Reading, Teaching, Learning

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to particpate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week. I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.




 
These are the titles I read this week:
 
Cupcake Tycoon (Babymouse, #13)
 
4 of 5 stars


So funny! Babymouse wants the grand prize in the libary fund-raiser and tries everything just to realize the prize wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Typical. I love Babymouse's imagination and spunky spirit!

 

Dragonslayer (Babymouse, #11)

allusion, books-about-books, character-traits, graphic-novel, imagination, math-connections, reading-gap-challenge-2013, visual-literacy, vocabulary
5 of 5 stars

I loved this Babymouse story! Poor Babymouse is recruited onto the math quiz team after receiving an F- on a test. She is a self-proclaimed failure at math (and the narrator agrees). How will she ever survive? This one is full of fantasy story allusions - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, etc. Such funny lines, too, from the geometry whiz, Lucy, the bat (I love the upside down speech bubbles from her) and the narrator. I love the evil Owlgorithms!

Puppy Love (Babymouse, #8)
 

allusion, books-about-books, character-traits, dogs, graphic-novel, humor, idioms, reading-gap-challenge-2013
4 of 5 stars
This time Babymouse is convinced she wants a pet, but she's not very good at taking care of them. In fact, a lot of them just up and disappeared!! I love the "missing" pictures on the milk cartons at the end. Glad this one referred to Charlotte's Web, my favorite children's book!
 
Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1)
 
5 of 5 stars

Awww! I LOVE Babymouse! I got around to reading the first one after reading several others first. Babymouse teaches kids to be themselves (curly whiskers and all - love that!), be happy about who they are and what they have, and be good to true friends!
 
 
I love the Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm brother/sister team who create Babymouse and Squish graphic novels!  Graphic novels was a book gap of mine, so I'm working hard to read more of them because my students LOVE them!
 
Splendors and Glooms
 
4.5 of 5 stars
 

Wow. The audio is incredible. I loved the narrator's voices for each character. This book truly absorbs you back in time in a Dickensian story of magic, marionettes, and macabre undertones. It's Clara's birthday, and all she really wants is for the puppeteer, Grisini, to perform with his assistants at her party. It isn't quite proper since Clara is a lady, and all her siblings recently died of cholera. Nevertheless, her parents indulge her, and she meets the children assisting Grisini, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. Clara becomes captivated by them, and thus begins this spellbinding story. The writing is exquisite; the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I can't imagine it would have wide appeal to kids. I may be wrong, though. I'd certainly like to hear what they have to say. I can definitely understand why it won a Newbery Honor.
 

Out of The Easy
 
4.5 of 5 stars

If you want to escape into another place and time, this is the book for you! I read this as a Net Galley e-book and didn't want to put it down. Josie is a seventeen-year-old who is trying to escape the dysfuntional grip her mother has on her. It's 1950, and her mother is a prostitute in a seedy brothel in the Big Easy. Josie longs to escape the life of lies, illicitness, and deceit and attend Smith College in Massachusettes. However, finding a grand total of $8,000 won't be easy, and is she really destined for the life of an intellectual or will she always be part of the underbelly of New Orleans? Willie, the brothel madame, believes in her and tells her she's "...got a bigger story than that." Josie wants to believe it's possible, "that my wings, no matter how thin and torn, could still somehow carry me away..." Unfortunately, she becomes embroiled in her mother's craziness once more when there is a murder in town. Josie starts seeing her dreams become nightmares as she is investigated and eventually threatened. "Call this place 'The Big Easy," shoot, ain't nothin' easy about it." Josie also seeks clarity about a couple romantic prospects. Will Josie find her destiny? I thought the last half of the book was its strongest. It took me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked! The subject matter may not make this novel for everyone, and you'll need to think about what teens to recommend it to, but the theme of staying true to yourself and making your dreams come true no matter what circumstances you're in, makes it accessible to everyone.

CURRENTLY READING:

 
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO:
 
The Last Runaway
 
ON DECK:
The Dovekeepers
 
Come back on Wednesday to read reviews of the nonfiction titles I read this week. 
What are YOU reading??
 
 

 
 
 
 
 


 

 
 

20 comments:

  1. I have yet to read anything by Tracy Chevalier but I hear she's a great author - I really need to pick up one of her books soon!

    Have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog!
    ~Kristin @ Always With a Book

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    1. My favorite book by Chevalier was The Girl with a Pearl Earring!

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  2. Such great books on this list. I see you're reading The False Prince series. My daughter loved it and I'm reading it soon. I also want to read Out of the Easy. Enjoy your reading week!

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    1. The False Prince was fantastic! I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel!

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  3. Splendors and Glooms sounds awesome. I'm adding that to the list right now. I look forward to hearing about In a Glass Grimmly, too.

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    1. Did you read A Tale Dark and Grimm? It was awesome!

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  4. Out of the Easy looks good to me....enjoy your week!

    And here's MY MONDAY MEMES POST



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  5. Wow! You have a lot of books in this post. Alice Hoffman is one of my secret favorite authors ever since Illumination Night so I'll check back with you next week. Out of the Easy has been on my list for a while--I'm moving it up-- and I can't wait for the Runaway King to be released. Thanks for all of the recommendations!

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    1. I liked the Blue Diary by Hoffman! Enjoy Out of the Easy and Runaway King!

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  6. I've been hearing so much about Babymouse, I feel like I've been so remiss. I really should check out whether we have them in our libraries and just borrow them enmasse. :) Ok, we do have quite a few titles - I just checked our online database. Will catch up with this series soonest. :) I have a feeling it would also fit our next bimonthly theme. :) Splendors and Glooms is called FIRE SPELL in our part of the world. I actually borrowed it from our libraries when I learned that it won the Newbery Honor. Not very sure though that I'd be able to finish it in time. Thanks for sharing all these lovelies this week.

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    1. Have fun checking out Babymouse! That's so interesting that titles of books are different in other countries!

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  7. I already started laughing about the titles of the Babymouse series. They look like a great read.

    Your other reads look good too.
    Thanks for dropping by on my blog, have a great week

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    1. Babymouse is hilarious! You have a great week, too. Hope you can fit lots of reading in! :-)

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  8. I just can't wait to read Out of the Easy. I am number one in the hold queue at my library but the book is on order and hasn't come in yet. Once I finish The Emerald Atlas with my children, we are reading The Runaway King. Everyone in my house wants to read it first so doing it as a read aloud is the only way to keep the peace!We listened to The False Prince as an audio book and it hooked my whole family including my husband!

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    Replies
    1. I love that you're reading aloud in your family!! Enjoy!

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  9. Splendors and Glooms sounds like one my oldest son and I might like. I have Girl with a Pearl Earring and Alice Hoffman on my to-read list as well. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, returning the visit and look forward to seeing what else you read!

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    1. Tanya,
      I'm thrilled that you chose to follow my blog!! Enjoy Splendors and Gloom! You'll love Girl with a Pearl Earring!

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