Reading, Teaching, Learning

Sunday, January 19, 2014

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. 
  
 
Just a few books last week:
 
GRAPHIC NOVEL
 
Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril (Lunch Lady, #8)
 
 
 
           early-reader, graphic-novel, humor, intermediate-kids-book, mystery             
 
 
I love the nod to Mr. Schu, the guybrarian! Clever mystery and lots of funny scenes and lines. The connection to Fashion Week is hilarious. Even embezzling is addressed! Great installment in the Lunch Lady series. 
 
               EARLY READER/MIDDLE GRADE                 
Fortunately, the Milk
 
 
 
 
 
What a crazy and fun book! When a father goes out to buy milk for his kids, he comes back with an imaginative tale about why he was gone so long. Great illustrations accompany this fantastical story. I think it would be a fun writing launch. Neil Gaiman has quite an imagination!
 
MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT
 
Milkweed
 
 
 
 
I read this book years ago on my own, but I just finished it as a read aloud with my 6th graders. So powerful! It was great as a read aloud because it gave us a chance to discuss how point of view influences a story (Misha's naivity), symbolism (angels and milkweed), dehumanization (persecution of Jews), inference (trying to read between the lines of Misha's narration), theme (connecting the symbols to a universal truth), characterization (Misha's "family" reminds me of the people who lived in Anne Frank's annex), etc. The kids laughed, groaned when I stopped at the end of chapters, expressed such sadness in parts, and begged me to finish it when we got close to the end. It was a great follow-up to our previous read aloud, A Long Walk to Water, and the kids made the connection that they were both stories of survival,characters enduring terrible conditions, and hope. Some kids, however, were a little disappointed with the ending. They had crafted what they hoped would be the end. It was fascinating listening to the kids work out what was going on when Spinelli briefly has Misha talk to "us" toward the end. One student put it perfectly: he's trying to tell us to stop judging - that everyone has a story and just wants to be heard. Yes. Stories are what connect us and give us hope. That's what Spinelli does for us.
 
CURRENTLY READING
 
The Goldfinch
 
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO
 
Rose Under Fire  Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)
 
My family loves to read, too, so I feature what they are reading each week.
 
Libby, 20:
 
Eleanor & Park
 
Katie, 17:
 
Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
 
Ed, my husband:
 
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
 
My dad:
 
The Trail of Whitened Skulls
 
My mom:
 
The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72
 
Come back Wednesday to see what children's nonfiction I'm reading.  What are YOU reading this week?
 
 

18 comments:

  1. Great looking reads! Milkweed is a good book.

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  2. The Goldfinch is one I've heard about from so many friends. Need to check it out.

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    1. It's very good - a little tough to read an adult book that long during the school year, but the snow days help!

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  3. My students love Lunch Lady. I'm not over enthralled with graphic novels, but totally enjoyed Picture Day Peril. I have Milkweed just not sure why I haven't read it. Will put it in my stack to read.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

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    1. You definitely need to make sure you read it, Sara! I know what you mean about graphic novels, but ever since I learned my students love them, I've tried to read more of them, and I always end up glad I did!

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  4. Milkweed is similar to The Boy in The Striped Pajamas - so many connecting themes. And thanks for the Neil Gaiman clip - I could listen to him talking about his books, and literature in general.

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    1. Yes, those two books similar - Milkweed is more hopeful. I liked that clip, didn't you?! He's so interesting - such a unique mind!

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  5. Hi Holly, Nice selection of books! I have always wondered about Milkweed, but have never read it. Crazy is a nice way to describe Fortunately, the Milk. I read it and talked it up to my class (although it was too far out for me) but they just haven't connected with it. I will need to find this new Lunch Lady. My 4th graders love them! Enjoy your week!

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    1. You definitely need to take the time to read Milkweed. I know it's hard to go back and read old books when we're trying to keep up with the new ones, but in this case, it's worth it! Fortunately, the Milk IS crazy, isn't it?! I haven't shared it with students yet. I have a few in mind I think would connect. ;-)

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  6. Hi Holly! A great collection of books! Lunch Lady looks fun! I don't know this series. I enjoyed the clip of Jerry Spinelli. Maniac Magee will always be one of my favorite novels! I have not read Milkweed yet. Neil Gaiman - hmmm.... I am never quite sure if I love or am confused by his books! I'm intreged by his new YA book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. He looks like he could be a member of the Ramones! Have a great week.

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    1. Maniac Magee is wonderful, and I surprised to hear not many of my 6th graders have read it. I need to book talk it to drum up some interest in it again. I know what you mean about Gaiman! I listened to Ocean. He narrates it, which is wonderful, but it's strange, too!

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  7. Definetly want to read Fortunately, The Milk. Sounds whimsical and fun. We picked up Anne of Green Gables too recently, for the kids. Looks like you have lots of good reads!

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    1. Whimsical is a good way to describe it! Enjoy Anne of Green Gables. It makes me smile.

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  8. I LOVE Anne of Green Gables! It is my favorite! I just started the sixth book of the series. I have been seeing lots of things about Milkweed, so maybe I will check it out! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I would love to continue the series when I get done with the first Anne. She's such an endearing character!

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  9. I just have to say that I am always so impressed by what your husband is reading! My husband just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy and now I am having him read Bomb - my children and I kind of dictate his reading choices! He's a high school art teacher so likes to be up with latest YA books. So happy you joined #mustreadin2014!

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  10. Nice collection of books! I read the Divergent series with my son last month. He's in his 20's but I was traveling for the month and it's a good way to stay connected. Typically not a genre I read.

    I'm going to look at the paper garden.

    Have a great week!

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