Nothing is normal right now. But if anything you enjoy can continue safely, I think you should relish it. So, I continue to keep my reading routines as normal as possible. I try to catch myself lingering on the news of the moment through social media, and I also have really been looking forward to writing this blog and reading what others have been reading this week. I am blessed to be healthy and able to take part in this amazing Monday community. Thanks to Jen V, Kellee and Ricki for hosting our link up again this week.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
I just re-read this book because we have been using it for our school district’s Battle of the Books this year. My class was scheduled to get our book club/lit circle sets after Spring Break. Of course, that is up in the air right now (not likely, if I am honest with myself), but I may find some ways to use the books through distance learning. I have loads of ideas if I can get the books to my students. At any rate, this is such a good book I was more than happy to re-read it. I also just found out that the author is reading the first chapter today (Monday) on her Twitter account at 10 am Pacific time, 1 pm Eastern. The book itself is an excellent read dealing with poverty as the main character and his mother end up living in the van on the cover. They are essential homeless and the novel shows how a grade 7 student would have much to deal with under these circumstances.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC of this book, the first of a young adult (but early young adult) series featuring Icelandic mythology. Written by another BC author (Susin Nielsen lives in BC as well) and publishing on April 7 via Orca Books, this series features a lot of magic, a few love stories (not graphic, thus the early young adult comment) and a quest featuring different beings such as Valkyries and Elves.
Runa feels like she always been in the shadow of her powerful sister Syr, the keeper of the powerful moonstone that she uses to keep her clan safe and healthy until the powerful witch Katla arrives to take over the island and the power of the moonstone. After Katla takes Syr, Runa is left without the security that her sister provides, and needing to accept the larger part in her family’s role as caretaker’s of the clan that she never wanted or felt able to do.
Runa has many obstacles to overcome, both physical and magical, but most of all her lack of belief in herself. This was a promising opening to a series, the characters are likable and readers will enjoy seeing their growth, probably from book to book as well. This book is a shorter read for this genre and might work well with early high school readers that I know that seem to be put off by the length of many mythology/speculative fiction series
This is a book that has a really timeless feel, and the location is also a little vague. I felt this was intentional, so that a reader could feel that it was anywhere and could happen to anyone. It was only after I read the Dear Reader, part of this ARC (thanks to the publisher and bookish friends in my ARC sharing group Book Portage for the copy) that I learned how intentional.
I have read a few books lately that I think our perfectly written for our times, and this is another one. “You will witness the best and the worst in people. Embrace the best and dismiss the worst.” This is a novel that champions the notion that one should never have to struggle alone, and encourages people to lift each other out of darkness and into light. Another really important idea was uncertainty, something that a lot of people today struggle to embrace. Ryan writes, “unanswered questions don’t always mean a closed door,” but should spark something and causes us to think, hope and dream. This book is out now, and I highly recommend it.
When I read The Mad Wolf’s Daughter it was still in hardcover and there was no companion piece, when this book came out I was a little bogged down in other books I wanted to/had to read, so I left this one for a while. Recently, I re-read the first book (again for my Battle of the Books) and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to read this one. Like the first it was filled with adventure and also the idea that stories and people are not always what they seem depending on someone’s vantage point. This was another clever thrill ride.
My family and I continue our read aloud of The Blood of Olympus, the final installment of The Heroes of Olympus series (and some say the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series). I am very excited to be reading an ARC of Sara and the Search for Normal by Wesley King (thanks to NetGalley). I was a big fan of OCDaniel and its portrayal of Daniel, a seemingly normal middle schooler who lives with mental illness. This book is a prequel and the story of one of the other characters, Sara. Sara is not a seemingly “normal” middle school student. Her arrival in OCDaniel changes everything, and part of it is that she understands Daniel the way no other character in the book can. Because she also lives with mental illness. The Night Diary is another re-read for my lit circle/book club unit and our Battle of the Books. I pick away at these, reading a couple of chapters or 20 or so pages a day.
On Deck Books
I can never tell exactly what I am going to be reading in a week but I have been wanting to start Goodbye Days for a while. I have these three ARCs as well (2 from Book Portage, and the latter from Net Galley). I will likely read at least two of these next week. Give me your ideas! Thanks for stopping here to see my reading week.