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! Just love the books I’ve had the chance to enjoy recently! I was able to visit Page One books with my lovely teacher librarian friend and we had quite a bit of fun browsing through books together. We sometimes were frustrated by the lack of display in Page One’s picture book area, the books are all crammed into four square shelves. You have to pry out the books and hope that they aren’t covered with plastic so that you can peek inside them. It was lovely to browse books with a fellow bookaholic! I also finished a few novels that I’m excited to share here…

I read:

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham – Realistic Fiction – 3rd grade and up – What a fantastic novel this was! I loved every bit from traveling with Alvin on an airplane to going through security checks to walking up stairs versus riding an elevator to adventuring around incredible places in China… loved every dramatic, hilarious moment. Goodreads Summary: “Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of everything, is taking his fears to a whole new level—or should we say, continent. On a trip to introduce brand-new baby Ho to relatives in China, Alvin’s anxiety is at fever pitch. First there’s the harrowing 16-hour plane ride; then there’s a whole slew of cultural differences to contend with: eating lunch food for breakfast, kung fu lessons, and acupuncture treatment (yikes!). Not to mention the crowds that make it easy for a small boy to get lost.”  –I especially enjoyed reading this aloud with my son. He decided he wanted to make a book talk video for the book, so here it is:

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Shane Evans – 5th grade and up – Realistic Fiction/Novel in Verse – Release date: September 16th, 2014 – I was completely enchanted by this book. Enjoyed the novel completely. It reminded me of other novel in verse I read recently- Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Berg. It was interesting to imagine life focused on the farming and raising of animals. Imagine life disturbed by deathly duststorms. Imagine life stuck in the middle of a conflict and the loss of loves and hope. Imagine life having to move on to a new place as a refugee. This book was brilliant. I appreciated how the reader can be lost in the story. How the tough life situation is clearly survivable and hope can come in risk. My only disappointment was that the book ended before I was ready to see the conclusion. I desperately want to know what happens next. *Of course I love the element of growing with reading and writing and expansion of hope with those skills gained. I found it interesting to read how at the refugee camp there was a television going 24×7 and the children could watch American shows and learn their letters with one show… Highly recommended. Goodreads Summary: ““Amira, look at me,” Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers.“The Janjaweed attack without warning.
If ever they come run.” Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in NyalaAmira’s one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mindand all kinds of possibilities. New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.”

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – YA – audiobook – This was a powerful, upsetting story. I had the hardest time listening to this and actually took a break for two weeks to bear up and be ready for it. It was quite the powerful story that I loved start to finish, even if it was a book about a boy at the end of his choices where he thinks that killing another person then killing himself is the solution. Wow. What a novel. Goodreads Summary: “Leonard Peacock is turning 18.
And he wants to say goodbye.

Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific.
Nor to his mum who’s moved out and left him to fend for himself. But to his four friends.
A Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour
A teenage violin virtuoso
A pastor’s daughter
A teacher
Most of the time, Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not.
He wants to thank them, and bid them farewell.”

I am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer – really enjoyed reading this biography, think this whole series will be my next round of purchases for the library. Appreciate the simple but fascinating biography. Goodreads Summary: “We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this lively, collectible picture book biography series from New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer. Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Amelia Earhart refused to accept no for an answer; she dared to do what no one had ever done before, and became the first woman to fly a plane all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. This book follows her from childhood to her first flying lessons and onward to her multi-record-breaking career as a pilot.”

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Dan Santat – HILARIOUS. So happy I finally had a chance to read this. Fabulous sotry, fantastic illustration. Goodreads Summary: “BEWARE OF CRANKENSTEIN!  Who is Crankenstein? HE IS A MONSTER OF GRUMPINESS THAT NO ONE CAN DESTROY! MEHHRRRR!!! HE’S ALIVE!
He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein! When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic-or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day!”

Except If by Jim Averbeck – One of those stretch your mind books, love when I have these to share and compare. Fabulous illustrations. Goodreads Summary: “In the beginning, there is an egg. Which may become a baby bird, except if it becomes a baby snake instead. Except if the baby snake is really truly a dinosaur!”

Kicking a Ball by Allan Ahlberg – Excellent for those children who love soccer/football. Fun action and word choice throughout. Synopsis from the Publisher- Penguin Books: “For anyone who can’t see a ball without wanting to kick it, head it, shoot it, or boot it!
‘Not eating an ice-cream
Or riding a bike
No – kicking a ball
Is what I like.’
‘What I like best, yes, most of all
in my whole life is . . . kicking a ball.”

The Scarecrow’s Wedding by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler – I was a little disappointed with this picture book. Not sure why. As soon as I started reading it, I thought, “this is The Owl and the Pussycat retold with scarecrows” then as I continued reading it I was just frustrated by the fire and cigar storyline. Also, it was a little frustrating to read through this book and realize that it just wasn’t one that I’d look forward to reading aloud. Wish that I enjoyed this more. Goodreads Summary: “”Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay
Were scarecrows. (They scared lots of crows every day.)
Harry loved Betty, and Betty loved Harry,
So Harry said, ‘Betty, my beauty, let’s marry!
Let’s have a wedding, the best wedding yet,
A wedding that no one will ever forget.'”
And so begin the plans for the best wedding the barnyard has ever seen! The scarecrow couple sets off for a hunt round the farm for everything they need for the festivities — a big white dress, rings, wedding bells (or, at least, cow bells)… But when Harry’s search for flowers takes him far, far away, villainous scarecrow rival Reginald Rake sees his chance to ruin this beautiful day… Hurry back, Harry!”

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.

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

  1. Cool book talk. It’s always great when the kids in the store suddenly hear me about to talk about a book and they end up talking it up to the surprised customer! Great moments!

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 24, 2014

      🙂 My kiddo loves booktalking, it was a challenge over a year ago to start making them about books he and I read together but haven’t followed thru as much as I normally do. Happy reading to you! 🙂

  2. Linda Baie
    September 22, 2014

    Your son is very cute, and did you notice as he talked about the book, his smile got wider and wider-fun! You have some books I’d love to read, Debbie, especially The Red Pencil, maybe Leonard Peacock. I just finished another YA book that made me sad, but glad a little at the end. Still hard to see kids so sad. And then, I hear what you said about the refugees and wonder why anyone is sad? Thanks for the picture book reviews, too-love the idea of “Except”!

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 24, 2014

      He loved the book- shined… Be careful about too many touching books in a row, burns me out sometimes. Just finished a heartwrenching one… pushed my way thru it. Broke me though.

  3. Julee Murphy
    September 22, 2014

    Forgive Me Leonard Peacock is a book I have been wanting to read based on the good book buzz it produces but now I know I need to postpone reading it. I did not understand what the basic premiss was about until I read your post. I just can’t handle anything so intense and upsetting right now. I need something light and lovely- a crazy romance perhaps or a best friend book.

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 24, 2014

      You need to be ready for it… so intense. upsetting. but really brilliant. LOVED romance- adult one- The Rosie Project, lightened me but so well done at the same time! 🙂

  4. Megan
    September 22, 2014

    I feel like Forgive Me Leonard Peacock flew under the radar. It was so such a difficult book to read, but totally worth it. Also, I loved Crankenstein! Have a great week! ~Megan

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 24, 2014

      You have a good one as well. Yes, totally worth it to read Forgive Me Leonard Peacock, powerful.

  5. Michele Knott
    September 23, 2014

    I just got The Red Pencil from the library. I’m hoping to get to it soon!

  6. Holly Mueller
    September 23, 2014

    I got the ARC of The Red Pencil from ALA this summer and have yet to read it. Shame on me! I LOVED Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. I listened to it while on spring break and would walk the beach twice as long as I planned because it was so compelling!

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 24, 2014

      Enjoy the ARC, worth it… took a while for me to read though… Happy reading to you…

  7. Jennifer | Book Den Kids
    September 23, 2014

    I love Brad Meltzer. I really need to read his kid’s books with my kids. We would enjoy that. Crankenstein sounds great!!

  8. Emily Lim-Leh
    September 23, 2014

    Loved the first 3 Alvin Ho books I read. I will need to read his latest one.
    I heard the author of Except If talk about his book – very clever concept and endearing illustrations. Crankenstein sounds really clever- I will have to check this out since I have a three-year old who’s going through an emotionally charged phase!

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 24, 2014

      Cool that you got to hear about the author’s book, sometimes I fall in the love the books even more so… Happy reading… especially the newest Alvin Ho!

  9. carriegelson
    September 23, 2014

    Forgive Me Leonard Peacock – what a book! Hooked me Matthew Quick and read Boy 21 next. Have you read that?

  10. Myra GB
    September 27, 2014

    The Scarecrow’s Wedding received a lot of flak quite recently because of the tobacco aspect of it – good to hear your thoughts about the narrative too. I’ve been meaning to read a Matthew Quick novel – and this sounds like a good place to start. I love powerful reads. Saw the pics of Candy in your school! Beautiful!

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 27, 2014

      I read about the flack and was quite curious to have my own take on it… I want to read other Matthew Quick novels… two really enjoyed now… Wonderful to visit with Candy at my school, felt lucky! 🙂

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