Monday, June 26, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 06/26/17


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Last Week's Posts

  • #DiverseKidLit: books with multiracial characters. Share a link or find the latest diverse book recommendations here.

Middle School



House Arrest (2015) by K.A. Holt. I love a good novel-in-verse, and this one did not disappoint. Timothy is forced to keep a court-ordered journal as part of his year-long stint under house arrest. He goes to school, he goes home, and he sometimes goes to see his probation officer and counselor. That's it. In between, he has plenty of time to vent his feelings in his journal, especially as things continue to keep feeling out of control with his baby brother's trach and continuing health issues. A real gut-punch of a book! (Click here for a whole listing of great novels in verse.)


The Gauntlet (2017) by Karuna Riazi, from the new Salaam Reads imprint. I liked this book, but I didn't love it. Which is too bad. Things I did love about the book: I loved the characters, I loved how Farah's Bangladeshi background permeated the story in so many ways, and I loved that this was an #ownvoices author. But I didn't find the plot particularly innovative, and the characters were a bit flat.

Full disclosure: in sixth grade I wrote a fantasy story surprisingly similar to the premise of The Gauntlet: a group of four kids discover a mysterious game, the youngest one gets somehow sucked into the game, and the older three have to try and rescue him. (Mine was a magic set gone awry and its "gauntlet" was more inspired by the movie Labyrinth, but still.) But when I went back to revisit this story I was so proud of at the time, it was clear to see that my story suffered from a lack of planning and plotting. I wrote whatever I could come up with and just kept plowing ahead. Unfortunately, for me, The Gauntlet felt quite the same. I had a tough time visualizing how the game itself fit together, the challenges seemed random and unrelated, and it wasn't really building to anything bigger or meaningful. I was waiting for the "aha moment" when loose pieces from everywhere would suddenly snap into place in a meaningful way, but I didn't find it. Would love to hear differing thoughts.

Happy Reading! (PS I am traveling right now and will get to comments when I get back.)

Monday, June 19, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 06/19/17


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Last Week's Posts

  • #DiverseKidLit: books with multiracial characters. Share a link or find the latest diverse book recommendations here.

Young Adult



When I Was the Greatest (2014) by Jason Reynolds [Coretta Scott King winner]. 15-year old Ali is just trying to lay low and hang out with his friend, Noodles, and his brother, Needles (who has Tourette syndrome), but sneaking into a grown up party gets them involved in some grown-up issues. This is a powerful story that takes many twists and turns you might not expect.  (I would consider putting this in our middle school library. Certainly in any high school library. There is violence, some language, and an almost sex scene.)

Adult



Between the World and Me (2015) by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I happened to be (re)reading this book for book club, and it made for a fascinating pairing with When I Was the Greatest. What both books do a great job of demonstrating is how quickly things can go wrong if you are an African-American boy (whether Ali at the party or Ta-Nehisi on the street corner near the group of boys). Your body is not your own, and you are placed in many situations where the continuity of your life is tenuous. Lots of important fodder for discussion and reflection here.

Happy Reading! (PS I am traveling right now and will get to comments when I get back.)

Monday, June 5, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 06/05/17


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Last Week's Posts

  • #DiverseKidLit: books with multiracial characters. Share a link or find the latest diverse book recommendations here.

Middle School



Well, That Was Awkward (2017) by Rachel Vail. A modern Cyrano deBergerac but with 8th graders and texting. Super cute and pitch perfect for middle school, especially those who are eager for more "young adult" style books and relationships but without the language or sexual content of older YA books. [This book already got a student stamp of approval, as the student I handed it off to finished it that night and eagerly asked for more like it!]



The Boy in the Black Suit (2015) by Jason Reynolds. High school senior Matthew has just lost his mom and finds himself taking a job helping out at the funeral home. Another relationship-focused story but with minimal kissing. Some heavy issues (domestic violence, death) but in an appropriate-for-middle-school kind of way. Another one to add to my classroom library.


Young Adult



Eleanor & Park (2013) by Rainbow Rowell. Romance-centric realistic fiction novel about two high school outsiders (ish): Park is half-Korean and a quiet type, while Eleanor dresses wildly and tries to stay under the radar of her oft-drunk step-father. (Some kissing / making out, as well as a lot of strong language and threats of domestic abuse.) This one just really didn't draw me in and seemed to move fairly slow (until the end when suddenly everything happened rather fast).

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

#DiverseKidLit: Multiracial Characters and Families

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is books featuring multiethnic families and/or biracial main characters. Sometimes a focus on diversity can feel like forcing people into boxes. Let's celebrate the diversity that can be found within a single person or household! (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, July 1st. We will only be hosting one linkup per month (on the first Saturday) for June, July, and August.

Upcoming Theme


Our theme for the current month is books featuring biracial and/or multiethnic characters. Themes are a suggestion only; all diverse book posts are welcome. If you're interested, you can start planning now ...
  • Our theme for July (1st) will be series. Series books are great for hooking readers, because there's another book after you finish the first one! Share your favorite book series featuring diverse characters?

Most Clicked Post from Last Time



The most-clicked post from the previous #diversekidlit was Raincity Librarian's #diversekidlit and roundup of great picture books about India. Learn about the monsoon, traditional transportation, saris, and more!

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Jane @ Rain City Librarian
Blog / Twitter / Instagram

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook


Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 05/29/31


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Last Week's Posts


Middle Grade



This Would Make a Good Story Someday (2017) by Dana Alison Levy. This companion novel to The Family Fletcher series (The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher and The Family Fletcher Take Rock Island) features the Johnston-Fischer family. Middle sister Sara is keeping a journal for the summer when her mother Mimi wins an opportunity for the whole family to take a month-long cross-country train trip for her newest book. Thus kicks off a classic road trip story, complete with sibling antics, enforced family time, and the paranoia that your mother is writing up the whole thing.

What I love about Dana Alison Levy's books is that she brings a classic family story vibe to a not-always-featured-in-classic-stories family. Whereas the family Fletcher features two dads and their four adopted sons (of various ethnicities), the Johnston-Fischer family features two moms, two biological daughters, and the irrepressible, adopted Ladybug Li. But rather than being stories about being a gay or lesbian family, the books are always about being a family. No clarification necessary. Readers will find a lot here to relate to with Sara's story - the angst of tween-dom, the pressures of social media on kids, and the fear of being forced to spend unending days with your family and friends! An enjoyable read.

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 05/22/17


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Last Week's Posts


      Middle Grade



      The Other Boy (2016) by M.G. Hennessey. My students are currently performing a diversity audit of our school and classroom library (post to come), and many students were disappointed by the lack of LGBTQIA representation. One student noted that while we have multiple books with male-to-female transgender characters (George, Lily and Dunkin, and Gracefully Grayson), she had yet to find a female-to-male book. The Other Boy arrived from my library hold list that same day.

      Shane had settled into life in his new town: star pitcher on the sixth-grade baseball team, solid best friend, and a newly-developing crush on a girl in his homeroom. But when an accidental conversation reveals the name of his previous school, a classmate discovers that Shane was born a girl. This book does a good job of balancing the real difficulties faced by transgender kids with the possibilities of supportive family members and friends. The ending is a bit quick and tidy.

      Do you have other great suggestions of LGBTQIA books for middle schoolers? I'm working on putting together a book display for our upcoming "Triangle Tuesday" day of support for the LGBTQIA community. Novels we already have in our library include Better Nate than Ever, Drama, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, The Marvels, among others.)

      Happy Reading!

      Saturday, May 20, 2017

      #DiverseKidLit goes global

      Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is Global Books. Please share your favorite diverse books that take place in countries other than your own. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

      What Is #DiverseKidLit?


      Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

      We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

      DiverseKidLit

      We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, June 3rd. We will only be hosting one linkup per month (on the first Saturday) for June, July, and August.

      Upcoming Theme


      Our theme for the current month is global books. Themes are a suggestion only; all diverse book posts are welcome. If you're interested, you can start planning now ...
      • Our theme for June (3rd) will be books featuring multiethnic families and/or biracial main characters. Sometimes a focus on diversity can feel like forcing people into boxes. Let's celebrate the diversity that can be found within a single person or household!
      • Our theme for July (1st) will be series. Series books are great for hooking readers, because there's another book after you finish the first one! Share your favorite book series featuring diverse characters?

      Most Clicked Post from Last Time



      The most-clicked post from the previous #diversekidlit was Books for Teaching about Russia from Our Unschooling Journey through Life. This post includes links to 9 different books about Russia as well as an overview of some learning games to play with kids.

      #DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


      Katie @ The Logonauts
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

      Becky @ Franticmommmy
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

      Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

      Gauri @ Kitaab World
      an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

      Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

      Jane @ Rain City Librarian
      Blog / Twitter / Instagram

      Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

      Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

      Myra @ Gathering Books
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook

      Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
      Blog / Twitter / Facebook


      Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

      Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





      Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

      (Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

      Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


      Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


      Share Your Link Below