May the Fourth Be With You (Through reading more books)

It’s Monday, May 4, so I get to use a cheesy Star Wars title. It was a slow reading week for me. I started reading a lot of my literature circle books online (five novels, so far, and we may add a 6th). Reading those online is going to take up a fair amount of my reading time (although one of the authors is currently reading it on Twitter and I have been able to use that one). The online teaching is certainly not as rewarding but it does take up more than its share of time.

I was able to read a few books this week, and am happy to link up this post with others at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortexts.com, thanks to Kellee, Ricki, and Jen for hosting. Looking forward to seeing what others have read this week, and adding to my to-read piles.

Books I Enjoyed This Week

Shatter City (Impostors #2)

I am a big fan of this series, which is part of the Uglies quartet that Scott Westerfeld wrote in 2005. This is the second book of the second set of 4 that takes place well after the events of the first four. The world building is really good in this series, and it takes place in a future in which we are referred to as The Rusties, a group of humans that pretty much tried to wipe each other/ourselves out. In the high tech near future that these characters inhabit, they have to deal with a government that uses invasive tactics to restrict privacy and freedom in order to gain social control. There are a lot of family politics as well as high tech action.

The Best of Iggy

As the cover states, this is a newer book from the author of Ivy and Bean, it came out in January. It is slightly longer than her Ivy and Bean series, and the info on the cover of the ARC I got at Nerdcamp Bellingham suggests it is for grade 3-7, although it reads to me as being for kids at the young end of that group. Iggy is a boy that gets in a lot of trouble, and this book takes us through some of the events where he was okay with what but wishes he hadn’t have gotten caught, things that went too far, and things he truly wishes he had not done. It kind of reminded me of Roscoe Riley Rules series by Katherine Applegate, in both the subject and how it is an early chapter. There are some funny parts, and Iggy is remorseful for some of the things that he really should not have done. One part bugged me a little, minor thing really, but the character talks about playing computer games a few times, and I thought no grade four students I have talked to lately do that. It is X-box, or tablet or something like that. That part seemed a little dated, but this was a funny book about impulsive boys.

Double Trouble

This a quick, fun one for middle grade readers. It’s an Orca Currents book, which for me means it is a Hi/Lo book published in Canada (Orca is out of BC, where I live, and the Currents books are usually for tweens, or teens). These books are often quick reads for most of my students, but seem to engage some of my readers who are not quite so keen. In fact, the whole time I was reading this, I was thinking of one such student.
We have all likely watched a sitcom, or movie in which a character tells a little lie and it spirals into something bigger, right? Well, that is the plot here as Victoria is not so honest in her attempt to get her neighbour’s granddaughter Jazzy to like her. Jazzy seems drawn to dressed up Victoria (on her way home from the synagogue) but Jazzy doesn’t recognize Victoria when she sees her after Victoria has spent several hours gardening. Victoria’s solution is to pretend they are different people, twins, so that she can bring back glamourous “Vicki” (what Jazzy called her when they first met) once she cleans up from her gardening as “Tori.” (what her family usually calls her)
This causes Tori to scurry around to keep the lie hidden from her grandma, her father, and her neighbours who obviously know that she is not a twin. Her lie is silly, but it turns into fast-paced fun watching the attempts to cover it up until Tori learns to be herself.

Currently Reading

The Case of Windy Lake (A Mighty Muskrats, #1)Boys of Blur

I am reading The Case of Windy Lake, a #ownvoices mystery that involves a group of Indigenous tweens and teens who live on a reservation. These kids, who have the nickname The Mighty Muskrats (which is also the series title), work well together to learn more about important topics to their families. These are serious topics that readers should learn about too. I read the second Mighty Muskrats novel in which kids learn about a relative who was part of The Scoop, taken into foster care by the government and moved so far away relatives could not find her. This one has tackled land use issues in the first half. I started reading Boys of Blur with my family (a non-Rick Riordan choice for the first time in a while- this means my wife picked). For my two girls, reading about a football obsessed small town in Florida is far from their personal experience, and that is a good thing. It is a bit of a creepy mystery so far.

I am also reading these books outloud for students.

After ZeroSweep: The Story of a Girl and Her MonsterWords on FireLegends of the Lost CausesThe Mad Wolf's Daughter

 

On deck reading

There were a couple of books I was hoping to get to last week and did not. I will try again this week.

Echo MountainThe Good Thieves

Hope you have a great reading week, I look forward to visiting your posts soon!

 

8 thoughts on “May the Fourth Be With You (Through reading more books)

  1. Aaron, would you recommend reading the Uglies quartet before The Impostors series? I was also curious what platform you’re using for your read aloud books, right now. One of our libraries is actually using Facebook, but I know others are using things like Zoom. Just curious how everyone’s doing it. I just got my hands on a copy of The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter, but now I’m thinking I may need to re-read book #1. It’s just been too long! Thanks for all the shares this week.

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    1. I would read the Uglies first, although for me it has been a long time. I think it would help with the world building aspects of it to see the origins a bit more. You don’t have to, but, I would. I am reading the books on an unlisted Youtube channel. That was one of the recommendations from what I read on the publisher’s websites. This way it does not have to happen live like Facebook or Zoom. I post them on my class Flipgrid (where you can embed a Youtube video). It does have to be unlisted though, and taken down on June 30 from what I understand.

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      1. Ah yes, unlisted Youtube works (that’s what I do with all our family videos that we share with long-distance family/friends — much easier to pass out an unlisted link than to go through and approve dozens of accounts to watch). And thanks for the suggestion on reading order! Have a wonderful reading week, Aaron.

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  2. These books sound great! Double Trouble definitely sounds like a fun story, and Shatter City sounds intriguing as well! Thanks for the great post!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I think so. I thought my students would be reading them but we all know things have changed significantly from what we all planned. I read all of these a couple of times before picking them. I am missing getting to see the reactions of kids, particularly the group that chose Sweep.

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  3. There is so much work that we are doing because of online teaching – I know it’s affecting my reading! Hope you get to those other books this week 🙂

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  4. I really admire you who are teaching now, learning as much (or more) than your students about tech and how best to offer the learning to students. And wow, reading aloud more than one book. That is amazing. There are a few here I’ve never heard of like Double Trouble, so thanks for them. I have and still need to read With The Fire on High. I’m sure it’s good, but I get caught up in other books, so. . . Wishing you a good week ahead, Aaron. And May this ‘fourth’ be with you, too!

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