Monday, December 8, 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.
Son (The Giver, #4)
This was a satisfying ending to an excellent series. I loved seeing how everything and everyone came together in the end - all the connections. I'm fascinated by series like this in which authors carry out various characters' stories through multiple books.
The Night Gardener
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier (Be sure to go to Jonathan's website - he shares the songs he listened to while writing The Night Gardener - fascinating!)
"It's a bad tale that has all the answers." - Molly, The Night GardenerThis is a whoppin' good tale, and a creepy ghost story at that. Our Mock Newbery Club decided to read this together.  I'm really glad I read it so I can support some readers through the beginning. I've had a couple kids abandon it (and some who have loved it), but now I know how I can get them through to the good stuff. I think the Irish dialect and the set-up just needs to be supported. I loved the beginning, but I can see that it might be a little difficult for kids. Even some background knowledge on the Irish potato famine would be helpful. Once they get through that, I can't imagine that they'll be able to put it down. The sense of setting, characterization, and story-telling are brilliant. Reminds me of several stories: The Real Boy, A Monster Calls, The Secret Garden (wasn't surprised at all when I saw that The Secret Garden was one of Auxier's inspirations), The Wish Giver: Three Tales of Coven Tree, and Great Expectations. My students and I loved Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, and now I know they're going to love The Night Gardener! 
  I'll Give You the Sun
"Reality is crushing. The world is a wrong-sized shoe. How can anyone stand it?" How can anyone stand the beautiful and heartbreaking writing in this brilliant novel? It has to win the 2015 Printz Award. I felt like I was the one flinging off Devil's Drop, chiseling stone, and crushing dreams. This story of NoahandJude, Noah and Jude, is painful and triumphant - it attacks the human condition with ferocity and tenderness, honesty and secrets, hope and despair, love and jealousy. It brought to mind The Girls by Lori Lansens in its story of the complicated relationship of twins. I won't forget I'll Give You the Sun. I haven't cried at the end of a novel for awhile - this one got to me.


I enjoyed the narrator of the audio very much. She had just the right tone in her voice for Georgie McCool's character. This is an exploration of a marriage, and the title comes into play in a unique and mysterious way. I'm a fan of Rainbow Rowell!

The Witch's Boy
West of the Moon

My family loves to read, too!
My mom:
The Vacationers
My dad:
Claiming of the Deerfoot
Libby (21):
The Thirteenth Tale
Ed is reading LONG contracts for work, and Katie is writing a blog post for her business fraternity and studying for exams, so no books for them right now.
What are YOU reading this week?


  1. Quite a bit of variety this week! Landline sounds interesting!

  2. I haven't read any of the books you list this week. I got the one by Kelly Barnhill autographed when I attended her signing but donated it right away to my HS/MS Media Center because I knew I wouldn't be able to fit it in among the review books. Here is my week. Happy reading!

  3. All of your books sound interesting! I may have to check some of them out! I loved Eleanor and Park, so have high hopes for Landline.
    I am currently reading Counting By 7's and and really enjoying it! Not sure it is at my fourth graders level so it might stay at my house instead of at school. We will have to see what the end is like!
    Thanks for sharing what you are reading!

  4. Son was absolutely fabulous, wasn't it? I've seen I'll Give You the Sun in our library - time to grab it and read!

  5. I really would love to take the time for The Night Gardener, maybe over break? I'm currentl reading West of The Moon & enjoying it very much, a lovely story so far. Thanks for I'll give you Sun-will look for it for sure, Holly.

  6. So many good books on this list! I'm reading The Night Gardener for the 2nd time, with my Mock Newbery Club! I agree - you do have to get kids understanding the beginning. I tell them just wait until they get to the part where they see what the tree can do!
    I have I'll Give you the Sun from the library. Hope to get to it soon!

  7. I loved Son, I just ordered the Night Gardener , and my daughter just finished I'll Give You the Sun. She put it on my nightstand, which is a very favorable endorsement. Thanks for the confirmation that I need to read these books!