In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Some reading weeks I feel really lucky. Lucky to have time to read. Lucky to encounter a new author. Lucky to find one book after another that speaks to me. Lucky to find books that I think simply rock. This week was a lucky reading week!! Also, I just participated in #TitleTalk about creating Book Buzz and loved the ideas that flew… archived favorite shared links at the bottom of this post!
Sosu’s Call by Meshack Asare – all ages – Here is a book I was incredibly grateful to read. Addresses intolerance, presumptions, prejudice, superstitions and community needs. Powerful. Goodreads Summary: “Winner of the 1999 UNESCO prize and IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities award, Sosu’s Call by Ghanaian author/illustrator Meshack Asare is a story of heroism and resolve. Sosu is all alone in his family’s compound when disaster strikes. The waters are rising, and most of the people of the village are in the fields. The only ones left are the very old and the very young. And Sosu, who cannot walk. Somehow he manages to make his way through the rising waters up the hill to the drum shed, where he sounds the alarm and saves the village.A book about differences, about acceptance, about what it means to be “normal.” A book about the people and the lives that take place on the other side of the world, and in our own backyard.”
Priscilla and the Hollyhocks by Anne Broyles, illustrated by Anna Alter – 3rd grade and up – beautiful glimpse of life of a girl who grew up as a slave, was traded to another slave owner who happened to be Cherokee, walked in 1838 on the “Trail of Tears” with her owners, and then was eventually bought by someone who gave her freedom from slavery. Touching and inspiring. Throughout her journey she carried hollyhock seeds which helped her find “home” where ever she was… Goodreads Summary: “Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to her freedom. Includes an author’s note with more details about this fascinating true story as well as instructions for making hollyhock dolls.”
The Wizard The Ugly and the Book of Shame by Pablo Bernasconi – 3rd grade and up – this was one fascinating fantasy read. There was some interesting detail with collage illustrations. I liked this spin on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, nice book. Goodreads Summary: “Leitmeritz is a powerful wizard who uses his Red Book of Spells to help everyone – everyone, that is, except his assistant, Chancery. Chancery is not handsome. In fact, most people simply call him the Ugly. But one day while the wizard is away, the Ugly tries to cast a spell on himself… and gets disastrously funny results. Fanciful collage illustrations set the stage for a tale of sorcery, dragons, and some very unusual magical solutions.”
Early Chapter Books:
Just One Wish by Sally Rippin – Aussie CHOMPS – 1st grade and up -Lovely story from the point of view of a little girl who is moved from China to Australia and finds herself in a tough situation which is exacerbated by her terrible cousin who is supposed to be helping her adjust to the move but instead does absolutely nothing to support her. I would love to partner this book in the future with Grace Lin’s Year of the… books. Similar characters and experiences. Additionally, this book celebrates art in many ways which I don’t want to give away.
Tiger’s Fall by Molly Bang – 3rd grade and up – Inspiring, beautiful, upsetting book about a little girl who has a terrible accident and has to figure out how to help herself and her family. Goodreads Summary: “A feisty little girl learns that physical disability can’t limit her ability to make a difference.
Lupe loves nothing better than riding her father’s horse, El Diablo. Fearless and agile, she rampages around her rural village in Mexico like atigrilla (little tiger), which is her father’s nickname for her. But one day Lupe falls while climbing a tree. Paralyzed from the waist down, she will never again be able to ride El Diablo. Her life might as well be over, she thinks.
At first Lupe is filled with rage and self-pity. Her family brings her to a center run by and for disabled people, to recuperate. Despite the evidence around her, she refuses to believe that disabled people can be happy and self-sufficient, and she can’t believe that these people think their lives are worth living. But slowly the people and the spirit of the center help Lupe realize that she, too, has something to offer.
Award-winning author/illustrator Molly Bang brings emotional honesty and bravery to this compelling, fact-based story of coming to terms with disability.”
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff – 4th grade and up -LOVED THIS BOOK. I refuse to give away the plot but will say that there were many interconnected pieces to this beautiful fantasy. I found connections in this book to the brilliant Newbery winning book The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg. I love when complications occur and different voices are introduced to further develop the story. Wonderfully fantastic story I highly recommend. Goodreads Summary: “Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan. If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.
Lisa Graff adds a pinch of magic to a sharply crafted plot to create a novel that will have readers wondering about fate and the way we’re all connected.”
House of Secrets by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini – fantasy- 4th grade and up – dark and violent, mature 4th/5th graders and up. I admit it. I read the summary on the back of the book and sighed. I thought it sounded a bit too much like many other books I’ve read. Then, I read the first chapter and grew frustrated because I couldn’t stand how the sibling characters were treating one another. I am quite glad I persisted in reading this book. It had fun adventures, exciting twists, dark characters, interesting settings, touches of many different popular things from walking skeletons to pirates to killer sharks to giants… and more. I’d recommend this to any fantasy reader that can handle darkest characters of Harry Potter and the non stop action of Percy Jackson. But honestly, until around chapter 13, I was ready to quit reading. (I have so many other books I’m eager to read, sometimes I’m picky.) Goodreads Summary: “The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . but everything changed when their father lost his job as a result of an inexplicable transgression. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by Denver Kristoff, a troubled writer with a penchant for the occult.
Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey into a mash-up world born of Kristoff’s dangerous imagination, to retrieve a dark book of untold power, uncover the Walker family’s secret history and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world.”
Fiona Finkelstein Big-Time Ballerina!! by Shawn K. Stout, illustrated by Angela Martini – 3rd grade and up – a lovely student told me the other day that she had a book recommendation… and brought me this book to read. Not really what I’d personally pick up but I really appreciated the simple story about a little girl with stage fright who really wanted to be successful in ballet but kept going through one misstep after another. It also has some interesting family and friendship story lines. My favorite part of the book was when the message came through that adults can learn from children. Really appreciated this point. This is part of a series. Goodreads Summary: “Sometimes Fiona Finkelstein’s life seems to be a lot like a TV show — everywhere she goes, there’s a lot of drama. That’s what being nine in Ordinary, Maryland, is like when your dad is the chief meteorologist for the local TV station, your mom lives in California and stars in a soap opera, and your little brother thinks he’s a superhero. But right now, life is even better than TV, because Fiona Finkelstein has a chance to become what she’s always dreamed of being: a big-time ballerina. There’s just one problem: In her last recital, Fiona starred as the unforgettable Fiona VOMITstein — all over the stage, and all over Benevolence Castles’s can-can costume.
Can Fiona overcome her fears so that she can finally be a big-time ballerina in the local holiday production of The Nutcracker? Or will she remain the only one in her family who has the flat-out worst case of stage fright ever?”
Mr. Gauguin’s Heart by Marie-Danielle Croteau, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, translated by Susan Ouriou – 3/4th grade and up -beautiful touching way to approach the topic of death with a child… but also touching for seeing the development of art and creativity in Paul Gauguin. Brilliant book, gorgeous illustrations. Goodreads Summary: “Based on a true story, Mr. Gauguin’s Heart is about the birth of imagination and the solace of art. Young Paul Gauguin sailed from Denmark to Peru with his family: his mother, his father, his sister, Marie, and his odd-looking, imaginary orange dog. At first being on the boat was fun; he loved to walk his dog on the ship’s bridge. Then one day, Paul found his mother in tears; his father had died.
When the ship docked, Paul refused to leave. Then an old man took him by the hand and in a few brush strokes, he had stirred a passion that lay just beneath the boy’s surface. He had shown Paul how to paint, but, more than that, he taught him how to bring his memories to life.
Mr. Gauguin’s Heart is a charming and heartwarming story of how, as a boy, Paul Gauguin learned to channel his grief from the death of his father and pour it into his first painting — one that would pave the way to many masterpieces.”
I am currently reading:
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver – this book already is giving me nightmares. I haven’t let myself read it at night since. Pretty powerful fantasy. Goodreads Summary: “Evocative of Alice in Wonderland, this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope.
Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers–evil, spiderlike beings–came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.
Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick’s soul. Her quest is far from easy: she must brave tree-snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting scawgs before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers’ lair, where more than just Patrick’s soul is at stake.” I’ve read most of Lauren Oliver’s books, but this one was the first that I ordered due to a series of videos. These are fantastic:
Title Talk – about creating Book Buzz – Links Shared:
Highbrow Summer Reads:
Get your listening ears ready, free audiobooks: http://www.audiobooksync.com/
Chat online about books: http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2013/05/google-hangouts-cool-conversations-and.html
Parent Book Club: http://www.mariaselke.com/2013/05/parent-book-club-guest-post.html
Kids Read Comics! http://mlatcomics.com/krc/
Top Fantasy Video- great way to promote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrle73I7ekk
Enjoy @MrSchReads posts, keep up to date on wonderful books: http://mrschureads.blogspot.hk/
Blog about what you are reading! http://lauramitolife.blogspot.hk/
Be Inspired Every Day with new books: http://childrensbookalmanac.com/
Chat about books on your classroom door! http://via.me/-cejdihc
Pop bookmarks in that students can add their opinion to: https://twitter.com/Ali71mlk/status/338810330257969152/photo/1
Catch students and yourself reading, post about it! http://seaburyreadingrecs.blogspot.hk/2013/05/summer-read-suggestions-for-our-middle.html#.UaKmerLibhJ
Feature new books: http://thebooksupplier.com/featureshelf/
Speed Dating with Books: http://sharpread.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/building-our-to-read-lists-book-speed-dating/
Summer Reading Ideas: http://www.quia.com/pages/summerread.html
Don’t forget about Authors on Twitter page: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QoxdpYkKzcbtO1wAKiXDsIalE5DCILwOaLOJSqGENZM/edit
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.