In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I’ve had more of a reading week than I realized! Some entertaining, some professional, and a few audiobooks as well!
I always try to keep up with Reading the World Challenge– this time I focused on a Hong Kong author:
The Tale of Run Run Rat by Sarah Brennan, illustrated by Harry Harrison and The Tale of Chester Choi by Sarah Brennan, illustrated by Harry Harrison – books both by a local author here in Hong Kong. Both have rhyming throughout. Quite honestly, I enjoyed Chester Choi more and I’m slightly burned out on rhyming books. Good action and story.
Also I’ve enjoyed:
Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Carson Ellis – This book took a little bit more focus and so I didn’t read many other books this week. I really enjoyed losing myself back in the Wildwood/Portland, Oregon world. It was a well done sequel, a little too well done with at least 5 stories waiting to be wrapped up in the third book. Quite frustrating to conclude the read and be left hanging. It felt like there were so many characters to keep track of this time but I enjoyed the book overall. Typical feeling I’ve had from a middle of a series book. It certainly didn’t feel like a repeat of the first book and I think some might find it acceptable to read independently without the first Wildwood. Goodreads Summary: “Ever since Prue McKeel returned home from the Impassable Wilderness after rescuing her brother from the malevolent Dowager Governess, life has been pretty dull. School holds no interest for her, and her new science teacher keeps getting on her case about her dismal test scores and daydreaming in class. Her mind is constantly returning to the verdant groves and sky-tall trees of Wildwood, where her friend Curtis still remains as a bandit-in-training.
But all is not well in that world. A hard winter has come and discord reigns in the wake of the so-called Bicycle Coup. Dark assassins with mysterious motives conspire to settle the scores of an unknown client. A titan of industry employs inmates from his orphanage to work in his machine shop, all the while obsessing over the exploitation of the Impassable Wilderness. Under a growing threat, Prue is drawn back into Wildwood, where she and Curtis will face their greatest challenge yet: to save themselves and the lives of their friends, and to bring unity to a divided country. But in order to do that, they must go under Wildwood. In Under Wildwood, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis reveal new dimensions of the epic fantasy-adventure series begun with the critically acclaimed, bestselling Wildwood.”
Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers – laughed my way through this wonderful book. I’m trying to read every Oliver Jeffers book in my school library. Special friendship book to enjoy! Goodreads Summary: “A penguin has wings for a reason . . . doesn’t he? Having a best friend with his own airplane is one thing, but actually experiencing what it feels like to fly by himself? Here is one penguin who believes this is precisely what he needs to feel complete. Only . . . if flying by himself is so wonderful, then why does he feel so empty? Because some experiences are better shared. (And penguins are much happier on the ground.)”
Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker – friends not only accept you for who you are but sometimes can make you feel special and accepted. Loved how square cat was upset until friends helped find a solution. Quite special book. Simple yet perfect illustrations as well! Goodreads Summary: “Eula is the only square cat in town—and she doesn’t think there’s anything hip about it. Everything that normal cats do is hard for her: She can’t get her square paw into mouse holes, she can’t wear her favorite circle skirt, and all of her friends are round! Eula is sad until her two best friends show her just how well a square cat can fit into a round world. Debut author/illustrator Elizabeth Schoonmaker applies her dry wit to the topic of fitting in, and the spare text and appealing trim size of Square Catmake it ideal for repeated readings.”
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler – I loved rereading this with my son this week, reminded me how much I loved it (and enjoyed the rhyming/repetition) and also how I loved the movie adaptation as well! Goodreads Summary: “Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when the quick-thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake “and “a hungry gruffalo . . .”
Stormy Night by Michele Lemieux – what a powerful thick, packed with philosophical reflection book! What do you think about in the middle of the night? What makes your brain keep going with curious thoughts? This book is certainly for the more mature reader (I’d say 5th grade and up) but well worth opening and featuring some pictures and pages! Goodreads Summary: “As a storm rages outside the window, a young girl lies awake at night, her head buzzing with questions: Who am I? Where did we come from? What happens when you die? No answers are provided in Stormy Night. Rather, the questions prompt readers to explore their own place in the world. Winner of the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award, this intriguing book provides parents and educators with a springboard for discussions on life’s questions. With imaginative drawings and simple but thought-provoking text, Stormy Night is the perfect place for children, regardless of age, cultural background or religion, to start looking for their own answers to all the really important questions.”
The Way of the Warrior by Chris Bradford – Young Samurai Series – This felt like quite the well researched book filled with philosophy in an approachable manner. I really appreciated the perspectives on different cultures shared in the book and actually marked chapter 8 as the perfect chapter to read aloud to introduce world awareness and developing cultural respect and understanding, even when you don’t understand what you’re doing initially. In another portion of the book, chapter 15, I loved how a boy was learning about how to understand the Japanese culture through their language. “Understand Japanese, and you understand them.” Then in chapter 16, there’s a portion that explains how apologies are imperative to the Japanese culture and help maintain proper relationships. “When one apologizes and shows remorse, the Japanese are willing to forgive and not hold a grudge.” Finally, I also appreciated how in chapter 45 there were many lessons that were already explained to learn the way of the warrior but then there was this sentence that stood out, “Rectitude, your ability to judge what is wrong and what is right, is the keystone to being samurai.” This is one powerful, reflective book that I highly recommend, not only because of the quality writing and lessons, but also because it is packed to the hilt with action and adventure. (Not for those who dislike violence.) I would partner this book with Jeff Stone’s series The Five Ancestors. Looking forward to reading more! Goodreads Summary: “Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates.
Rescued by a legendary master swordsman and brought under his wing, Jack begins the grueling physical and psychological training needed to become a samurai. Life at Samurai school is fraught with difficulty for Jack who is bullied and treated as an outcast.
With his friend the remarkable, beautiful Akiko at his side and all the courage he can muster, Jack has to prove himself. Will he be able to face deadly rivals and challenges that will test him to his very limits?”
Began to read through and highlight every other title in: A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kid’s Comics: Choosing Titles Your Children Will Love by Scott Robins and Snow Wildsmith – Grabbed it as an eBook which is also a fantastic way to make me use my highlighting and note tools on my iPad! This book might turn out to be dangerous for my book buying budget! That’s in addition to a brilliant blog post from TeachMentorTexts about various fantastic graphic novels, some are my favorites and some are new to me: http://www.teachmentortexts.com/2013/02/looking-for-graphic-novel.html#axzz2LpOTDpJ6
Goodreads Summary: “Filled with beautifully illustrated reviews and a wealth of recommendations, “A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics” lovingly and thoughtfully reveals a world of graphic novels sure to capture the imagination and curiosity of your child. Children’s literature experts and library professionals Scott Robins and Snow Wildsmith select and review 100 age-appropriate books, and recommend another 750 titles for children from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade in this full-color, first-of-its-kind guide. You’ll also find an educator’s bibliography, website recommendations, and a bounty of resources to make this magical journey informative as well as delightful.”
Read all the way through Insights into Culture and Language Looking Beyond the Mask. Organized by ESF, English Schools Foundation written by Shubba Koshy Philips, Ian Davis, Carole Denny, Carol Ford, Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, Marilyn Wong, Lisa Williams, Asma Syed. Powerful notebook filled with fantastic, honest analysis of different cultures and how to respect and understand deeper cultural philosophies as well as an interesting reflection on students in ESF through their own writing about their life as a Third Culture Kid. *This isn’t a regular book, but I wanted to acknowledge it. Organized in a notebook with tabs… If you haven’t heard about Third Culture Children before, I’ve found this video to be quite fascinating/informative.
Continuing my #readinggapchallenge – sports books
– I thought I’d read one, nope. Next week!
Thought I’d also mention my Non-Fiction Reading Goal Progress:
I’m currently reading: – In the middle of a NF book with my son, that’s it for the week! (Atlas of the US)
Adult book I listened to:
The Pioneer Woman – Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond – Finished listening to this adult novel created initially through blog posts. I’m quite fond of the great ideas that Ree Drummond shares online and also just had fun listening to an adult book. Goodreads Summary: “”New York Times”-bestselling author and accidental ranch wife Drummond sharesher real-life storybook romance, set on a historic Oklahoma cattle ranch.”
I’m currently reading:
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale – so happy to read this book! Great so far and I’m so happy to be back in the world that I loved in the first book Princess Academy. I’m already finding it quite political (which is reasonable) and humorous at times. Goodreads Summary: “Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen’s Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place.
Picking up where “Princess Academy” left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.”
I also am listening to The Round House by Louise Erdrich – Wow is this a high school/adult book! NOT not not for elementary or middle school. There. I’ve warned you now. I’ve sat in rapt attention listening to this book. The reader has one of those amazing voices that I can’t stop listening to. Really upsetting story so far, getting in my head emotionally with quite the powerful mystery twist. Goodreads Summary: “One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.”
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.