The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts  and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Might be quiet next week… going on a huge family adventure. Can’t wait! (Reading time is a huge part of our plan during the trip…) So excited to go on night trains, adventures, and experience life around new-to-us areas of Asia…

Loved reading:

Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier by Ying Chang Compestine and Vinson Compestine Historical Fiction/Fantasy, 4th grade and up – I read the first chapter of this book with all my Year 4-6 classes to help them prepare and become familiar with Ying’s novel writing style in comparison to her picture books… Really excited to have her visit with students this coming week. I’ll have a special review about Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier on the blog soon. For now: I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who loves reading books that have suspense mingled with fantasy and historical fiction. One reviewer said that it felt like Indiana Jones story, it does have the archaeology and adventure portions. Goodreads Summary: “In this action-packed adventure and coming-of-age story that finely weaves fact and fiction, thirteen-year-old Ming lives in a small village in Maoist China in the 1970s. His father is convinced that Emperor Qin’s tomb—and the life-size terra-cotta army created to serve and protect the emperor in the afterlife—lies hidden in the hills around them. But if Ming’s father doesn’t prove it soon, the town’s Political Officer will condemn him to the brutal labor camps. From the stories of a terra-cotta soldier who has survived through the centuries, Ming learns the history of Emperor Qin, known for building the Great Wall of China, and how and why the terra-cotta soldiers came to be. As their unlikely friendship develops, Ming experiences the mysterious tomb firsthand, braving deadly traps and witnessing the terra-cotta army in action. Most importantly, he comes to see how he can save both the terra-cotta soldiers and his father from the corrupt Political Officer and his Communist cronies.
The book is illustrated with photographs of Communist Chinese village life in the 1970s, the Great Wall, and, of course, the excavated tomb with its many terra-cotta soldiers. It also features a special recipe from the story.”
I was excited to find an article on Terra Cotta Soldiers this weekend, thought it was a perfect resource to accompany the book: Terra Cotta Soldier

Picture books (multicultural, older)

Oscar and Arabella Hot Hot Hot

Oscar and Arabella Hot Hot Hot by Neal Layton – What a darn hilarious book! Loved the ice age humor in this book… I was thrilled to have a book that introduced seasons/cycles since I know my Year 1 teachers will appreciate this book for their unit they’re teaching presently. Good quick story with a lovely surprise ending. Goodreads Summary: “Looking for an escape from the heat? Kids will laugh out loud at the lively illustrations in Neal Layton’s tale of two fun-loving, enterprising mammoths. For wild and woolly mammoths like Oscar and Arabella, playing in the ice and snow and arctic winds of an Ice Age winter is the coolest fun. But when the snow starts to melt, and thousands of brightly colored plants sprout up and irritate their eyes, and insects are swarming, and it just gets hotter and hotter and hotter, it seems there’s no end to their misery. Then one day, the shaggy pair comes up with a bright idea. It may be a close shave, but it looks like they’ve finally found a way to enjoy the hottest summer ever!”

The Moon Lady by Amy Tan, illustrated by Gretchen Schields – 1992 – I was curious about this book, kiddo picked it out for us to read this weekend. We love reading cultural books together and I was curious to see how a picture book by Amy Tan felt as a read aloud. Especially since it was adapted from her book The Joy Luck Club. It was a lovely story spun through a grandmother telling her granddaughters about her childhood. Think it would be a lovely story to share in connection with appreciating the elderly, talking about the past, and also connected to Moon Festival. Goodreads Summary: “A MAGICAL NIGHT WHEN SECRET WISHES CAN COME TRUE: On a rainy afternoon, three sisters wish for the rain to stoop, wish they could play in the puddles, wish for something, anything, to do. So Ying-Ying, their grandmother, tells them a tale from long ago. On the night of the Moon Festival, when Ying-ying was a little girl, she encountered the Moon Lady, who grants the secret wishes of those who ask, and learned from her that the best wishes are those you can make come true yourself.”

Alex and the Watermelon Boat by Chris McKimmie– 2012 – Quite the curious, slightly desperate story that recounts, somewhat, the experiences of the floods in January 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. Really curious story book. I read this with my son and one of his friends and we were forever puzzling over the pictures in the book. There’s just so much going on, so many mediums used, and interesting layers within the story. I grew a little tired of how many random names were brought up in the story that seemed to not connect with anything else beyond a person that was seen… but when you’re in a flood, things are random, desperate, and tough. (So I imagine…) Goodreads Summary: “The river had burst its banks. The dam was overflowing. ‘Don’t go outside, Alex!’ Mum shouted. But then Rabbit hopped out the open window …”

Really enjoying reading:

Cress – The Lunar Chronicles #3 by Marissa Meyer – I’m completely lost in this book. Actually borrowed my husband’s Kindle so that I could read it… (we don’t share a Kindle account and he had Cress preordered). I’m often playing catch up to him (if you think I read a load, it’s a little crazy how much he reads… So, I’m at the half-way point in this book and getting anxious at multiple situations occurring in the book, but LOVING IT, even more than #2… Reading on a Kindle vs. my iPad is odd though, I’m actually offline even more because I’m so focused on the book… Not a bad thing! *I still prefer to hold an actual book. Goodreads Summary: “In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.”

Posted about these lovely books this past week:

Hollywood, Dead Ahead Series, #5: 43 Old Cemetary Road by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

The Ninja Librarians – The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey

Also interviewed the lovely:

Deborah Underwood – happy Book Birthday to her new release:  BAD BYE, GOOD BYE, illustrated by Jonathan Bean! Also, have you read her other new book HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT, illustrated by Claudia Rueda? Go jump into that one too! Lovely review of HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT, illustrated by Claudia Rueda by the lovely wonderful Margie @loveofxena –

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.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 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.

10 comments on “Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

  1. I have to check out the Amy Tan book. I recall liking The Joy Luck so this sounded interesting. Have a great reading week! -Earl!

  2. Megan
    April 8, 2014

    Loved Cress! I agree that each of these books is better than the one before. I am so nervous for Winter…Oh, there is so much going on! I love getting lost in a book. It hasn’t happened for me in a while. Have a great week! ~Megan

  3. Angie aka Ms. O
    April 8, 2014

    I still need to finish Ninja Librarians … I have been a terrible member of the recon team. :/ Not that I wasn’t enjoying it immensely. They had me at the title and the SW references. Anyway. Found a couple to add to my TBR list. Thanks!

  4. linda Baie (@LBaie)
    April 8, 2014

    I used to do a moon study with my students & The Moon Lady was a book/story we loved. I will have to find, though & re-read. It’s been a while. I still haven’t read Cinder or Scarlet, need to after your hair-raising review. And the Terra-Cotta soldier book sounds terrific for middle grades, right? Thanks for so much, Debbie!

  5. carriegelson
    April 8, 2014

    I am so excited to read Cress! I just skimmed your review – because I don’t want to know too much but I got the sense that it is awesome! This sure is an author that does sequels so so well!

  6. Holly Mueller
    April 8, 2014

    I still need to read Cress. It’s been sitting on my shelf. Secrets of a Terra-Cotta Soldier looks interesting!

  7. Myra GB
    April 8, 2014

    I’m becoming even more intrigued by The Lunar Chronicles. I love its premise and the whole idea behind it. I hope I get to the series within the year. I actually found a copy of The Moon Lady by Amy Tan in a book sale here in Singapore but I haven’t read it yet – I’d probably feature it for our upcoming reading theme. Thanks for sharing so many lovely titles yet again, Debbie. Will I be seeing you for AFCC this year? 🙂

    • The Styling Librarian
      April 8, 2014

      Enjoy The Moon Lady when you get the chance… Wish I could say I’d be at AFCC, hopefully next year… 😦 A goal… This year is all about recovery and strength and a focus back on work… But really looking forward to attending and meeting someday!!

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