Happy Monday to everyone! I am happy to be writing this post and linking it up with the others at Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts (thanks to our hosts). We are still in the midst of a tough forest fire season in BC. I am grateful to not have any too close to my home, we haven’t had an evacuation alerts (prepare to leave your home on short notice) or orders (go, right now!) yet and some within a couple of hours have lost their homes. It had put a bit of a damper on the summer, which after having such an odd school year with covid, we were really looking forward to. We have restricted our travel plans a bit, we had planned to travel locally and we can do so somewhat but it is harder with wildfires in all directions. One of the things that we can do as planned is get lots of reading time in. Here are some books I enjoyed this week:
This was a nice nature themed book that focus on sensory experience. Teachers might enjoy reading this with their classes before heading outside or to make connections with if students go camping or walking in nature. I am interested to see where this heads, as I read it was the first in a series exploring different environments and ecosystems. I am not sure if the other books are by the same author/illustrator team, or if the publisher plans future books to be by other contributors. I read an e-ARC of this title provided by Edelweiss, it comes out on September 7.
This was also a title I read through Edelweiss, and it is out in November. It’s based on the famous poem by Robert Frost that was first published in 1923. This picture book version first came out in 1969. I picked this because my wife has long been a fan of his poems. I enjoyed this, and I think there are some opportunities for inference with students here, and the pictures will help steer them as they interpret the poem a little bit for them.
A funny picture book that starts with a chicken crossing a road, but don’t worry this is not a story you have already heard. This story is not about why the chicken crosses the road, but is the story of what happens after the chicken is killed trying to cross it. Yes, a ghost chicken.
I loved the chicken’s interactions with the other ghost animals as he tries to navigate “the other side”. This is a debut picture book author working with an illustrator that I am very familiar with from The Bad Seed books and Hike, more recently. It has many word play jokes that some of my young readers love and others do not get, but overall I had a few laughs and enjoyed it.
This novel tells the interesting story of Arrow, a boy who grew up in the rainforest, raised by animals and mostly by the Guardian Tree, an elder of the forest, of sorts. This ancient tree is the narrator. When other humans arrive in the forest for the first time, Arrow wants to trust them, but the Guardian has been stung by humans before, and wants to hustle them away from the forest it has worked hard to preserve and hide from humankind.
Arrow’s interactions with humans are particularly interesting given that he knows very little about them, about their tech, their motives and their language. As the Guardian does not know that much either, sometimes there are descriptions of human activities or objects that are quite different, through their eyes.
This is contrasted by his interactions with the Guardian who is able to communicate with Arrow and other animals, and also see what other animals are seeing. As more humans find this forest, there is more conflict. The theme of conservation and the need for all creatures to work together to protect the land is well done and there is an author’s note and more resources at the end.
This is the sequel to the graphic novel All Summer Long, which was really about Bina trying to find herself, and this is a good continuation of that story. She has issues with her best friend, with find a band to play music with (her passion), and relationship issues. Her confusion about how she feels and how to handle things when her friend gets a boyfriend are really well done. This is a very good upper elementary/middle school GN series.
This early chapter book is in the author’s previous Inspector Flytrap universe. It is a silly romp with a lot of characters doing wacky things. I think it’s funny, and if you have readers looking for solely that in a transitional chapter book this one will fit the bill. If you have Inspector Flytrap readers in your library as I do, this will also fit the bill. I didn’t love the colour scheme of the illustrations with them being kind of black and white with a green gradient. I would have preferred more of a full colour mode, I am thinking of Dav Pilkey’s Mighty Robot series (illustrated by Dan Santat). I think some of the same readers would engage in these series.
My family have been reading an e-ARC of Children of the Fox, and we have enjoyed it. We are huge fans of Kevin Sands’ Blackthorn Adventures, which is a historical fiction/mystery, and it has been interesting to see his writing in the fantasy genre. There is significant world building here, and the plot is kind of a heist set in a Victorian-esque kind of fantasy world. My oldest (14) is really excited to see me pick the Lunar Chronicle series back. I just started reading Scarlet, which is a YA-fractured fairy tale. I really enjoyed the first book, Cinder but it was a few years ago.
Thanks for stopping to see what I have been reading, looking forward to reading what others have posted. Have a great reading week!