In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Why do I stare blankly at a person when they ask me how I do all that I do, where I find the time to do what I do? I always am thinking in my head “I just do what I do. I am what I am… I prioritize what I’m interested in and also work on other projects.” It doesn’t seem like much to me since I love what I’m doing… So, here we go, another week of reading. Loved this week, it was a distracting one where I didn’t feel like I was able to prioritize reading as much as I usually do. I still enjoyed numerous books, but I had many more that were calling to me from my to-be-read shelves. I also added an extra book to the shelf this week which I’m drawn to reading soon as well…
Prodigy by Marie Lu – Well, once again, I couldn’t stop reading Marie Lu’s book. Fantastic and thrilling from the beginning to the end. The book did get a little angst ridden at times but in a reasonable amount for the age of the characters. I appreciated how the setting was further developed and the government situations were further defined. What a future Marie Lu created. My heart is wrenched with the conclusion… Goodreads Summary: “June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Electors. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong? In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.”
Can I tell you about Asperger Syndrome? A guide for friends and family by Jude Welton – Fantastic, helpful, useful book. Brief yet additionally full of helpful explanations and tips. I wasn’t sure how to share this book with my son. We had many conversations through the reading… Goodreads Summary: “Meet Adam – a young boy with AS. Adam invites young readers to learn about AS from his perspective. He helps children understand the difficulties faced by a child with AS – he tells them what AS is, what it feels like to have AS and how they can help children with AS by understanding their differences and appreciating their many talents. This illustrated book is ideally suited for boys and girls between 7 and 15 years old and also serves as an excellent starting point for family and classroom discussions.”
The Alphabet War – A Story About Dyslexia by Diane Burton Robb, illustrated by Gail Piazza – I thought this was a good presentation about dyslexia/impact on reading skills and challenges. Lovely story with a boy who worked hard for the success of reading. Goodreads Summary: “When Adam started kindergarten, the teacher wanted him to learn about letters. But “p” looked like “q,” and “b” looked like “d.” In first grade, he had to put the letters into words so he could read. That was the beginning of the Alphabet War.
The Great Serum Race – Blazing the Iditarod Trail by Debbie S. Miller, illustrations by Jon Van Zyle – First off, I have to admit, I didn’t think my son was really getting “into” the book like I was. I realized he had no background information on the Iditarod race up in Alaska, USA. Personally, I grew up with the Iditarod, collected buttons yearly, watched guest speaker after guest speaker talk about racing in class, knew a relative of an Iditarod winner, sewed dog booties with classmates, and rescued and the watched a husky pup be adopted by a dog sled racer, his name was Puff by the way. So, I was quite excited to purchase a book about dog sled racing. I thought it would be a lovely addition to a library that had nothing on dog sled racing and children who were quite curious about the whole idea. First we watched videos on YouTube from a dog sled racer. He was quite informative on how he packs his sled and also we followed him on the Iditarod Trail in another video. THEN we went back to the book and read it in one sitting. Always amazing how a little background knowledge gets my kiddo more involved and interested. We found this book to be fascinating, well researched, and easy to get involved with. Well done for an introduction on why the Iditarod race began and also how complicated the process of bringing serum safely to Nome was…. I also think this will be a terrific book to use as an example for persistence and perseverance. Happily I recommend this book but also would recommend partnering it with the fantastic book Big Enough Anna by Pam Flowers. I just think that book is perfect for introducing dog sled racing to children. Goodreads Summary: “Ride shotgun with the heroic mushers whose bravery inspired the Iditarod.
In the winter of 1925, Nome, Alaska, was hit by an unexpected and deadly outbreak of diphtheria. Officials immediately quarantined the town, but the only cure for the community of more than 1,400 people was antitoxin serum and the nearest supply was in Anchorage—hundreds of miles of snowbound wilderness away. The only way to get it to Nome was by dogsled.
Twenty teams braved subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions to run over 600 miles in six days in a desperate relay race that saved the people of Nome. Several of the dogs, including Togo and Balto, became national heroes. Today their efforts, and those of the courageous mushers, are commemorated every March by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Jon Van Zyle’s stunning oil paintings capture the brutal conditions, pristine wilderness, and sheer guts and determination demonstrated by the heroic mushers and dogs.”
Here were the two movies my son and I appreciated to help understand the Iditarod:
Hide and Seek by Kate Messner – I enjoyed the adventure in Costa Rica that Kate Messner brings the reader through- pretty fantastic. Such a great mystery and storyline. Costa Rica is quite the place to adventure with a book. It provides the perfect high anxiety chases as well. Excellent mystery and development of the story as well. I enjoyed being introduced to many suspicious characters and interesting twists throughout the book. I know readers will love this sequel! (It is also quite the stand alone book!) Goodreads Summary: “José, Anna, and Henry are junior members of the secret Silver Jaguar Society, sworn to protect the world’s most important artifacts. When they discover that the society’s treasured Jaguar Cup has been replaced with a counterfeit, the trio and their families rush to the rain forests of Costa Rica in search of the real chalice. But when the trail runs dry, new mysteries emerge: Who can they trust? Is there a traitor in their midst? With danger at every turn, it will take more than they realize for José and his friends to recover the cup before it falls into the wrong hands.”
Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time The Graphic Novel adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson – I tried to read this book over and over and realized I was reading it at the wrong time. Beautiful story with a talented interpretation of the original novel. I will look forward to sharing this book to students who have enjoyed the novel and also as an introduction to the novel/series. Goodreads Summary: “The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O’Keefe, and the three Mrs–Who, Whatsit, and Which–the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never been illustrated. Now, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read.”
I’m also keeping up with Reading the World Challenge
The Matatu by Eric Walters, illustrations by Eva Campbell – After reading this book with author notes, I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to ride a matatu! Great little story, love the grandfather and grandson portion of the story. Quite cute. Also I appreciate the glimpse into the life of a community with people coming in and out constantly. Goodreads Summary: “Kioko had been watching the matatus come and go for as long as he could remember. But today, for his fifth birthday, he climbs aboard one with his grandfather. As the matatu pulls away from the market, the village dogs chase after them. When Kioko asks his grandfather why the dogs always bark and chase after matatus, his grandfather tells him an entertaining tale about a dog, a goat and a sheep. Set in East Africa, The Matatu is a colorful story filled with many unexpected turns and twists along the way.”
Thought I’d also mention my Non-Fiction Reading Goal Progress:
A Strange Place to Call Home – The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats & The Animals That Call Them Home by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Ed Young – What a powerhouse team! What a fantastic well-rounded book filled with gorgeous poems and illustrations and additional facts at the end of the book. A favorite style of mine… My favorite poem was about spadefoot toads called Dry As Dust. My son was quite excited that his favorite animal- mountain goats was in the book with the poem Top of the World. Fantastic addition, so thrilled I found it in reviews! Goodreads Summary: “Under the desert’s cracked and barren skin, spadefoot toads are waiting for rain. In the endless black of the deepest caves, blind fish find their way. Even in the frozen hearts of glaciers, ice worms by the billion flourish. In this fascinating look at fourteen animals who defy the odds by thriving in Earth’s most dangerous places, renowned poet Marilyn Singer and celebrated artist Ed Young show that of all the miracles of life, it is life’s persistence that astounds the most.”
I’ll now begin: Timmy Failure – Mistakes were made by Stephan Pastis – interesting mixed reviews from friends so far, looking forward to interpreting on my own. Goodreads Summary: “Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further — or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment — making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.”
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.