Reading, Teaching, Learning

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Review

Here are the books I read this week that I haven't already blogged about:

Boot & ShoeBoot & Shoe by Marla Frazee




Litter mate Boot & Shoe are adorable pooches who love to spend time together.  But during the day, they are front porch and back porch sitters.  Boot stays on the back porch, and Shoe stays on the front porch.  One day, a squirrel decides she's going to mess things up, and she does!!  When Boot & Shoe can't find each other, they're miserable.  It's so cute when they find each other again!!  I'll share this one with my class during our Mock Caldecott 2013 Club.




Oh, No!  Oh, no! by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

animals, humor, mock-caldecott-2013, onomatopoeia, picture-book

This reminded me of the opposite of Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. One by one jungle animals fall in a hole, in danger of a hungry tiger pouncing upon them. Fortunately, an elephant saves the day! Kids will enjoy the animal sounds. I will use this in our word play unit for onomatopoeia.

 
Candace Fleming talks about her nonfiction books:
 
 
Eric Rohmann talks about his book Last Song:
 
 
Flight Behavior
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

adult-fiction, allusion, environmental, symbolism

Dellarobia is the picture of discontent. Not happy with her shotgun marriage, she is once again seeking relief from the monotony of her life when she climbs her Appalachian mountain to meet someone. On they way she is stopped in her tracks by what looks like a lake of fire. This vision changes the trajectory of her life.  The "lake of fire" turns out to be a scientific phenomenon, and Dellarobia gets involved in finding out what caused it.  I'm a big Barbara Kingsolver fan - she is one of my favorite writers for adults - The Poisonwood Bible is one of my all-time favorite books.  This is not one of my favorites of hers, however.  The ending was good - I liked the symbolism, and I liked how everything was resolved.


Goodreads hosted a live chat with Barabara Kingsolver about Flight Behavior:
 



Every Day  Every Day by David Levithan
anti-bullying, audio-book, character-development, character-motivation, character-traits, empathy, fantasy-science-fiction, individuality, kindness, point-of-view, theme, young-adult-book

Wow. This book is fascinating. I see in another review it was compared to The Time Traveler's Wife, which I didn't think of, but yes! "A" is a soul who wakes up every day in a new body of a teenager and "borrows" that life for a day. This was just something A accepted until he (I use this pronoun loosely since we never know A's gender) meets Rhiannon. Before, A's life was somewhat uncomplicated. He could be a boy, a girl, an addict, gay, straight, fat, thin, kind, mean, etc. (all the teenagers you meet along the way could be another discussion), and he would just try to access the person's memories enough to react to situations in character so as to not disturb the trajectory of that life. But when he falls for Rhiannon while in the body of Justin, her boyfriend, he spends every day afterward trying to get back to her. This causes some upsetting results, obviously, and when A tells Rhiannon who he really is, she tries to give him a chance, but has trouble with the situation. I tried to figure out how it was going to end, but I couldn't come up with anything. I loved it when it dawned on me what was going to happen. Tragic. Perfect. Whether or not you agree with everything the author/narrator believes (I don't), this book would be an amazing discussion book. It brings up all kinds of issues and questions: Who are we aside from our body? How much does our body control who we are? How much does gender matter?What do the past and future mean? How do we live in the present? How much do memories and dreams make us who we are? Great quote from the narrator: "The past and the future are what are complicated. The present is simple." This was my first David Levithan novel. I obviously need to read more! Interesting how vehemently some reviewers DIDN'T like the book. I can understand why, but that doesn't change the fact that this book gives you plenty to explore!

David Levithan reading the beginning of Every Day:

 
Interview with David Levithan:
 
 

The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree
  The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel, illustrated by Jim LaMarche

historical-fiction, leaving-a-legacy, picture-book, Christmas

This is a story of Henry, and it's Christmas Eve, 1931. He and his father sell Christmas tree in Manhattan, and at the end of the day, they decide to give away the leftover ones to some construction workers. The workers have a party and decorate the tallest one, and it becomes the first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! Henry finds a pine cone on the ground, and he takes it as a keepsake in order to remember that magical day. The next day, on Christmas morning, the same workers come and help Henry and his family do some repairs on their house with the extra wood. In the spring, Henry plants the pine cone, and a seedling emerges. Time passes, and the ending of this book will make your heart swell. I didn't know that now the wood from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is donated to Habitat for Humanity. Sweet, heart-warming story with facts about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and Habitat for Humanity International at the back of the book. Beautiful illustrations.

Jim LaMarche discusses the illustrating process for The Carpenter's Gift:

 
Random House and Habitat for Humanity:
 
 
 
The Carpenter's Gift was being featured on a blog tour.  Colby Sharp's Sharpread, David Etkin's Eat the Book, and Heise Reads are just some of the stops along the tour.  Enjoy!
 
Happy Reading!  What have you been reading this week?
 

 

 

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