Monday, August 26, 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.
Well, you can certainly tell that I've started back to school because I finished a grand total of ONE book this week!  Surely that will improve as I come back up for air, right?!  The good news is that the ONE book I did finish packed a powerful punch and started a flurry of Twitter conversations about involving kids in social change that I hope will come to fruition!! More about that to follow!  It was published in 2011, so I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it, but I finally did, and am SO glad!

This story is told in the points of view of two children in Sudan: Nya, a young girl in 2008 who has to walk two hours to fetch water for her family twice a day, and a young boy, Salva, in 1985 who becomes a "lost boy" of Sudan as a result of war and must travel extremely long distances over Africa to find safety. Both children must overcome incredibly difficult hardships in order to survive. The ending is just amazing. When I finished it, I was on my way to my college daughter's apartment. One of her roommates founded a Living Water, Int. group on Miami University's campus.  I knew she would love the book, so I handed it to her when we got there.  I was right!  She Facebook messaged me later telling me how perfect it was!  I agree!  She started brainstorming ways we could help her organization.  Then I tweeted out that I loved it and included David Etkin on the tweet because he's talked about that book for awhile.  That started a whole conversation about how we could use it as our first read aloud and get the kids involved in a water project!  A first-year 4th/5th grade teacher, @MrSheskeyReads jumped in, too, so we may all three be partnering in this project. I talked to another sixth grade teacher at my building today, and she had already planned on reading it to her classes and wanted to plan a service project, also, so we'll increase our numbers that way.   SO exciting!  David found this awesome t-shirt.  Our motto, maybe?  Stay tuned!


Video summary of my daughter's friends on their Guatemala project:

I thought about all the reading and research the kids could do around this book.  I love that books and stories can inspire action!

Check out a Wonderopolis Wonder of the Day that applies:

I like to share what my family is reading:

My husband:
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

My 17-year-old

A Thousand Splendid Suns

My 20-year-old (Yes, still! It's long!):
The Source

My mom:
Hattie Ever After (Hattie, #2)

My dad:

Matt Train

What are YOU reading this week?  I hope I have more books to report about next week, but if I only had to have one this week, A Long Walk to Water was a good one!



  1. I love that you list what other people in your family are reading! It's so cool to see a whole family of readers. :)

  2. Holly - Thanks for the great post and for including the interview with Linda Sue Park. I love A Long Walk to Water and how the two stories weave together. It was one of 5 books I used with a grade 7 class for Lit. Circles last year. All 5 books focused on a similar theme of strong children overcoming adversity in challenging and sometimes tragic circumstances The other titles included: Bitter Chocolate by Sally Grindley, The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird, Iqbol by Fransesco D'Adamo, Taxi by Deborah Ellis. These stimulated rich and thoughtful discussions within the groups. I really enjoyed seeing what your family is reading!

  3. I know exactly how you feel! I've been reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library for a week! Read The Source years ago and loved it! A Long Walk to Water sounds like an amazing book. Thanks for sharing, Holly!

  4. Looks like you had quite a few historical fiction books on your reading list! I will definitely be checking out some of these titles.

    Stop by and check out The Monster Report

  5. Loved A Long Walk to Water. Well. Wish it would have been TOTALLY fictional. But it was so well done even in all it's sadness and reality.

    And my sentence makes no sense. :/ ;)

  6. i, too, enjoy that you include what your family members are reading! it's great when it's an activity everyone does- even separately, there's a togetherness!

  7. Love the cover of Hattie Ever After