In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes – 2nd grade and up – Finally had an opportunity to read (listen) this lovely book. Interesting glimpse into the life of a thoughtful boy who worries about so many things… the book made me anxious at times but just lovely. Here are my little highlights: I loved the artistic dad who found inspiration through his son’s class project. I appreciated how Billy learned to control his frustrations and deal with an annoying classmates by NOT stooping to her level. It was lovely to see a year of school through Billy Miller’s perspective and also a little bit through his teacher’s dialogue. It was nice read a healthy family story with parents who valued time with their children and peace above all else. Finally, I enjoyed when Billy had to write a poem and thought to himself, “Writing, it really is work.”
Goodreads Summary: “When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. ”
Read two slightly older picture books, both a little different, original:
Sydney and the Whalebird by David Elliot – 2000 – Interesting book that mixes individuality with invention… friendship with animosity… appreciation with caring… Love the contraptions that Sydney creates in this book! The whale in the story doesn’t exactly beach himself, an accident occurs where he quickly becomes stuck on the beach… An intriguing solution leads the reader through an amusing process.
I searched for a video connected with this book but in the end found a very interesting quick video on some people pushing a beached humpback whale calf back into the water. The warnings accompanying the video were interesting and additionally the idea of good samaritans doing what they hope was right but… could be quite wrong…
The Singing Hat by Tohby Riddle – 2000 – Special, peaceful book about a man who commits to keeping a bird’s nest on his head and how it impacts his life. I wasn’t so sure about the ending. Shall be left contemplating this book for a while… Goodreads Summary: “Colin Jenkins is an ordinary person leading an ordinary life of hard work and little rest in a big city. But his life becomes a whole lot less ordinary the day he wakes from a nap in the park to discover that a bird has built a nest on his head. Colin’s surprising decision not to disturb the bird “at such a fragile and important time of life” significantly alters his own life, as well as that of his young daughter, causing them more than a few inconveniences and problems. For Colin Jenkins now stands out from everybody else, something not everyone appreciates. Combining a deadpan text and droll cut-paper artwork, this lighthearted fable discovers the perfect modern-day hero in a man who simply makes a difficult choice and sticks to it, come what may.”
Cute book trailer connected to this book: http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=272903
Really enjoyed listening to:
Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – Adult – I found this book absolutely fascinating! Sat and thought (digested) the brilliant ideas in this book including how to accommodate student and my son’s needs in addition to acknowledging and embracing my skills and needs. The observations and research that Susan Cain invested in this book is exquisite, brilliant, and inspiring. Highly recommended for those who find research and understanding others interesting. Goodreads Summary: “At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.””
Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
Suryia Swims! The True Story of How and Orangutan Learned to Swim by Bhagavan “Doc” Antle with Thea Feldman, photographs by Barry Bland
Currently enjoying reading:
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan – 5th grade and up – Loving this series! Wish I’d giving myself more reading time for this in the past week, busy week. Goodreads Summary: “At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.”
Began listening to: (so many blog and reader friends have recommended this!)
Reality Boy by A.S. King – YA – What a tough life and family Gerald lives in. Reminds me of David Michael Slater’s book Fun & Games quite a bit with the dysfunctional family situation and older siblings being cruel to the younger ones… but this book, Reality Boy, is even more fierce than I expected. Goodreads Summary: “Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.”
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.
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© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.