I’ll have to get busy and check them out.
I loved the Dickensian feel to Sweep and agree that it also fits into modern themes. I still need to get this second Two Truths and a Lie title. I am swamped with Cybil books these days but hope to get to it and The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise as soon as the rest of my reading life is under control.
All these books look amazing.. Sweep is one I know I will enjoy, and Coyote Sunrise too..
Sweep is in my very soon to read pile. I’ve heard good things about it!
I hope you enjoy meeting Coyote Sunrise Everyone on that bus is someone you’ll enjoy, I believe!
I am intrigued by your Battle of the Books ending with the kids answering questions. It has a trivia feel to it – I like that! I, and many of my students, love the Rule of 3 series! This was probably my first step in the dystopian genre and I am beginning to enjoy more of those. Sweep and Coyote Sunrise are both on my list too!
It is a lot of team trivia, like the Canadian game show, Reach for the Top from way back. Kids get very excited about it. We have a small district and there are a lot of rivalries developing. We run a lot of book clubs and literature circles for those that want nothing to do with the competitive part of it. One of the best parts is the status the books seem to have in future years. Younger students seek them out when they get to the older grades.