Monday, January 27, 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. 
Not only is it #IMWAYR day, but it's Youth Media Awards Day!  Woohoo!  I'm writing this Sunday night, and we're supposed to get snow, so I don't know if I will be watching it with my students or at home.  It's MUCH more fun with students because they have their favorites, too, and will be excited for the winners, but either way, I'm watching it!   Good luck to all the wonderful writers and illustrators of young people's literature who wrote books in 2013.  I can't imagine life without your art and am so grateful for how your books make my life and the life of kids, teachers, and kidlit fans better and richer.  Thank you!  I love what Jarrett Krosoczka said on Facebook Sunday:
    There is anxiety across the land tonight ahead of the big Newbery / Caldecott announcements tomorrow. Regardless of the outcome, we'll all continue to do what we do best-create & connect kids to great children's literature.
      Books I read last week:
     Please Bring Balloons
    Jen Vincent featured this on a "It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" post, and I loved the cover, so I found it at the bookstore. The art is beautiful, and I enjoyed the adventurous story of a girl who finds a note rucked under the saddle of a polar bear on the carousel. The note asks for some balloons, and after she finds enough, he takes off with her on his back. He brings her back before bedtime, and the next day, she thinks she dreamed the whole thing. The ending brings a great surprise.
    The Museum

    I could completely relate to the little girl in this book. I love museums, and the illustrations showed how art can inspire you. Students can have fun learning about the famous pieces in the book. It's fitting that the adult book on this post is about a museum, too, and the importance of art.
    Rose Under Fire
    2013-book, audio-book, character-who-writes, friendship, historical-fiction, holocaust, mock-printz-2014, poetrystory-within-a-story, strong-girl-character, survival, symbolism, war

    CAUTION: These videos are about the women's concentration camp featured in Rose Under Fire and the Nuremburg trials, also written about in the novel. They contain disturbing footage and is not suitable for young children to watch.


    The character Rose Justice is amazing. Not only is she a daring American ATA pilot and poet, but she is a survivor. I really loved Code Name Verity, so I was looking forward to reading this companion.  What amazes me is that Elizabeth Wein can not only write this compelling story, but she includes Rose's beautiful poetry, which of course, she wrote, too. This book would make a great addition to jr. high and high school libraries, along with Code Name Verity. Students who are interested in WWII and the Holocaust will be drawn towards both and learn more about the role women played in the war.


    The Goldfinch

     There is SO much to this epic book, not only because of its monster length - 770 pages and dense - but because the story is so outrageous, sad, disturbing, and full of life, dysfunction, and pain. With all its heaviness, there are also humorous parts, and I have to say Boris must be one of the best characters in literature that I've read in a while! I love the idea of the painting carrying the thread of the story in all its symbolism, and as hopeless as Theo Decker is, you root for him all the way to the end. I loved Hobie, too. Tartt is an incredibly talented writer. She does so many amazing things with craft in this book. The settings are brilliant - characters in themselves - New York, Las Vegas, Amsterdam. Of course, now I want to see the painting. I've been to the Frick, but I don't remember seeing it. I didn't have a connection to it at the time, though. Most of the art I remember seeing and loving, I connected to it because of reading about it! Our book club about this book is Monday night, so I'm looking forward to hashing this out with everyone.

     Seven Stories Up

         (Almost done with Anne)
    The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)

    My family loves to read too!

    Katie (17)

    Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

    Libby (20)

    East of Eden

    My husband

    Act of Treason (Mitch Rapp, #9)

    My dad

    The Graves at Seven Devils

    My mom

    The Woman Upstairs

    What are YOU reading this week?


    1. I am a FAN OF MAGGIE!! I hope you enjoy The Dream Thieves!!

      This is what we are reading this week.

      Leydy @OUaT & RCE

    2. I need to get a copy of Rose Under Fire. Always need more books from this era.

    3. I have heard a lot of really good buzz about The Goldfinch. I will definitely have to look for that one. I also want to read Rose Under Fire. I had an e-galley of the book but never got to it. I loved Code Name Verity and I am sure I will love this one as well. Enjoy The Dream Thieves!

    4. You finished Rose Under Fire in perfect time!!! I love love love Please Bring Balloons. I have it out to my first grade teachers now to share with their classes. Love the story, love the illustrations!! I am meeting Maggie Stiefvater in a few weeks. I'm waiting to buy her books until that day so I can have them autographed :) Added a couple of other books to my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing some great titles!

    5. I watched the webcast this morning but didn't take notes. Now, trying to get the press release, I am finding an overloaded website. I want to get the winners on my next book orders but will wait until later in the day to try to get the complete lists. I know Rose Under Fire was mentioned for something but I haven't read Code Name Verity yet. Come see my Monday Report if you get a chance. Happy reading!

    6. These are great books. I HAVE to read Rose Under Fire!

    7. I love your list. I have to finish my current one and plan to add the Rose Under Fire and Allegiant to my stack soon. Thanks for sharing.

      Mary-andering Creatively

      Mary-andering Among the Pages

    8. I tried to find Seven Stories Up at the bookstore this weekend to no avail. I always enjoy a Maggie Stiefvater book-good narration.

    9. I love that you shared what your family is reading! Goldfinch is next up in my husband's stack, sounds like I might need to carve out some time to read it, too! I'm patiently waiting for Please Bring Balloons to come in at the library and I am really looking forward to Rose Under Fire.

    10. I love The Raven Boys series on audio! How is your 17 year old enjoying Allegiant? Having finished the series and having strong feelings about it I am so curious to hear how others feel! Have a great week.~Megan

    11. I loved Code Name Verity, and Rose Under Fire sounds equally wonderful. Thank you for the clips, too. I'd love to share bits of these with my kids when I book talk books of this time period. And I love the interviews with Tartt, although I had issues with Goldfinch, who speaks so eloquently about writing and her process.

    12. The Museum looks adorable! Rose Under Fire sounds like a very powerful read! Thanks for sharing them! =)

    13. My daughter just finished Goldfinch, & I'd love too, but just have too much else to read-maybe someday! I also have Rose Under Fire-just adored Code Name Verity, so I'm sure it's wonderful as you said, Holly. Lots of reading done this week-love seeing what everyone is reading, too!

    14. Holly - thank you for the clips about the Goldfinch! I am even more excited to read it now! The Museum looks so great - I LOVE art museums and galleries too - and with Peter H. Reynolds illustrations it looks like a must have for me! I'm thrilled to be attending and speaking at a big reading conference in Toronto in a few weeks where he will be one of the keynotes! I will be anxiously awaiting the Caldecott announcement tomorrow too! Have a great week!

    15. The Goldfinch is on my list too! So is Please Bring Balloons! Have a great reading week!

    16. I bought Rose Under Fire because I loved Code Named Verity so much. Can't wait to read it. Think I will save it until March Break where I can read it without many breaks.