In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and http://www.unleashingreaders.com for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Happy Picture Book Month! I was thrilled to receive a few books this week that were quite anticipated, plus I finished a few books with my son that we’ve enjoyed for quite a long time.
Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner – Loved this book by the fantastic creator of picture books. My favorite part of reading this book was immediately then reading it with my son… who then immediately reread it… because he loved making up the cryptic noises of the aliens in the story. We both highly recommend this book, in fact, my kiddo decided to make a book talk about it… below. Goodreads Summary: “Mr Wuffles ignores all the toys people buy for him. He’s not lazy, he’s just very picky. Now Mr Wuffles has the perfect toy and he’s ready to play. But it’s not really a toy at all. It’s something much more interesting . . .”
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech – I read this book and then sat back and thought… about the definition of family… the welcoming of strangers… how one can open the hearts of others… how you can adapt to other’s needs… how assumptions are easily made… and how much I just love Sharon Creech’s book creations. This was a faster novel to enjoy than other books by Sharon but it packs a beautiful punch. Interesting to have the UK edition because the Carnegie medal is celebrated more than the Newbery medal in the book sleeve. Goodreads Summary: “When John and Marta found the boy on the porch, they were curious, naturally, as to why he was there-and they didn’t expect him to stay, not at first, but he did stay, day after day, until it seemed as if he belonged, running and smiling and laughing his silent laugh, tapping and patting on every surface as he made his music, and painting-with water, with paint, with mud-those swirly swirls and swings and trees. One day a young couple wakes to find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy cannot explain his history. What kind of person would leave their child with strangers? All they know is that they have been chosen to care for this boy. And as their connection to him grows, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family, and John and Marta and the boy begin to see the world in brand-new ways.”
The Enchantress Returns – The Land of Stories Series by Chris Colfer – 4th grade and up – Fantasy – This book took a really, really long time to read aloud with my son but we loved the story. Great adaptation of fairy tale stories with the twins, Alex and Conner, from the first book returning to fairy tale land on a new risk taking adventure. My kiddo decided this book also deserved a book talk, below. Goodreads Summary: “Alex and Conner Bailey have not been back to the magical Land of Stories since their adventures in The Wishing Spell ended. But one night, they learn the famed Enchantress has kidnapped their mother! Against the will of their grandmother, the twins must find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue their mother and save the fairy tale world from the greatest threat it’s ever faced.”
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – High School, Fantasy – This is quite the incredible world/story. I was quite lost in this book and I’m now dying to read the next book! Goodreads Summary: “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the world in two. Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.”
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – High School and on – Realistic Fiction – Beautiful story… finale for the series of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I didn’t realize that this book had come out. When I read an Entertainment Weekly article the book came up in an interview and I immediately placed a hold on it at the library. It was quite heartbreaking and beautiful simultaneously. Really enjoyed. Goodreads Summary: “Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting. Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected. As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.”
May This Be The Best Year of Your Life: A Memoir by Sandra Bornstein – Adult – Really enjoyed this story, ideas about living as an expat in India and finding your own way… Terribly honest at times… I was curious to complete this book as it began with a chapter that then led you through the book to get back to that event. This book made me appreciate being an expat in Hong Kong. I have elevators that work, electricity that doesn’t go out, hot water without an issue, I can purchase things at the store that are healthy to eat, and I can easily travel around without feeling restricted for not having a car… Fascinating experience for a year in India, the medical conditions that popped up within her family and in her body reminded me that you just never know what is coming next…
Little quotes that caught my attention in the book:
“I was becoming increasingly annoyed with anyone who was the least bit unsupportive.” p. 27
“I was thrilled to again use a simple device like the vacuum instead of one of those wispy, handmade Indian brooms; and I was relieved that bugs were not daily visitors.” p. 75
“That first Indian experience made me realize how lucky I was to be born an American. My lifestyle and opportunities were dramatically affected by this simple fact. I cherished each and every one of the modern conveniences that were part of my life, and was appreciative that my sons had had an American upbringing and education.” p. 75
“Patience became my companion.” p. 80
“As a united group, the time had come to cherish and revel in each and every precious moment together.” p. 88
Goodreads Summary: “After stepping out of her comfort zone of American suburbia, Sandra Bornstein found herself in a life altering experience that made her question the meaning of marital bliss. Living alone in a three-hundred-square-foot dorm room, she taught fifth grade at a renowned international boarding school in Bangalore. This compelling, honest, and edifying memoir shares everything she learned about perseverance, travel, education, faith, and family. Had Sandra never resided in India, she would have missed out on an experience that ultimately enhanced her resiliency, confidence, and passion for life.”
The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – Realistic Fiction, High School – I have this advanced readers copy but unfortunately it is only accessible on my laptop. The laptop is heavy and not easy to read presently… so as much as I’m enjoying Gae Polisner’s brilliance with this book, I’m slowly working my way through this book.
Goodreads Summary: “Still reeling from her little brother’s drowning death, a girl finds her herself holding back – from summer trips to the ocean, friendship, budding romance – till she meets another young boy who may be her brother’s reincarnation, which awakens her to new possibilities.”
Reviewed this past week:
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