Pleased to link up my hastily written pre-holiday post with other bloggers. Thanks to Jen V., Kellee, Ricki, and Jen V for continuing to host our link-ups. I have continued to be focused on the way too long Must Read in 2019 list that I made. I ignored it for most of the last quarter of the year, but am making some progress this week, as well as reading recently purchased picture books from our Scholastic Book Fair.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
I read a lot of Ryan Higgins’s Bruce books to library patrons, but here is one that some of them can read on their own. I think it will be better for students who have heard the other books. There is nice repetition and most of the book will be accessible for beginning readers. The story and plot is not as good as the picture books, but good for this format.
This is a book we picked up at our school for teachers that are working on visualizing with their classes. The artwork is really great and it tells of an imagined voyage (a young girl is looking out a window at the river) from a city to the sea along a winding river. I can imagine asking kids to think of or draw a view, and then imagine what would be just beyond it. Over a mountain? Around a bend? Under a lake? Lots of visualizing possibilities.
The cover really tells the story here. If you are a parent, and your child has ever wanted to bring something along on an outing that was not appropriate for that location, you lived this story. In this case, Magnolia has a piano at the beach, and if you are familiar with this series you know these books are written as Magnolia reflects on a mistake. In this one, the piano gets wet and generally messy to hilarious effect.
The latest in this set from Jory John and Pete Oswald is the story of a bean that drifts apart from his “cool bean” friends, because he does not see himself as being as cool as they are. I didn’t laugh quite as much at this book as the earlier two (The Bad Seed and The Good Egg) but the conclusion was really satisfying. The “Cool Bean”(s) have much more going for them than just being “cool,” and this is the best part.
This is filled with interesting facts and humour about bears. I have only one of the other books by Maxwell Eaton in this set (Dolphins) and I would like to get more. The pictures are interesting and kids in primary grades especially, are interested in this type of non-fiction book at my school.
This is the first in a YA series by Marie Lu. I had it on my list for a while. First, I waited until it came in a paperback, and then it just slipped down my list. Her series Legend is popular at my school, so I wanted to try some of her other books. This one is a little like Ready Player One, in that there is a virtual reality game that is at the core of the plot. It is a more serious plot than Ready Player One, which had a lot of retro references that made it seem lighter, but this one has some important twists and turns that made it exciting trying to guess along with Em, a bounty hunter/hacker, who unexpectedly becomes a key player in the largest Warcross tournament. The amount of romance might put off some of my elementary students, but I might read the sequel as this one kind of left me hanging.
I have enjoyed reading the first two books of this early chapter series by Adam Gidwitz, but I don’t have a huge audience for them in my small school. I am targeting proficient readers in grades 2-4. In this story, the Unicorn Rescue Society heads to Washington State to help some friends of Professor Fauna who are protecting Sasquatch. The are part of the Muckleshoot Tribal Nation, and I think this is why Joseph Bruchac has co-written this part of the series, and the writers consulted with members of the Muckleshoot Nation to ensure that their use of local languages and stories is accurate. There is a fair amount of references to the culture of that area, some of which is familiar from what I have learned of cultural traditions in my area too, so I really connected to this book. For those not familiar with this series, students in New Jersey get caught up with a teacher that runs a society that protects mythological creatures from being exposed. They are funny, but a bit advanced for the early chapter crowd, and seen by some of my older readers as a little juvenile looking. I think I haven’t found the right older reader yet.
I continue to read Race to the Sun with my family and we are enjoying it. A couple of us have read so many Rick Riordan and Rick Riordan presents books that we feel like we are locked into the formula that they tend to have while reading this book. I am hoping something happens that jolts us out of that. I just started City of Ghosts, which was a really popular book that I missed reading in 2018, and almost in 2019 too. I really liked the cover and the opening few chapters.
I will likely continue to read from my Must Read in 2019 list for the rest of this week, with a few Picture Books thrown in. Thanks for stopping in and looking at what I read this week. I hope to head to the other blogs and see what other readers are up to soon.