Reading, Teaching, Learning

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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




Here are the books I read this week:
 
MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS
 
Island of Silence (Unwanteds, #2)
 
 
 
Last week I reviewed the first book in The Unwanteds series and featured pictures from my author visit at Joseph-Beth Booksellers where I bought both books.  I couldn't stop after the first one, so here I am again reviewing the second one! 
 
This book begins with the lands of Quill and Artime open to each other, the wall taken away, after Quill attacked and Artime prevailed. Quillens and Artimeans are able to go back and forth, visiting loved ones sent away and thought to be "eliminated." Unfortunately, this does nothing to lessen the tensions between them. Aaron, Alex's twin brother, is still plotting to defeat the creative nation and its good citizens. Strange, silent people come ashore on a makshift raft. Alex tells Simber that the drive to lead is "scary. Dangerous. It's a lot easier to just...be nothing. Ignore things." Mr. Today explains to Alex, "Never forget, my boy. I chose you for this. There will always be times we struggle, make bad decisions, even fail. What's important is not that we fail, but that we learn and grow. And that we know that there is always someone out there who believes in us." When Alex's good friends, Meghan, Samheed, and Lani decide to go exploring, land on a mysterious, silent island, and go missing, Alex goes after them, with Simber's aid. While he is gone, Aaron seeks the triumph he's always wanted. Now we have to wait until the third one comes out to see what role the silent visitors will have,  if all of Alex's friends can be rescued, the power the robe contains, and whether Mr. Today chose the right successor!
 
YOUNG ADULT BOOKS
 
Legend (Legend, #1)
 
 
 


 
I thought I MIGHT be getting tired of young adult dystopian fiction, but then I listened to Legend!! Great narrators and great characters! The western United States is now the Republic and 15-year-old June is a highly trained, dedicated, wealthy member, ready for a military career. Her brother and confidante, Metias, is murdered when trying to stop a "criminal" from taking medicine from one of the Republic's hospitals. Day, the accused murderer, is a wanted enemy of the Republic, and June wants revenge. We know that Day's family, who lives in the slums, has been marked with the red X of the plague, and he just wants to save them. As their stories come together, we learn, of course, that the Republic is up to no good and June and Day are destined to be together. I'm ready for book 2!
 
Why We Broke Up
 
 
 
 
 
A site inpired by Why We Broke Up:

 
 
Sigh. Teenage heartache. I loved this book for lots of reasons. Daniel Handler did a terrific job creating the perfect voice for Minerva Green and the perfect bad boyfriend in Ed Slaterton. Handler also captured the sometimes inane-ness of high school juxtaposed with its intensity of emotions. I love how he brought us along in this relationship KNOWING that Ed was a bad idea but still sympathizing with Min and why she likes him. I loved Al and the tragedy of unrequited love. I loved Handler's lists of high school things, what Min is not - perfect writing prompts for high schoolers. I was intrigued by Min's love of film and her "arty" friends. I listened to the audio but also looked at the real book since it's illustrated by Maira Kalman. I like how the story was told around a box of memorabilia that Min thunks down by Ed's door to tell him why they broke up. I just liked it all and felt completely connected to it having been a teenage girl myself and now raising two of them. High school teachers could definitely use it in the classroom - upper high school - for discussions and a mentor text.
 
PROFESSIONAL BOOKS
Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers
 
 
 

 


All the tabs I marked! 


 
I just finished this book with tears in my eyes. I know - really?! But Penny Kittle is just so inspiring and possesses not only book love but kid love. We have to have both. She's able to express what matters in education in a world that really needs inspiration. Kids need teachers like her. Like us. We've got to advocate for kids and instill a passion for reading. We have to remember we're about kids - not curriculum, not assessment. We know curriculum is important, and we know we can teach it. What we forget is that there is a child who needs us first. I don't teach high school - I teach elementary school, but everything Kittle says starts with us. We need to challenge, inspire, and model for kids. We need to read so they will read. We need to know our kids so we know what they need. What I love about this book is that I got some practical ideas as well as ideology, but what Kittle does best is remind us why we are teachers. For them. For kids. Do I love books? Yes. But do I love kids more? Yes. So does Penny Kittle.
 
 
CURRENTLY READING:
 
A Tangle of Knots

Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It
 
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO:
 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)
 
The Higher Power of Lucky (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #1)
 
ON DECK:
 
The Secret Keeper

25 comments:

  1. I wonder if there is a Book Love for elementary readers. Thanks for sharing your books with us this week and thank you for your work with children.

    Here's my It's Monday!

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    1. The most like Book Love for elementary teachers is The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. It's wonderful, too!

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  2. I enjoyed Why We Broke Up...and do want to read The Secret Keeper. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  3. Oh, so many good books in this post! I agree that we have to be an inspiration to let our kids love reading. I try to read a variety of genres with my kids to expose them to different styles of writing. I've been wanting to read Legend and now that I see it here I'm reminded of that! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  4. I'm going to have to add Book Love to my professional stack (and stock up on Post-Its). Come see my week. Happy reading!

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  5. LOVED Book Love - and I just heard the author interview for Why We Broke up, which sounds like a winner.

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  6. Ooo so many of these look good! Tangle of Knots and the Secret Keeper are definitely going on my list!

    I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  7. Great list. I saw on Cystal Brunelle's blog that she found the audio for Legend. I would like to listen to that during library inventory time. It is on my Summer Read list. I just finished and enjoyed A Tangle of Knots and will be book talking it in the fall. I really need a heartbreak book like Why We Broke Up right now. I have had too many sweet,happy books and need a little edge. Maybe this is what I am looking for. I do love the happy ending stories but you have to have a bit of sour to appreciate the sweetness.

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    1. I think you'll enjoy Why We Broke Up! Have you tried Eleanor & Park? I totally agree that all happy books aren't enough! ;-)

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  8. Oh, are you enjoying Daughter of Smoke and Bone? I tried reading that book a couple of times and finally gave up. But everyone loved it so much that I gave the audio a try. Eureka! That did it. I am so in love with this series now. Prodigy was also awesome...maybe even better than the first! Have a great reading week! http://wp.me/pzUn5-1xN

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    1. I haven't gotten very far into Smoke and Bone, but I already like it! I'm excited to try Prodigy - it's waiting on my phone! :-)

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  9. Just finished Tangle of Knots. We are also reading it aloud. Daughter of Smoke and Bone as fantastic!!! (And the author is an Oregonian)

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    1. That's cool that you're reading Tangle of Knots aloud! I think the beginning is a little confusing with all the characters. It would be a good book to talk about what strategies to use to keep track of characters.

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  10. A Tangle of Knots has an interesting cover. I'm currently reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

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    1. I have THE HOST on my Kindle for summer!

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  11. What do you think of Tangle of Knots? I read it and then started it as a read aloud with my 3rd and 5th grade daughters. They gobbled up . . . and the looks of revelation on their faces at certain points was priceless! I'm wanting to read more YA, and Why We Broke Up has been on my list. Might be a good one to add to my summer reading stack!

    --Lorna

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    1. You'll love Why We Broke Up! Laurie is reading it aloud, too (see above). I think it would be a good read aloud! Glad to hear your students enjoyed it!

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  12. Now and then you just need a good teenagey heartache sort of book ;) I'm very curious about Why We Broke Up. I'll have to add it to my wish list.

    Have a fantastic week of reading!

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  13. So many great books! I agree that Prodigy is even BETTER than Legend!!
    I absolutely LOVE the narrator of Daughter of Smoke & Bone...she is awesome! Did you see that the title for book 3 was recently announced? Dreams of Gods & Monsters...can't wait!!
    Also, you will love Readicide. I don't know how teachers can read that and not be moved to action.

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    1. Glad to hear there is lots to look forward to in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series! I already love Readicide!

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  14. Wow. We have some very similar reading tastes. Book Love is on my tbr for summer. I've read Readicide, but need to reread it!

    Another teacher and I are hosting a twitter chat on Notice and Note by Kylene Beers. June 6,13,20 at 8pm CST. We also have a Facebook group if you want to join in. We are expecting some great conversation! :)

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  15. Oh, I'm your newest follower!

    Shannon

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    1. Yay! That's so exciting! Thanks so much for following - that makes my day! :-)

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  16. Hi there Holly! I LOVED Why We Broke Up! I also reviewed that novel when we had our Cybils theme a few months back. Daniel Handler is hands-down brilliant, isn't he? Thanks for linking to the AWB Reading Challenge, this is a great title to add to the list! I haven't read any Marie Lu novel as yet. I've been hearing so much about Book Love by Penny Kittle - we really should have that in our libraries soonest! :) Have a great reading week, Holly!

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    1. Handler really is brilliant when you think of the range of his books! I love that now he even has a picture book (THE DARK) to add to his accomplishments.

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