Tomorrow is the beginning of the third full week of in-class instruction at my school. The results are really mixed, I would say. Our community is small, but we did have a positive test in the last week and some people are choosing to self-isolate out of caution. In looking at my classroom and my library, you might not be able to tell that we are going through a pandemic. They look, pretty much the same at times, unless an adult is wearing a mask. Three months ago, that would have been shocking for me, but things seem to change quickly and there seems to be some acceptance that this is the way things are for now.
With things being the way they are, a good escapist read is much appreciated and I have had a few of those lately. I am happy to be able to share them with other bloggers that link-up at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. Thanks to Kellee and Ricki, as well as Jen V. for continuing to host us.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
I borrowed this picture book from my wife’s school library. We found it through one of the bloggers in our link-up, I think it was Michelle Knott’s but there were probably multiple readers of this book. It seems very relevant these days to twist this classic story and focus on what is a fact, and how to tell what it not a fact. That is kind of what this story does. Very cute.
Ryan Higgins sets the bar so high. His books are really well loved in my school. First, we fell in love with Bruce, and now Penelope (and his early chapter What About Worms? is cute too). I didn’t quite love this one as much as the first Penelope books, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, but that might not be fair to this book, because as I said the bar is high. In this book, Penelope struggles with whether or not to play in a talent show for her classmates. Stories about courage are pretty needed right now for all of us, so I will find a place for this story.
The next installment of The Princess in Black early chapter series comes out on October 6. In this, the eighth tale (or 9th counting the really short covid-19 related one that came out last school year), the Princess in Black, accompanied by The Goat Avenger and The Princess in Blankets have particular trouble with a nasty giant that is just too big to stop and doesn’t seem to listen to reason. They need to enlist the help of many new and old heroes to stop this foe from destroying everything in sight. And this giant is not what he seems. Cute and funny as usual, and I love the illustrations by LeUyen Pham. I think these illustrations are my favourite in this series. Thanks to NetGalley for the early copy.
The debut of Rebecca Stead was a re-read for me as our family’s read aloud. My oldest was scared it would be “another survival book” but it is a lot more than that (don’t mind her, but she did have a few years of mostly survival themed novel studies and now she is tired of the genre). I think Rebecca Stead is best known for one of my favourite books, When You Reach Me, and although the setting is quite different here, there is still a bit of mystery and somethings you will need to find out along with the main characters, Peter, a boy from New York on an scientific expedition with his parents, and Thea, a girl who is frustrated with her local government who have never allowed her to explore and see the wider world around her.
This was my escapist read of the week in many ways, but also a bit of a tough read during a pandemic. A pandemic does not happen in this series, but a VERY serious threat to humanity does happen, and there are many parallels between what occurs and what we are living through. This is book two though, so you really need to read Bloom first. If you are the type of person that might find it odd and a little funny that characters are dealing with a toilet paper shortage, this might be the series for you. If you are the type of person who liked Day of the Triffids as well, then this is certainly for you.
Kenneth Oppel started this trilogy with Bloom, a story about plants that just seem to be everywhere. They can’t be killed, and start to feed off of humans. But, three Salt Spring Island teens seem to be immune and are the key to survival and winning what seems to be the beginning of a war.
Hatch picks up where Bloom left off and if anything, ups the ante considerably. This is still terrific science fiction with a touch of horror, and you will want to keep reading, but it will be over. For now. The third book is scheduled to arrive in May.
I was reading this book earlier last week, but I had to switch to Hatch. This is nothing against this book, but I needed to get Hatch to a student this week. I am going back to this story of two young people heading out to try to climb Everest. They are very experienced mountain climbers. The book comes out on October 13, and I have an early copy from NetGalley.
On Deck Reading
I have an ARC of Bye-Bye Blue Creek, the second Sam Abernathy book by Andrew Smith. Sam is a character from Smith’s YA series Winger. I really loved that book, and the follow-up/sequels have been good, but not as great as the original, for me. I still want to read the next one though. It comes out on Oct. 13. I also have my oldest encouraging me to read the fourth Trials of Apollo book by Rick Riordan before the fifth one arrives in early October as well. Lastly, it is my choice for family read aloud and I think we are going to read the fifth Dory Fantasmagory, because they are just hilarious.
Thanks for stopping here to hear what I have been reading, hope to see what you have been reading soon.