Monday, February 16, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/16/15

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

      Picture Books

      As Fast As Words Could Fly (2013) by Pamela M. Tuck and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. A Lee & Low Books New Voices Award Winner. This inspirational story is loosely based on the author's father's experiences as a child during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Though the focus is on the typewriter and the main character's skills, a lot of other critical moments are also address or alluded to, including discrimination, sit-ins, school desegregation, and more. A great addition to any study of the Civil Rights Movement.

      Middle Grade

      The Terrible Two (2015) by Jory John and Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell. * Full disclosure: I have not actually finished this book. * I was about four chapters in when one of my students came over to ask about the book. I handed it over, and he devoured it, taking it home and finishing it that evening. He then insisted that another classmate read it, and the book has been making the rounds since. So I will let that stand as its recommendation for now.

      Young Adult

      The Crossover (2014) by Kwame Alexander, winner of this year's Newbery Award and a Coretta Scott King Honor Award. This novel-in-verse features the inside perspective of eighth grade Josh Bell. Josh and his twin brother are basketball stars and take after their father. I really loved this book, and even though Brown Girl Dreaming still has my heart, I think this was a powerful choice for the Newbery.


      This One Summer (2014) by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, winner of a Caldecott Honor Award. This graphic novel was shelved in the teen section of my public library and is definitely geared towards high school or later middle school students, so I can see why it was a contentious choice for the Caldecott (aimed at readers 0-14 years old). Admittedly, I do not read a lot of teen or YA fiction, but this book did not do a lot for me, and I was not particularly blown away by the artwork side of it either. I have seen a lot more interesting graphic novel art, such as George O'Connor's Olympians series. I would be curious to hear the arguments 'for' this book and its Caldecott honor.

      Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 8 books, 1 dedicated post (2015 Zolotow winners)

      Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 24 books, 10 dedicated posts (New Shoes and Rain School)

      Happy Reading!


      1. I noticed you categorize middle grade, young adult, and teen. What do you distinguish different about YA and teen? I always considered YA and Teen synonymous.

        1. Hi Beth, honestly I did it this particular time, because I feel like This One Summer is for significantly older readers than The Crossover. YA is generally defined as 12-18 but Teen is often used to signify books for older teens.

      2. You probably read exactly as much of The Terrible Two as you needed to, LOL. I am just so not the audience for that kind of book. I think the art in This One Summer is exquisite. The kind of mood changes Tamaki is able to achieve with that monochromatic palette blows me away.

        1. You raise a really valid point about the ability to convey so much with a limited palette, true.

          As for the Terrible Two, I actually found it rather entertaining, but then again, I live in a place famed for its cows!

      3. I am waiting for Crossover and That One Summer! So many award winners, so little time. ~Megan

        1. Thanks, Megan. Definitely worth the wait! I think I was on my library web site as the awards were being announced, so I managed to jump to the top of the queue!

      4. I really enjoyed reading This One Summer. I loved the images as well as the story itself. It won a governor general award her in Canada in the category for Children’s Literature Illustrations. I just picked up The Terrible Two at Costco last weekend.

      5. Glad to hear your thoughts about This One Summer - now I definitely have to find it! I have a feeling my 13 year old girl would devour The Terrible Two and The Crossover - she plays basketball too! :)


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