Jen & Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts host a meme every Monday that invites people to share the children's and young adult books they have been reading over the past week and what they plan on reading the following week.
You may find more complete information about what I am reading at Goodreads or by clicking on the Goodreads widget along the side of my blog.
And so I come to the end of the challenge with a fabulous book. Gorillas are apparently short on words. Ivan says, "Humans speak too much. They chatter like chimps, crowding the world with their noise even when they have nothing to say." Ivan keeps his speech brief, but with beauty. Katherine Applegate used few words, but they were well chosen and powerful. I look forward to putting this book into many hands over the years.
Nerdies Shortlist Books
Grave Mercy was quite the unique fantasy. A handmaiden of death is the main character in this fantasy/coming of age novel. It is a hefty doorstop type of book, but I fairly flew through it. There is quite a bit of action and intrigue. I will be happy to get the next installment.
Bonobos were the star in Endangered. I appreciated seeing this picture of The Congo and learning a bit about those sweet Bonobos. This was quite the survival story. I won't forget it soon.
Sleep Like a Tiger has beautiful peaceful illustrations. I totally understand why they gave it a Caldecott Honor. The illustrations are whimsical like the bumblebees fluttering around underwater with the whales. They puzzle me, but in a good way.
My favorite award book this week, aside from Ivan, was definitely Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I fell in love with the characters and basically drowned in the story. I read it straight through and finished around 2:30 in the morning. Fortunately it was a Friday night. There is an excellent interview with the author here.
Christopher Myers seemed to be having a lot of fun in H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination. The two characters keep one-upping each other in their efforts to be seen as the most awesome H.O.R.S.E. player. Funny and I think students can easily relate to such an exchange.
Back to Front and Upside Down! helps people to see and maybe understand what it would be like to have dyslexia. I appreciate the book because I think it helps to build empathy and I like having more books that show diverse experiences, but the story was not terribly compelling.
I also shared Green, Each Kindness, and This is Not My Hat with classes this week, but they were re-reads for me. Love these.
Random Picture Books
It's fun to think of waking dragons up and getting them out of their jammies and help them brush teeth. It's also fun to think of polar bears frolicking around in the morning. So they were fun, but not out of this world.
I have been hearing about this book since December when several Nerdybookclub members started tweeting about it. There is a Facebook group and they have had at least on Twitter chat. This convinced me I should make the purchase and I am glad I did. Penny Kittle (@pennykittle) outlines specific ways to help lead students to a love of reading which in turn leads to development of the skills they will need for college and throughout life. She shares examples from her own teaching. I appreciated that she shared successes, but also shared some of the rough spots in her teaching too. I will be happy to pass this one on to colleagues.
The Coming Week
While I work on a crocheting project, I am listening to The Mark of Athena and I am enjoying it so far. I will likely finish it next week. I also just started Libba Bray's The Diviners as part of my effort to finish all of the books on the Nerdy Awards shortlist. I have 640 books on my TBR shelf on Goodreads, so if I finish those two, I have plenty more to read. Have a great week of reading.