The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian: #IMWAYR What are you reading?

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme!  One of those weeks where I wasn’t as focused on reading books… starting to catch up on reading my Entertainment Weekly magazines on down time… Enjoyed a few novels though, see below! Hope everyone had a wonderful reading week. Many others have had the bonus of school being done… My school has three weeks left. Then I’ll have fun with book-a-day challenges, etc.

Picture Books:

A Hen for Izzy Pippik by Aubrey Davis; illustrated by Marie Lafrance, adapted from a story in the Babylonian Talmud – lovely book full of integrity, honesty, and support for a community. Loved the feel of the story. Cute illustrations and special lesson that most students will understand… Goodreads Summary: “When Shaina finds a magnificent hen, she knows that Izzy Pippik, the hen’s owner, is sure to return for her. In the meantime, Shaina decides she will care for the animal. But when dozens of eggs hatch and rowdy chickens scatter throughout the village, Shaina must fight the entire town if she has any hope of protecting the birds. Inspired by Jewish and Islamic traditional texts, this is a beautiful tale about doing the right thing, even in the face of adversity.”

Fiction Books:

Fire Spell by Laura Amy Schlitz (called Splendors and Glooms in the US) – My innocent eyes expanded widely while enjoying this book. I couldn’t stop reading this book. Sometimes there were portions of the book that felt like there were gaps in magical explanation but I’ve decided that it will be one that keeps my mind tumbling scenes around. There are two specific scenes that completely will not go away, really freaked me out. Laura Amy Schlitz is brilliant. I especially appreciated how creepy and suspenseful the book was and cannot wait to promote it with my Year 6/5th graders!  Goodreads Summary: “The master puppeteer, Gaspare Grisini, is so expert at manipulating his stringed puppets that they appear alive. Clara Wintermute, the only child of a wealthy doctor, is spellbound by Grisini’s act and invites him to entertain at her birthday party. Seeing his chance to make a fortune, Grisini accepts and makes a splendidly gaudy entrance with caravan, puppets, and his two orphaned assistants. Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are dazzled by the Wintermute home. Clara seems to have everything they lack — adoring parents, warmth, and plenty to eat. In fact, Clara’s life is shadowed by grief, guilt, and secrets. When Clara vanishes that night, suspicion of kidnapping falls upon the puppeteer and, by association, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. As they seek to puzzle out Clara’s whereabouts, Lizzie and Parse uncover Grisini’s criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions. Fleeing London, they find themselves caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it’s too late.”

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce – Thrilled I had time to squeeze in this read. What a powerful fantasy with lovely twists and turns. I don’t want to give away the most special magical element but how I enjoyed every minute of this book. I know students will really enjoy reading it for the competition next year. It is one of those titles that is terrific for either gender and leaves you with many more questions than answers about the magic introduced. I would connect this book to a few titles and movies that I’ve loved through the years but to not giveaway the plot and twists revealed in the story, I’ll just mention one: The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone – another fantastic fantasy I treasured. I highly recommend reading Tom’s Midnight Garden it is one of those fantastic classics that shouldn’t be overlooked. Goodreads Summary: “Tom was a cross and resentful boy when he was sent to stay with his uncle and aunt because his brother, Peter , had caught the measles. As soon as he joined his relatives in their small apartment, he knew he would be bored and lonely. He would miss Peter as well as the garden to explore, there was only a paved yard and a row of garbage cans outside the back door.
When the time came for Tom to go home, however, he did everything he could to prolong his visit. For he had made a strange and wonderful discovery–a discovery that he could share with no one, except Peter. And Peter believed it all, and even, for one brief moment, came to share in Tom’s fantastic midnight adventure.”

I am currently listening to:
Clockwork Angel- The Infernal Devices Book One by Cassandra Clare
 – Still plugging my way through this audiobook. Have one problem, there is another audiobook that has made me put this one to the side… Goodreads Summary: “Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.”

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: 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.

12 comments on “Styling Librarian: #IMWAYR What are you reading?

  1. Myra GB
    June 10, 2013

    I am glad that you enjoyed Splendours and Glooms – it’s called FIRE SPELL in our part of the world. It is a long read but well worth it. Just the right dash of creepy for young kids – not too much to overwhelm their sensibilities. I would have to look for A Hen for Izzy Pippik – sounds lovely! 🙂

    • The Styling Librarian
      June 10, 2013

      Yep, I have a copy of Fire Spell, not Splendors and Glooms. I agree, it was long but well worth it. Happy reading to you!

  2. Stacey H. (@libraryjo92)
    June 10, 2013

    Splendours and Glooms is in my To-Read pile. I’ve heard mixed reviews of it, so it is in the middle of the plie. Glad you enjoyed it, I might have to move it up. A Hen for Izzy Pippik sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • The Styling Librarian
      June 10, 2013

      I was relieved to enjoy it, was nervous I’d be a little creeped out. It did have a few twists, but I really enjoyed.

  3. bluestockingthinking
    June 11, 2013

    I am SO glad I came across your thoughts on Tom’s Midnight Garden! My mother found an old hard cover copy of it and gave it to me for my classroom library. I am always reading current calendar year publications for my committee work, but you have inspired me to bring this home for the summer 🙂

    • The Styling Librarian
      June 11, 2013

      So hard to keep up with current books AND read classics! I’ve worked hard to pull a few off the shelf this year!

  4. Lorna
    June 11, 2013

    So glad you enjoyed Tom’s Midnight Garden–it really is a lovely fantasy with lots of realistic fiction elements to pull kids in. I’ll be curious to hear how Splendors and Glooms goes over with your students . . . it just felt like it’d appeal more to adults, especially those who enjoyed THE NIGHT CIRCUS with its similar lines of magic and manipulation. Amazing writing style though . . . the details were so impressive and I could imagine every scene in detail.

    • The Styling Librarian
      June 11, 2013

      I have a few readers that the book will fit well with but overall, I’m curious as well. Really appropriate for my Year 6 students this year, mature readers…

  5. carriegelson
    June 11, 2013

    I also read A Hen for Izzy Pippik this week! It was one of my favourites of the week! Have you read The Enormous Potato by Davis? Very different but also lovely in tone.

    • The Styling Librarian
      June 11, 2013

      How funny that we read similar/same books together! 🙂 Haven’t read The Enormous Potato- thanks, looks lovely!

  6. Earl
    June 14, 2013

    Splendors and Glooms sounds like a good read. I’ll put that on request now.

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