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.
10 thoughts on “It’s Monday, September 28, What Are You Reading?”
I read We Don’t Eat Our Classmates to second grade students last week. I gave their teachers We Will Rock Our Classmates to read to them after – since I didn’t read it myself I’m not sure what they thought. You’re right the bar was high, but definitely loved the message of the second book.
Fun to read about that version of Chicken Little. Somehow I missed it! Oppel writes frightening stories & I also have missed Bloom, will start with that one, then on to Hatch. You’ve shared some good ones here, Aaron. Wishing you a good week with all the ‘new’ challenges.
Kenneth Oppel can really write, but he tends to write titles that are on the too creepy side for me. I’ve been meaning to get to Bloom, but am more interested in feel good titles. I finished Monsters by David Robertson this week. It was not a feel good title! Hope things go well for you this week.
Interesting list! I was really intrigued by the Hatch book.
You can find my post here:
Some weeks I feel like ALL my reads are escapist reads. I mean, even if we weren’t facing a serious pandemic, we’re in the middle of a major political war here and some times I need to force myself to not think about it or get on social media. Books help, immensely! Let’s see… I’ve never read First Light, so I’ll have to go read up a bit on this one. I’m only a little bit into Hatch and only had to stop due to everything else happening in my life this week. But I’m very excited to find more time to read the rest of it! I don’t yet know anything about Above All Else, so I’ll await your review next week. Thanks for all these shares, Aaron. Have a wonderful reading week!
Hey Aaron, just checking in. Hope you and your family are doing well. 🙂
Hi Shaye. Doing okay. Kind of feeling overwhelmed with work and trying to help everyone in our family with stuff. I didn’t really plan to take a break from blogging, but I have. I do miss it though. I hope you and your family are safe and healthy! Thanks for the check-in.
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These books sound great! I’m reading First Light right now, and I hope to finish it soon—I appreciate your thoughts on it! Thanks for the great post!
I completely agree with your comments about Higgins’ book. I probably would have adored this book on its own, but EAT/CLASSMATES was just one hard book to follow!
I want to read Kenneth Oppel’s trilogy. I have the first book in ARC format but have not gotten to it yet.
We’ve been remote since the start of the year and will continue until early Nov. I believe we’ll be switching to hybrid at that point. Seems silly to me when we’re heading into flu season but we’ll see what happens, I guess…
I think the Princess in Black books are so great! My daughter is too old for them, but I am hoping my son enjoys them once he gets old enough to read. Thanks for sharing!