Reading, Teaching, Learning

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I decided to join many other wonderful bloggers reviewing books I read the previous week and highlighting books on my shelf for the upcoming week on Monday.  I was doing a Sunday Review, but quite frankly, I was feeling left out when everyone else was posting on Monday!  My reviews will be picture books to adult books.  These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey.

 
 

Navigating Early
5 of 5 stars

2013-book, adventure, allusion, character-development, character-motivation, characters-with-disabilities, death, friendship, gifted-character, historical-fiction, intermediate-kids-book, journey, mock-newbery-2014, quest

I read this as a NetGalley title. The somewhat mystical middle grade novel, Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, is part Good Will Hunting, part Dead Poet's Society, part Life of Pi, and part The Alchemist. Early Auden is a character that will stay with me, captivating me as he did Jackie, the main character in the story. Jack was new to the Morton Hill Academy for Boys in Maine after moving there from Kansas with his father, Colonel John Baker, Sr. after Jack's mother died. After suffering terrible motion sickness during his travels there, he still feels out of place at the boarding school. There he meets the mysterious Early after class roll calls reveal that he's almost never in class. After a disastrous attempt at competing on the rowing team, the boys end up going on a quest on the Appalachian Trail searching for a great black bear after Jack's father fails to pick him up at the start of break and the boys find themselves alone. However, the quest turns in to a search for lost things in both boys' lives. While they are on the quest, their experiences mirror Early's stories of the "1" in the irrational number pi. Besides an unbelievable adventure, the story contains great word play, allusion, theme, and symbolism. This would be a wonderful book to share with middle grade students as a read aloud. I think it would prompt great discussion! I loved Vanderpool's Moon Over Manifest, also.

The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
The Good Dream
3 of 5 stars
adult-fiction, book-club

 
I read this adult title for my book club.  It takes place in Tennessee in 1950.  Ivorie Walker is in her early thirties, and she's considered an old maid.  Her life is lonely since her mother passed away, and she continues to tend the garden and live in her childhood home. Soon George comes along, who makes her feel special.  She feels like he may be "the one."  However, something is pillaging her garden, and when she finds out it is a desperate and abused little boy, her life becomes full again in unexpected ways. 

 
Black Dog
5 of 5 stars
 

I loved this book! The illustrations are so unique and whimsical. I love the sepia-toned block pictures around the text. The story is about a black dog that shows up outside the Hope family's Victorian house. As each family member sees the dog, it grows in description until it is as big as the house itself. It takes the littlest child to face the family's fear.

ON DECK FOR THIS COMING WEEK:
Crossed (Matched, #2)
 
I'm listening to Crossed in my car.
 
The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)
 
I'm listening to The Pyramid on my walks.  It's a LOOOOONG book to listen to, so it's taken me awhile to finish it.  I need to take longer walks!
 
Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By: Becoming Your Best Self
 
This is going to be my nonfiction for the week.  I hope to use it in one of my book groups during our Civil Rights unit.
 
The Tragedy Paper
 
I hope to get to this book in the upcoming week.  I got it from NetGalley.
 
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
 
This will be the next CD in my car after I finish Crossed.

 

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