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 Weeks' Posts
- Mock Caldecott Ballot, 2016. Did your favorite picture books make the list for our school's Mock Caldecott? Who do you think will win?
- Readers' Favorite Posts of 2015. A countdown of the Top 10 posts of 2015, according to readers' pageviews.
- 2015 in Review: Middle Grade Novels includes my list of Newbery contenders.
- Picture Books of 2015. A quick overview of the 80 picture books that I read and reviewed that were published in 2015.
- #3rdfor3rd: The Deadly Dungeon. Third grader Anand shares his thoughts about the fourth book in the A-Z Mysteries series.
Young Fiction Books
The Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin (2014) by Janelle Diller, a Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure. This second book in the Mexico series again follows Izzy and Patti as they encounter a mysterious possible crime. Racism is brought into the story through the character of Izzy's nervous uncle, which makes for some uncomfortable reading as an adult (knowing how many people harbor such views), but provides a light-handed method for introducing kids to negative views. For more Pack-n-Go Girls books, read my review of the Thailand series here.
I have been traveling for much of the past two weeks (belated honeymoon to Morocco!), so most of my reading was done on planes. At the urging of a colleague, I attended Dave Eggers' keynote address at NCTE in November, though I had never read any of his books. (I had, however, visited 826 Valencia a few years before.) So I picked up these two books to take along.
What is the What (2007) is based on the life story of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan. It is a fascinating bit of narrative structuring, swinging freely from Deng's present-day experiences in the US and his long journey from his village in Sudan. It is a devastating account of one boy's journey and still sheds light on the issues and struggles facing the newly-independent South Sudan. All proceeds from the book support the Valention Achak Deng foundation.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000). This first book (and memoir) is another feat of unusual narrative style. Even the copyright notice and backmatter on the title page hint at the oddly self-aware story within. It was a great choice for consuming hours of airplane time, but I am still not quite sure what to make of the whole thing. It's also interesting to look at now in light of Dave Eggers current successes, philanthropy, and work on supporting children and writers.
Reading Goals and Challenges
With all the travel, I have not had time to sift through the various challenges and goals in the works for 2016. At present, I am hoping to do a better job of documenting my reading (especially of children's books, which at times seem so ephemeral), so we shall see whether having the Goodreads app readily accessible makes a difference.
What are your reading challenges and goals for the new year?