It has been a few weeks since my last post, and some of that was due to our Spring Break plans. We had time with family and some travel time, but I did manage to read several really great books that I would like to share. Thanks to Jen V at teachmentortexts.com and Kellee and Ricki at unleashingreaders.com for providing a place for us to link up our posts.
Some of the Books I Enjoyed Since My Last Post
Mo Willems new book is unlike any of the other books I have read by him. This is a book about inspiration that is very inspiring in its own right. I gave it to a pre-service teacher at my school when she finished her practicum because she might inspire others to great things.
I was grateful to get an ARC of this through my ARC sharing group Book Portage. This series opener looks to be the beginning of a fun ride following a group of child geniuses modeled after real historical thinkers like Tesla, Da Vinci and Mary Shelley. The kids are part of a school called Genius Academy, but they are more like a spy group not affiliated with any government. I liked this book and I think I might like future volumes even more now that some of the background is in place.
This is a powerfully, honest look at the author’s upbringing with particular focus on his family. The blunt depictions, particularly of his grandmother and mother, were tough to read at times, but there was a hope and inspiration as well.
I wasn’t always sure about this book as it starts with similarities to other MG fantasy, but it was a really enjoyable read. Some of the world building was great and the characters were memorable (the scene stealing cat on the cover, in particular but also dragon riding being a sport). It is a touch long, both in the chapters and overall, but that won’t dissuade fantasy readers who will get into the mystery, and humor.
This is a book I just re-read for our upcoming Battle of the Books that I plan with the librarians in our district and also because my class is starting our Literature Circle/Book Club unit with it this week. It has a lot going on with its depictions of characters dealing with mental illness, a mystery, and underdog trying to do well in school plot as well. It won an Edgar award for the mystery but I think its strength is the character Daniel trying to deal with symptoms of OCD, having no idea what that is. The author’s note describes how the author based the title character on his own experiences making this an important story in the same way as Hey, Kiddo, but for more of an MG audience.
I enjoyed this picture book that I bought a few months ago, and shelved but never got around to actually reading it. My own children would relate to waiting to get something in the mail, but the way the boy gets around it by having the mailbox send him a plethora of items was funny and made for some great illustrations. The boy eventually finds a different way to happiness that could be a good talking point.
The sequel to The Traitor’s Game is again told from the perspectives of the two main characters, Simon and Kestra. This has the political intrigue of Jennifer Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy and the magical elements of her Mark of the Thief series in a more upper MG/YA package. This series will be an easy sell to my students that have read out her earlier series and want more.
I am re-reading Hello Universe as it is part of our Battle of the Books. Endling: The Last is our new family read aloud. My wife had to brave to not choose a Rick Riordan book, but both of us had been wanting to read this, and it is fun to make our children wait between books 2 and 3 in a series (even if oldest has already read the entire Heroes of Olympus series). Finally, two classes in my school enjoyed Aisha Saeed’s Amal Unbound as part of Global Read Aloud (check out the 2019 books announced for next year) so I grabbed an ARC of an Aladdin inspired book that she wrote. It comes out on April 2, and I fully intended to read it before it came out, but now I think I will be close, but not quite.
Hope you had a great reading week! I am back at school after a two week Spring Break, the beginning of the home stretch of the school year with lots of big reading plans. I look forward to seeing some of your reading this week as well. Thanks for clicking your way to my blog.
9 thoughts on “It’s April Fool’s Day, what are you reading?”
I’m looking forward to Elements of Genius!
I have OCD Daniel on my shelf and have yet to read it. This is a great reminder to pick it up. Excited to check out this new Jess Keating title when it comes out! Happy Reading to you.
Love hearing about the Jennifer Neilsen book. I do enjoy her writing. I loved Hey! Kiddo, but it is heartbreaking too. And I just picked up Because from the library, haven’t read yet, but I will. Thanks for all, Aaron. Wishing you a good week back from your break. The next months are so busy!
Hey, Kiddo really knocked my socks off, and I think it could really resonate with so many kids today who are impacted by addiction and incarceration in their families. I really appreciated the sensitive way that he handled all the complicated and imperfect people in his life – there really weren’t any villains in this story (except perhaps the drugs), just flawed but mostly well-meaning people trying to do their best, even if they often failed. So moving.
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I love Because.
I am waiting (not so patiently) for my library to bring Because in. I loved Nevermoor and plan to start listing to Wundersmith this week. Hey, Kiddo is a profound book that deals with issues all too many of our students have to cope with. At a personal level, his mother reminded me of my sister.
LOVED Hey, Kiddo so much! And I’m excited of all I’m hearing about Because. As I mentioned on someone else’s review today, I want to frame that cover and hang it on my wall! As you already know, I really liked Nevermoor. But book #2, Wundersmith, was even better. So I will definitely stick with that series! You just might twist my arm into reading The Traitor’s Game series if I can squeeze in an opening. 😉 Thanks for the shares, Aaron!
I cannot wait to read Jess Keating’s chapter book! I love her personality, and I am sure it will shine through in the book.
I, too, loved Hey, Kiddo. It is brilliant.
My students would be happy to see you reading Deceiver’s Heart. I never made it to Traitor’s Game, but they love it!
Happy reading this week!
I’ve had my eye on Hey, Kiddo for awhile now. I have a feeling it is a book to pair up with Stitches by David Small, also a graphic memoir. I really enjoyed Hello, Universe, and am so looking forward to reading the new mo willems’ picturebook title! I am always on the lookout for titles I can use for read-aloud with my own teacher trainees here in Singapore
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