In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I’ve now hit Winter Break “a little more time to read and carve an inch or two into my to-be-read pile!” I have a feeling that I might miss next week’s post as I’ll be in Vietnam… shall see. Haven’t missed a post since I committed to writing them months ago! Plus I know I’ll be reading many books!
First off, my favorite book I’ve read in a long while- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 4th grade and up (tiny mature bits mixed in, might need discussion):
Same Sun Here by Silas House & Neela Vaswani – I admit it, I LOVE books where there are different voices communicating with one another. This one especially flowed well in addition to touching on multiple sensitive topics in a beautiful way… I loved the messages mingled through the book as well, quite powerful. Additionally, I found so many “golden lines” – favorite lines- throughout the book, I started an Evernote log for them.
Here are a few treasured lines: p. 5 “In New York, the buildings are like mountains in some ways, but they are only alive because of the people living in them. Real mountains are alive all over.”; p. 14 “…favorite human…”; p. 41 “Mother Nature is stronger than anything.”; p. 97 “It seems like there are so many homesick people in the world…”; p. 165 “It’s the same sun here as it is there and that makes me feel like you’re not so far away after all.”; p. 197 “It’s like there are two worlds in drama club the world on stage and the world backstage. It reminds me of how I feel all the time.”; p. 274 “Some days it feels to me like you made out of words. but soon I’ll be shaking your hand in person.”
Goodreads Summary: “In this extraordinary novel in two voices, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner’s son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles. Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences. With honesty and humor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great value of being and having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.”
The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac, illustrated by Quentin Blake, translated by Sarah Adams – This is a professional book! NOT for children! Well this was a poignant, funny, intellectual, brilliant book. I winced in many portions of the book and had “aha” moments as well. I honestly enjoyed Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer much more. Perhaps because it was approachable but also had practical ideas.
In any case, I found many quotes that I enjoyed and identified with: “Time to read is always time stolen… By making time to read, like making time to love, we expand our time for living… I’ve never had time to read, but nothing’s ever stopped me from finishing a novel I loved… Reading isn’t about managing your social life better, it’s a way of being, like being in love…” p. 125; “Dear librarians… it would be good to hear you tell your favourite novels to visitors lost in the forest of what-to-read-next. What a great thing it you paid tribute to your favourite reads! Be storytellers- magicians- and the books will jump straight off the shelves and into the reader’s hands… Telling a story is so simple. Sometimes three words will do…” p.131-132; “Few objects inspire the feeling of absolute ownership books do. Once in our hands, they become our slaves – yes, slaves, but slaves that nobody would think of setting free, because they’re made of dead trees. Like slaves, they’re treated appallingly, the objects of our wildest passions and most abominable rages…” p. 141; Finally the end of the book shares The Rights of the Reader which has quite valid points and clear expectations. I hope that you share this poster The Rights of the Reader – Walker Books with all who would enjoy it. Plus the book has more developed explanations for each right.
Goodreads Summary: “This witty, refreshing treatise from a celebrated author and seasoned teacher is a passionate defense of reading — just for the joy of it. First published in 1992 and even more relevant now, Daniel Pennac’s quirky ode to reading has sold more than a million copies in his native France. Drawing on his experiences as a child, a parent, and an inner-city teacher in Paris, the author reflects on the power of story and reminds us of our right to read anything, anywhere, anytime, so long as we are enjoying ourselves. In a new translation with a foreword and illustrations by Quentin Blake, here is a guide to reading unlike any other: fresh, sympathetic, and never didactic, it is a work of literature in its own right.”
I loved reading this series – Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata with my son. It was certainly a graphic novel series he could have read on his own but he insisted that we read it together. I enjoyed the quick stories and the adorable kitten who had to live in hiding for the first few books since he lived with a family in a “no pets” apartment complex. I thought the pacing was well done, especially when the kitten communicates and makes friends with other cats in the neighborhood. I do admit, I won’t miss making kitten sounds for a while… I’d recommend this series for the children who love graphic novels that have animals expressing themselves, really cute. I was slightly confused when I was able to find a full video for one of the first episodes in book 1, perhaps the books are made from the tv show? I have a feeling my son and I will be watching many of these- but bonus= reading the subtitles!
I FINISHED IT: The first book in the James Potter Series- Fan Fiction following Harry’s son at Hogwarts – free!! – James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing by G. Norman Lippert. Overall, it was quite a solid fantasy with unexpected characters mingled in with Harry Potter favorites. I enjoyed the book and would recommend this as a read for other huge Harry Potter fans but warn that it does get a little long towards the middle and you might be drawn to reading the next James Potter book immediately (I’m holding myself back until I get through many other book friends.) I appreciate that some might find a Fan Fiction book a bit unexpected to be promoting, but I really appreciated the opportunity to jump back into the world at Hogwarts and also how our everyday world was mingled through this book in addition to Merlin the Magician being introduced into the series. Quite interesting.
Now I’m reading…
I finally am beginning to read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman again. Happy to have time to dedicate to it! What a world and political system Rachel Hartman created!
I am also listening to The Life of Pi by Yann Martel – 4 hours of listening to go! First time I’d recommend watching the movie before reading the book. It actually really has helped me enjoy the book more! (Never expected to say/type this!!)
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.