Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 02/18/13

Visit Kellee and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
for more about the It's Monday! What Are You
Reading? Meme
 
 
I love how much reading I can do over a long weekend.  I am glad that I have this weekend to remind me of that since my district is talking furloughs.  I will just continue to think of it as the possibility of more reading time - a gift, really.  So here's what I read over the past week.
   
                                 
How They Croaked: The Awful

Many of you told me that I would really enjoy this book and you were right.  I was a little worried in the first chapter as I found it a bit graphic, but either the author toned it down or I got used to it.  Either way, I didn't want to stop reading and I immediately shared an excerpt with a group of teachers I worked with this week.  It's one of those books that you just want to share.  Btw, it also made me very grateful to live in a time when doctors use technology such as soap and gloves and rely less on leeches for their rememdies. 
 
 

 
 

The Dark Unwinding, by Sharon

 
This has been a pretty great reading week so I am happy to sound a bit repetitious when I say I really enjoyed this book also.  I like to dive into books without reading the flaps or other summaries.  I like the surprise, although I'm learning that I go into books with all kinds of preconceived ideas which are sometimes, as in the case of this book, completely off.  I thought this was a fantasy, which honestly made me less excited about it.  But it's not.  It's gothic and original.  I loved the story and the writing.  This is one of those books that I love, but I'm not sure how teens will respond to.  If you've had students read this one, I'd be interested to hear what they thought.
 
 
 
If I Lie

I live in a military community so it has been my goal to try to find more YA that incorporates some of the unique challenges these teens face.  I was excited that ALAN had a whole panel of authors who have written books that are exactly what I'm looking for.  This is the second that I've read and I have to say that I was hugely disappointed when I got to the part where the military kid is gay (this is not a huge spoiler for this book - you find out pretty early on).  The same thing happened in the last book.  Not that I mind that story line, but I don't want it to be in 100% of the books I'm suggesting.  Still, that disappointment happened pretty immediately and then I spent the remainder of my morning loving the book.  I think Jackson did a great job of writing characters and situations that the reader will really care about.  Nothing was easy and no decision clear-cut, as often happens in life.  Plus, there was this whole story-line where she befriended a vet, and my grandfather, a WWII vet, just passed away last weekend, so it made me think of him.  I'm excited to share this one.
 
 
Bomb, by Steve Sheinkin
 
What can I say?  Read it!  I felt like I was there, like I actually knew the players.  I live in Japan so I've visited the Peace Park in Hiroshima and talk to people who lost their families to the bomb so it was really fascinating to see what people were thinking and doing during that time.  It was also a little scary. 
 
 


 
 
I also read some great picture books this week including Do Not Open This Book!, Henry's Freedom Box, When Marian Sang,  Flotsam, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed all of which I recommend.  I read some others that I liked less, but that weren't horrible.
 
So what's in line this week?
 
I've started Their Eyes Were Watching God for my classic for this month.  I also have Charles and Emma and The Girl of Fire and Thorns waiting to be read.  I have The Diviners on audio but it's really long, so we'll see how that goes.
 
Their Eyes Were Watching God      reading Charles and Emma:    The Girl of Fire and Thorns
 
Thanks for reading my blog.  Have a great week!


20 comments:

  1. So many great books to read! I am hopeless with gory books, but you know many kids love them. How they Croaked would go down well with some of mine I am sure!
    Kathryn

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    1. I know what you mean, Kathryn. I did find this book really fascinating though, and I was only really grossed out in a few parts. :).

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  2. Flotsam is one of my favorite Wiesner books of all time. I'm glad you liked that one too. BOMB sounds like a must-read indeed, I've been seeing it around and it's been receiving a lot of love indeed. I borrowed How they Croaked from our library a few months back but was not able to read through it unfortunately. Perhaps I should give it another chance. Have a good reading week!

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    1. Thanks, Myra. There are so many great books, it's hard to stick with one that doesn't grab you immediately. Bt you know it's out there if you need engaging historical NF for students.

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  3. How They Croaked and Bomb are the next two nonfiction books on my reading list. So glad to hear good things about them! I ADORED The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I think it's one of the best YA fantasy books. Hope you enjoy it!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I always have to force myself to tea fantasy, although usually I enjoy it once I'm in. I'm glad to hear this is a good one.

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  4. I really am interested in How They Croaked. I know some students will love it! I'm reading Bomb this week among others, but wanted to tell you to find While He Was Away, by Karen Schreck. It is a good book about a young woman whose boyfriend takes his first tour of duty. It's a coming of age, finding family, & figuring out how to 'do' a relationship long distance. I think you will think it's a good addition for your community. (Find my review on Goodreads) Thanks for all!

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    1. Linda, thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely look for that one is week. If I lIe was much better than the first military-related YA I read (not counting war books) and I did really love it. Just need some different story lines.

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  5. I have already read The Diviners, but I thinking about an audio "reread." It's so creepy! I need to start working on some nonfiction-I have Bomb and How They Croaked. I should get reading! http://wp.me/pzUn5-1qf

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    1. We should get bonus reading hours in our day! I'm going to start Diviners today on my drive. I don't always love audio- don't always pay attention, so this might be one I have to read.

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  6. I think you're onto something with that request for bonus reading hours! That would work for me. How'd you like Henry's Freedom Box? Like Myra, Flotsam is one of my Wiesner favorites too. In reading your post, I realized I didn't point forward to talk about my plans for this week. I'm going to go do that right now : )Will get The Bomb. Collin loved the Mazer books about Pearl Harbor and other WWII titles, I bet it would add to his perspective.

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    1. I think Collin will love The Bomb. It's really so nicely written - really interesting. I like Henry's Freedom Box a lot - especially the artwork. Also really liked When Marian Sings. Ok, I liked all of those I listed. I spared the ones I liked less. I had heard so much about The Reader, but it was no so exciting to me, but I didn't want to be negative.

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  7. PS: I loved Charles and Emma--it was fun to see him as a working scientist and thinker, husband and father.

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    1. So would have thought he was so romantic?

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  8. I just picked Bomb up from the library and look forward to reading it. You read some great picture books! Oh - the Diviners is so worth it. Have heard it is fantastic as an audio book. I read it and couldn't sleep for days as couldn't put it down (and it was creepy in a delightful way!)

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    1. Carrie,
      I didn't realize that Diviners is spooky but a couple of people have said that. I'll be listening in my car in the day light so I should be ok. :)

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  9. I like your optimism! Bomb and How They Croaked sound fascinating. I'm not really a NF type but I may read these- most likely Bomb since that's the one being mentioned a lot with all the awards it's won. I loved David Weisner's Tuesday.

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    1. I love Tuesday! Honestly, I have I idea why it took me so long to read Flotsam. And if you're not one for NF, definitely go with The Bomb. It's narrative and you really get caught up in the "characters" and the action. Or I did, anyway.

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  10. Hmmm I did not like the If I Lie Book...but some of the other military titles that I have are two Navy Seal books...of course I can't remember the titles...Should I check out the Dark Unwinding?

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    1. Hi, Beth! I got one Navy seal book at ALAN. I can't remember the title either. I need to check it out. As for the Dark Unwinding, depends what you're looking for, I think If I Lie has much more teen appeal, but I liked the writing in Dark much more and it's a really original story.

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