What are you reading Monday, March 10, 2014

Mon Reading Button PB to YATrying to get back into the blog swing this week so I am adding my list to Jen’s from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

To begin with I have been rereading George O’Connor’s  series about the Greek gods of mythology, The Olympians. I  wrote a teacher guide for First:Second on the series (I’ll link to that as well) and I wrote a blog post (Go here for that ….) featuring Hades.

Olympians-Poster-color-e1392443488972The basics about the whole series are — great color, exciting stories, seriously weird characters, and so much more variation that I expected. I terrific set for most classrooms, just be sure to read them before putting them on the shelf – there are references to sex, very short skirts on some of the men, and extra-marital affairs seem to be had by all. The vocabulary is no joke either! Also, terrific author’s notes about O’Connor’s research.

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Wimpy_Kid_7_Art

My partner and I have been reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel with our younger son. I traveled a bit last week and so I missed out on the middle part. I’m not a big fan of the Wimpy Kid books for my own reading, I just don’t like or hate Greg enough to care what happens. I think the books are heavy handed and moralistic (not what I look for in a book). But, and this is important, both our sons have loved this series … and so I read the books and try to connect with my boys.

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I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell … Click here for that post … I started reading Fangirl after that on the recommendation of a student in my children’s literature class. Fangirl is a BIG book, and has lots of stuff going on, including twins going to college and making mistakes, roommates, roommates ex’s, new love, fanfiction, a book withing the book, and plagiarism. Did I mention it was really-really long?

I can imagine it being a great read for YAs who read big books about people having feelings but somehow it didn’t stick with me. I can’t put my finger on my issue, but I am pretty sure it was me and not Rainbow.

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JourneyJourney by Aaron Becker is so fantastic I keep going back to it. It is one of those wondrous, rich, complex wordless picturebooks that holds all the possibilities of the world inside the covers.

A girl begins the story by taking a large red crayon in hand and creating a door that begins the journey. The detailed pen and ink with watercolor drawings are breathtaking. Taking the time to read all the tiny bits and pieces, to see the questions and the connections across the story was and continues to be an engaging process.

This book is so deserving of the Caldecott honor! In addition Aaron Becker has a terrific web page that includes a documentary about the making of Journey (StoryBreathing), a book trailer, and links to his blog, and other cool things like signed prints (just in case anyone wants to send me things for my office walls).

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I am currently reading Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle thanks to my friend Kristin. The book is weirdly wonderful, just the kind of thing I love. The characters and story stay with me when I am not reading it. In fact I think I can hear it calling me from the other room. I’ll write more about it when I am done.

  Grasshopper

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4 thoughts on “What are you reading Monday, March 10, 2014

  1. I saw your link up on Unleashing Readers and the graphic novel part caught my eye. My students love graphic novels and it has taken a long time for me to demonstrate to teachers in my school that graphic novels are perfectly acceptable reading material and in fact, a terrific way to turn a kid into a reader.of more complex literature. Comic books got me started as a reader so I speak from experience.

    Grasshopper Jungle is one book I am anxious in more than one way to read..GH sounds unique and exciting but I wonder if I will also end up with horrific nightmares. I think I will give it a chance. I bet it will hook my 6th grade students.

    1. Read Grasshopper before putting it out to your class! I think it is a great book but there is some issues some communities might find … off-putting. And yes, creepy things are fabulous! Please feel free to share my blog with your fellow teachers and let me know if they have questions I might be able to address.

  2. I just received a review copy of Grasshopper Jungle and I am extremely excited to read it. It’s too bad I missed out on The Olympians when we did a reading theme on gods and goddesses, I’m sure that would have been a great addition to our list. Haven’t read any of the Wimpy Kid books myself, but my 12 year old simply love it.

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