Monday, September 15, 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. 

Laugh with the Moon

This is one of our small group book choices for our 6th grade theme SOCIAL INJUSTICE in September. Thirteen-year-old Clare is hurting from her mother's death, and now her father has dragged her to Africa where he'll be working in a local hospital, and she'll be attending the village school. She is furious with her father and just wants to be home. When they arrive in Malawi, she is greeted by a large monkey drinking a Coke. This is just the beginning of feeling like a fish out of water. However, through her friendship with Memory, a tragedy involving Memory's brother, and teaching English and theater to the young students at Mzanga Full Primary School, she discovers "home" can be found in the African jungle. I loved the parts that describe Clare teaching English to the young children - she uses a lot ideas that we used when teaching at the English camp in our recent trip to Czech Republic (Simon Says, bingo cards, "Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and hokey-pokey), and I remember sweating like she did on the first day!!
Shooting Kabul
This is another small group book for our SOCIAL INJUSTICE unit. It's perfect timing since we just talked about September 11th, and they're in the middle of reading it. It explores the journey of Fadi from Kabul, Afghanistan to California. His family fled Afghanistan because of the Taliban, but because of terrible circumstances, they had to leave his little sister, Miriam behind. Fadi blames himself. Once he is in the U.S., 9/11 happens, and then he has to endure prejudice as well. His photography and a chance to win a trip to India may give him a chance to find her again.  The story is fascinating and gives kids a chance to learn a lot about the Taliban, the war on terror, and what prejudice and fear can lead to.
Going Bovine
This is one trippy Wizard of Oz/Alice's Adventures in Wonderlandlike, weird story!! It has one of the funniest beginnings I've ever read, but man. It is very strange.  Sixteen-year-old Cameron gets Mad Cow disease and is told he's going to die.  And that's when the crazy road trip begins.  I did laugh a lot.  Get ready for one wild ride!  IF you even want to go on this trip...
El Deafo The Secret Hum of a Daisy
Gathering Blue (The Giver #2)
What are YOU reading this week?


  1. My four little girls have just started caring about social issues as of late, Here is my Monday they were discussing current events at school when they came home to tell me what they had learned. :-)

  2. Shooting Kabul is on our historical fiction book club list, Holly, and reading it always leads my kids into new insights and understandings about Afghanistan and the war. I'll definitely have to look for Burg's book, though, it sounds amazing.

  3. Going Bovine is so bizarre! I really enjoyed it on audio. I am desperate for Libba Bray's new book. I am hooked on her Diviners series. Have a great week! ~Megan

  4. Can't wait to hear what you think of El Deafo and The Secret Hum. They've been getting such good reviews! I have both of them on my list... just need time to read!

  5. I really enjoyed Shooting Kabul. I was just sent the second title and look forward to reading it. Enjoy The Secret Hum of a Daisy. Loved this title.

  6. Loved The Secret Hum of a Daisy-still need to read Shooting Kabul, & thanks for Laugh With The Moon-sounds like one to find, Holly.

  7. Laugh with the moon looks like it would be a great read:)

    Here's My Monday post!

  8. Laugh With the Moon is now on my radar as I think it would be an excellent book for a novel study. I shared El Deafo this week - an amazing book and loved that it was a graphic memoir. Secret Hum - loved this title and I'm sure you will too! Thanks, Holly!

  9. I have yet to read a Libba Bray novel - the thickness of her books is quite daunting. Shooting Kabul sounds like a must read - I have a kindred who happens to be in the Dutch special forces who fell in love with Afghanistan. I hope I can read this novel so that I can share it with him. Will try to find it. :)