Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's THIRSTday!

Thank you to David Etkin for starting a meme on his blog, {Eat the Book}. Today is Thursday THIRSTday: A beverage and a book.

My THIRSTday post each week is going to have a twist. One of my best friends, Karan Witham-Walsh, is an incredibly talented artist and makes pottery in her very own studio. She also teaches ceramics at a local high school. We decided to pair our passions: books and pottery! My beverage will be featured in her amazing designs.  Right now I'm reading Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin while enjoying a beverage from Karan's beautiful mug (impressed by how we matched the mug to the book jacket?).  Check it out on her Etsy site! Here is the direct link:  Wheel Thrown Mug with Spiral in Cedar Shino and Steel Gray Shino Glazes  She sells lots of beautiful, durable, amazing pottery there, so you can order the mug, or anything else you find and love, for yourself!! Enjoy your coffee!

I bought this book before Monday's ALA Youth Media Awards.  Look at the book now:
All those new shiny stickers!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nonfiction Wednesday

Thanks to Kid Lit Frenzy, I made a goal to read more nonfiction this year which I will be featuring on my blog every Wednesday.

Here are the nonfiction books I read this week:
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

Five foot tall Clara Lemlich arrived in America hardly speaking a word of English. Within weeks she was hired, along with thousands of other immigrant girls, to make blouses in a garment factory. She quickly realized that this life was not what she imagined. Long hours, filthy working conditions, and abusive bosses left Clara sore and exhausted. In spite of it all, she would walk to the library after her shift and learn to read. Soon Clara fought back and encouraged the other girls to fight with her. They would go on strike! She was arrested and beaten, but gritty Clara would not be defeated. She organized the largest walkout of women workers in U.S. history! "Proving that in America, wrongs can be righted, warriors can wear skirts and blouses, and the bravest hearts may beat in girls only five feet tall." Sweet's illustrations are charming and heartfelt. I really love her work. Great book to inspire girls!
Read an interview with Melissa Sweet at A Year of Reading:
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
 5 of 5 stars
The Pinkneys did an amazing job with this book, and it's going to be a great addition to my civil rights unit. I love the way A. Pinkney compared the event with food. B. Pinkney's illustrations capture the dynamic energy of the young people's actions. Dr. Martin Luther King's quotes are interspersed throughout, my favorite being: "Be loving enough to absorb evil." These young people did a phenomenal thing without using violence.
This week I'm reading:
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
This won multiple awards on Monday at the ALA Youth Media Awards:

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
2013 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children
published in 2012
The 2013 John Newbery Honor Award
Right after my classes saw the awards, they were asking to read this book.  I have a long sign up list!
What nonfiction books are YOU reading this week?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Congratulations, A.L.A. Youth Media Award Winners!

 My students were watching with me today!  We did a big Mock Caldecott Club unit, so this is how they reacted to that announcement:

What an exciting day it was today as we watched the winners announced on the live webcast of the ALA Youth Media Awards, archived here: !!  I woke up excited, and I could just imagine the authors and illustrators of 2012's wonderful books anticipating phone calls.  I'm very happy with the winners!  I was sad that Wonder by R.J. Palacio was completely passed over this year, though.  However, I know that her book will continue to be loved, read, and talked about in years to come.  Here are a few of my favorite categories:

(The Schneider Family Book Awards honors an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.)
Middle School Title

A Dog Called Homeless
This is what I thought Wonder could have won if it didn't win the Newbery.  I haven't read this winning title, but it looks very sweet!
( The Robert F. Sibert Medal is for the most distinguished informational book for children.)

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Wow - this book won quite a few awards!
Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster

I had several students read this for a Titanic project, and they loved it.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon


We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March

I've got small groups reading this book right now.  It's excellent.
(The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.)
The Fault in Our Stars
This one makes me laugh because I read this aloud on our annual girls' summer trip in the car!  It was so hard to read aloud - we were all crying!  I should have won this.  Ha.
Ghost Knight
I listened to this and thought the narrator was fantastic, so I'm happy it won an honor award for the Odyssey.
( The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator, published in the United States, whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.)
I'm so happy she won.  Bridge to Terabithia is one of my favorite children's books of all time.
(The William C. Morris Award honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.)
Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)
I haven't read this one yet, but I thought the cover was so beautiful, and I heard so many good things about it, I had to buy it!  It's been sitting on my shelf ready to be read.
(The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.)
Up, Tall and High
I haven't read this one, but I did read two of the honor books:
Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
I loved this one!
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Kids LOVE Pete the Cat books!
Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover
I haven't read this one, but now I will!  CeCe Bell is Tom Angleberger's wife!

(The Coretta Scott King Book Awards honors African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults.)
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
I just bought this one for my  Civil Rights Movement unit!!
I, Too, Am America
I haven't read this one, yet, but I love Bryan Collier's work, so I'm very glad he won.


No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller

Each Kindness

This book made a big impact on my students.

I Have a Dream (Book & CD)

I just read this aloud to my classes to introduce our Civil Rights Movement unit.

(The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected 10 adult books with special appeal to teen readers to receive the 2013 Alex Awards.)

Girlchild: A Novel

Some friends of mine read this book and recommended.  It's been on my TBR list for awhile.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

One of my teacher friends JUST told me about this book, and I bought it over the weekend!

The Round House

Wow - it's also this year's National Book Award Winner!  It's sitting on my coffee table.


( The Michael L. Printz Award is for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.)

In Darkness

This title was completely under my radar.  It's the first time I've heard of it.  It's on my TBR list now!

One of FIVE Honor Books:

Code Name Verity

I LOVED this book and really thought it might win.  I'm happy it was named as an honor book, though.


(The Caldecott Medal is for the most distinguished picture book.)
NPR did a story on the Morning Edition about the Caldecott turning 75,  the oldest of the medals given today.

This is Not My Hat

I'm SO happy this won today!  It was my number one pick.  I had lots of students pick it, too, for their favorite.

Creepy Carrots!

Such a funny book. 
Extra Yarn
Wow!  Jon Klassen had TWO winners this year!

Green One Cool Friend

A lot of my students loved both of these!

Sleep Like a Tiger

This one got away from me - I hadn't heard of it.  I will put it on my TBR pile!


(The 2013 Newbery Medal goes to the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.)

The One and Only Ivan

YAY, Ivan!!  Students, teachers, parents, and librarians were cheering all over the country for you! 


Splendors and Glooms

I'm listening to this story right now, and it's excellent!

Three Times Lucky

I had a small group read this book during a mystery unit, and they loved it!  I enjoyed it, too.

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Here it is again!  I think it won three awards.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!  Now let's see what this year will bring! Are you excited about any 2013 books already?

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.

Hattie Ever After (Hattie, #2)
5 of 5 stars 
I received this ARC from NetGalley. I LOVED this follow up to Hattie Big Sky. Hattie is a character who leaves an indelible mark, and I can only hope she hasn't left us for good. Surely Kirby Larson has more Hattie stories to write! In this book, Hattie continues to show us she has courage and determination. She may not have achieved her goal to prove up on her uncle Chester's claim, but that didn't stop her for long. She eventually travels to San Francisco (rebuffing poor Charlie's request to join him in Seattle) as a seamstress with a traveling acting troupe and dreams of becoming a big city reporter. There is also a mystery to solve: what can she find out about Uncle Chester's old flame? In San Francisco, she works her way up the ladder at the Chronicle and pursues her goals. However, her path is not always easy, and she finds out some things that break her heart. We know Hattie, though, and we know that she will not lose hope and faith forever. I love that Larson has created a character that shows us what can happen when opportunity meets preparedness - the sky's the limit! I liked the references to scriptures and Hattie's reliance on them: "Are not two sparrows sold for one penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care" and "I might be feeling a bit like Jonah, and this city might seem like that whale, ready to swallow me whole. But miracles were still possible." There's even a nod to Emily Dickinson when she asks, "But hope is a thing with feathers, isn't it?" Pair this book up with The Daring Nellie Bly: America's Star Reporter by Bonnie Christensen.

Open This Little Book
  Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausemeier, illustrated by Suzy Lee 5 0f 5 stars
2013-book, animals, books-about-books, metafiction, picture-book

This is a special, beautiful little book and proof that there will always be a place for real books. You could not read this on an e-reader.  It is an interactive experience.  I want to look at it again and again because it's charming, creative, and clever. Little ones will love it!  If you have a baby in your life, this could be the first gift from you to start his or her literary life. 

 4 of 5 stars

Excellent NPR interview with Rick Riordan:

This was a fun fantasy to listen to - the narrators were excellent. I enjoyed Carter's and Sadie's bantering. The Kane siblings have lived apart for some time - Sadie with her grandparents in London, Carter with his brilliant father and Eygyptologist, Dr. Julius Cane. They come together at the British Museum where Dr. Kane unleashes the god Set from the Rosetta Stone. Unfortunately, he also releases 4 other gods and Julius gets imprisoned in a coffin. The rest of the story involves the siblings using their newfound powers to save the world from the evil Set. Kids will learn a lot about Egyptian mythology, but they will especially enjoy the adventure! Great series beginning! 

4 of 5 stars 
I finally read this wildly popular adult thriller/mystery about Nick and Amy Dunne, and their troubled marriage. On their 5th anniversary, Amy disappears, leaving behind upturned living rooom furniture (which investigators decide looks staged), cleaned up blood in the kitchen, and clues for their traditional anniversary treasure hunt. Twists and turns await at every corner, and you're not too sure who is the bad guy as you ride this roller coaster mystery. I'm looking forward to talking about it at book club!
I was going to read The Runaway King next, but a student asked my to read an Erin Hunter book next because she loves them, and I can't resist a direct student request to read a book! :-) 
Into the Wild (Warriors, #1)
Malcolm at Midnight
Splendors and Glooms
The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)
Out of The Easy