Every Monday, I send out a #booksaroundtheroom via Twitter, so my students can share what they’re reading with the world. “It’s Monday! What are you Reading?” is a meme co-hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts. Just like #booksaroundtheroom, it is a way to share books you’ve been reading, reviewing, and loving during the last week. I read a lot, both on my own and with my two kids, Corbchops (4.5) and The Iza (2.5). I’m excited to hear what you’ve been reading.
I think I’ll be very glad when January is over. The meetings have been non-stop. Though, I am very excited about next weekend, when I’ll be shmoozing in the exhibit hall at ALA Mid-winter. When IMWAYR comes around again, I’ll have met some of the #nerdybookclub members who have been such a huge influence in my teaching and reading life. It’s kind of like a dream. I hope I find Mr. Schu!
Of course, meetings and duties may take up my days, but reading still has a place in my evenings and weekends. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed during these last seven days:
I finished one middle grade novel and one informational book last week.
- Hokey Pokey, by Jerry Spinelli. This book was really strange, but I still liked it. As I got a better sense of what was going on, I liked it more. I’m not sure how much it will appeal to kids.
- Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers, by Tanya Lee Stone. Maybe I have a bad memory, or maybe I don’t read enough grown-up nonfiction, but I learned a ton from children’s nonfiction this year. I love the meticulous and dedicated research. Tanya Lee Stone’s story was no exception.
I read two graphic novels last week. I love graphic novels.
- Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima, by Keiji Nakazawa. I read this because Raina Telgemeier names it as one of her biggest influences. I found the story and perspective interesting, but I had a really hard time with the pervasive domestic violence in the story. Everyone was hitting everyone–kids, parents, neighbors, teachers. It almost got to be too much. I don’t know if it was a reflection of the times, or what.
- Flight, Vol. 5, edited by Kazu Kibuishi. I’ve been moseying my way through Kazu’s Flight anthologies. They are wonderful collections of short stories, graphic novel-style. It’s been interesting to see a shift in the last two volumes–the stories have moved from a more adult/young adult target audience to a much more young adult/middle grade level. I think Vol. 5 is the first one that I would consider having in my classroom.
I read 9 picture books last week. My favorite three were:
- Knuffle Bunny Too and Knuffle Bunny Free, by Mo Willems. We are huge Mo Willems fans in our house, and I was glad to finally read the rest of the Knuffle Bunny trilogy. I totally got choked up reading Knuffle Bunny Free, thinking about my kids and their “Blu-Blues.” Mo Willems is a genius.
- Hide and Seek Fog, by Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin. I used this book in class this week to teach about using fresh language in our writing. Then we gave it double duty and used it to practice summarizing. I thought the illustrations were wonderful, though one of my students said, “Mr. S, I think the illustrator made it foggy because they were lazy and didn’t want to draw in the faces.” Heh.
I didn’t review any books this week, but I will be back with another next week.
Right now, I’m reading:
Well, I’m trying to decide. I think I have to look at some library due dates. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m going to read The Runaway King!
What are you reading?