Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Past Week on the Blog:

Last Week in Books:
 
Rebel Seoul was a fantastic YA adventure in future Korea. I appreciated the relationships between characters both on between friends and romantic interests. Swing It, Sunny is another great graphic novel from Jennifer & Matthew Holm. This is a book that shows how a young girl navigates the uncertainty of her brother's life. I love that she has a relationship with her grandfather and that she can share her worries with him. This is one of those books that reminds me of the recent essays of Matt de la Peña - "Why We Shouldn't Shield Children from Darkness" & Kate DiCamillo "Why Kids Books Should Be a Little Sad."Spinning is another though it's more upper middle grade to YA. It's not terribly sad, but it is more about the emotions Tillie went through as she was coming-of-age. Spinning dropped me right into uncertainty, self-doubt, fear, and that soul-wandering feeling I had. I think this is very much a book that will be different with every reader's interpretation. It's very open. I'm having a hard time explaining it, but for me it was more of an experience than just reading a story.

Danza: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México is a biography that we're reading for our Mock Pura Belpré. I love Duncan Tonatiuh's illustrations and the life of Amalia Hernández is fascinating. After reading, I had to go to Youtube to see some of the dances.


Walk with Me is a tough read. A young girl asks the lion to walk with her and we see that her daily life is a bit of a struggle at the time. The reader isn't aware of the why until the end and it's still not explained fully, but an illustration fills in some of the blanks. I had tears. Just warning you.

The Serpent's Secret is an ARC I got from the publisher. I'll review it fully later. It's an adventure story like no other I've read and has really fun characters and creatures that made me sit up and take notice. Kiranmala's parents have always called her a princess, but she thought they were just saying that. The truth is, she has been a princess in hiding the whole time. She is in mortal danger as she goes off to try and save the lives of those she has called her parents all her life. I am eager for the next book in the series. Kiranmala is awesome.

The Victoria in My Head was a nice contemporary YA novel with some romance. It had a few body image issues and some of the plot points around a lesbian friend weren't ideal, but otherwise it was a nice story. I enjoyed the back and forth between the love interest and the musical aspect was also fun. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History is a great collection of mini-biographies. There are forty black women showcased in this book and I appreciated getting to know them better.

Books I read with classes last week:

The Coming Week: 
I'm reading Wild Beauty right now and then I'm not sure what I'll pick up. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2018 - 11/800 
Diversity on the Shelf 2018 - 8/300

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Celebrate!


Ruth Ayres has a link-up on weekends where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every week and I appreciate the community we have through this link-up.

Our Zolotow Display at School

Last week I was celebrating the Zolotow Award. This week I am celebrating the same thing only I can also tell you which book won - A Different Pond by Bao Phi illustrated by Thi Bui. Here is the formal press release.


I'm happy to be celebrating this lovely book about an immigrant family. Bao Phi wrote this based on his childhood experiences. It's not strictly memoir, but it's a way he's honoring his parents and all they did to make a good life for their family in this country after leaving Vietnam.



To learn more, check out the resources at All the Wonders & listen to their podcast with the author.

Five honor books were named:

  • Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Simone Shin
  • Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
  • Buster and the Baby by Amy Hest
  • Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
  • Herbert's First Halloween by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Henry

In addition, there were eight Highly Commended titles:


This week was a stressful one if a person was watching the news, but the Zolotow Award announcement was a bright spot in the middle of it all. Have a great week.

Monday, January 8, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Past Weeks on the Blogs:



Last Week in Books:

I picked up Salam Alaikum at the bookstore this week. I was reminded of it by #MuslimShelfSpace and saw it at Barnes and Noble so grabbed it. The song and video it is based off of is quite catchy.

If you want to know more about #MuslimShelfSpace, check out this video:


There is also a giveaway on Twitter hosted by @sadijahwrites:


Our school library has these books as part of our #MuslimShelfSpace:



I read one YA, Not Your Villain. It was a fun sequel to Not Your Sidekick. I look forward to the next one in the series. I read a middle grade historical novel called Ahimsa. It takes place during the life of Gandhi and follows a young girl and her family who are active in the freedom movement. It was an excellent way to learn more about that time period. I also appreciated one specific quote:


Gandhi is doing a lot of good and is fighting injustice, but is also disrespecting those he is trying to help. Anjali and her mother are also guilty of causing offense and sometimes even harm to those they are attempting to help. It is so true that we can care deeply about someone and still do the wrong thing. Intentions are not the only thing of importance. The consequences matter too.

I finally finished The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. It was a long and slow book. I mostly learned to think of all people as other humans to respect even if they are being annoying. ;) There's a lot to learn there. It made me want to stick with the Celebration posts too. We are generally more joyful if we are also thankful. 

Books I read with classes last week: 



 
The Coming Week: I'm not super focused on any specific books this week, but I think I may read The Victoria in My Head next. I wish you a wonderful week full of great books.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2018 - 3/800 
Diversity on the Shelf 2018 - 3/30

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Celebrating the Charlotte Zolotow Award


Ruth Ayres has a link-up on weekends where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every week and I appreciate the community we have through this link-up.

Me & Margarita Engle with her Zolotow Award

Two years ago, I went to the Charlotte Zolotow Award event and met Margarita Engle. She won the Zolotow award for her book Drum Dream Girl. The award ceremonies for the Zolotow are generally small affairs and are wonderful because we all hear from the author, but have some time to talk to the author individually also. 

That day, I had no idea that I would be serving on the committee within a few years, and I'm so glad to have had this experience. It was a huge task to read hundreds of picture books throughout 2017. The hardest part was narrowing it down to a small list. Today I celebrate the opportunity to be a part of the committee and having the time to spend with so many wonderful books.

The Zolotow Award is administered through the CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) part of the school of education at UW Madison. The announcement of this year's award books will be made before the end of the month.

I learned so much through this experience and also got to talk about books with the committee members. Time spent reading and talking about picture books is always a gift.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Emily Arrow: A Lesson on Copyrights

How can one make teaching about copyrights interesting? Really. This is what I wanted to know. We have a lot to teach and when you look at the information, it's not terribly interesting. One day while using an Emily Arrow video with a class, an idea came to me. Emily Arrow has fantastic credits at the end of her videos and my students love her music. Why couldn't we look at how she does things as a model? 


At the time, we were watching Louise Loves Art. The next time our class met, we re-visited the video. We stopped at a spot when the words were some that were directly from the text of the book. We discussed the fact that those words were actually the idea of Kelly Light and so was the artwork. We talked about how Emily got permission from the author to use the ideas, words, and art in her song and video. Because she has permission, she also gives credit to the creator at the end of the video. It's like a thank you.


We also listened to Stand Here. This is a great example because in this video, Emily Arrow is using art as inspiration rather than a book. This shows that you also need to give credit when using anything created by someone else. Check out the credits at the end of the video. She again credits and links to the artist. She also gives credit to the photographer and animator for the video. 

As a class we discuss how to be responsible when creating things for the Internet. Emily Arrow is a fantastic example of respecting copyrights and avoiding plagiarism by getting permission and citing her sources. Her music is also fun. In my year-end survey last year, several students noted our copyright lesson as one of their favorites. Who would have guessed?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

#MustReadin2018

#MustReadin2018 



The #MustReadin2018 is a reading challenge led by Carrie Gelson at There is a Book for That. I enjoy being part of the group of readers setting and aiming for their own unique reading goals. In 2017 I read over 125 chapter books so I know it's possible to accomplish my #MustReadin2018 list. I also know there will be other books catching my eye, so who knows? My plan may be completely derailed. Either way, it will be fun.

There are many brand new books on my list from the Rich in Color release calendar and from the post 46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018, but I included a few older titles too from the Goodreads TBR. The vast majority are written by women and I tried to include a wide variety. One of the reasons I like this challenge is the individuality of it. Each of us gets to make a distinct plan. It's also very low stress because we can change our list and it's totally acceptable to only finish part of them. I look forward to getting started. Have a great year filled with amazing reading.

Monday, January 1, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Past Weeks on the Blogs:


Last Week in Books:

I read almost 30 picture books this week, but none of them were wowing me, so I won't share them here. Goodreads says I read about 870 books this year. That sounds like a ridiculous amount of books, but only about 125 of them were chapter books meaning 845 were picture books. I've never been on an award committee before, but I'm glad I started with picture books. I can't imagine reading that many chapter books. Yikes!

I really enjoyed the novels I read this week. Two were middle grade. The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora was a great book about family and community. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus was about friendship, being yourself, and family. It also had a healthy dose of humor. Little & Lion was a wonderful YA that focused in on a sibling relationship. Little & Lion was more serious than the MG books. I loved it.

Update on Korean Dramas:
In order of preference, here are the K-Dramas I've watched since reading Maureen Goo's book I Believe in a Thing Called Love in August.

Goblin (Guardian)
While You Were Sleeping
Healer
Oh My Ghostess
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon
Coffee Prince
Stranger (Secret Forest)
Because This is My First Life
Reply 1997
You're Beautiful
Heartstrings
Boys Over Flowers

I would've read more books this fall if not for K-Dramas, but I guess I am making up for the many years I haven't been watching television. Except for Dr. Who and Downton Abbey, I haven't really watched tv in the past 20 years so I had a lot of catching up to do. Like Dr. Who, K-dramas make me smile, laugh, and cry a lot. I've been trying to figure out why I like them so much and I think it's that mix of happy/sad moments. I say I don't like sad stuff, but as long as there are some funny and happy times too, I am okay with some crying. That must be why I continue reading Adam Silvera's books even though he is killing me with every single one. Ack!

If you have K-drama recommendations, let me know.

The Coming Week: I'm almost finished with The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. I'm reading it for the neighborhood book club. It's slow going, but I find a lot of inspiring ideas. Tomorrow I'll post my #MustReadin2018 list and maybe I will get started with some of those titles.


Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 879/550  (125 were chapter books and the rest were picture books - when I made my goal, I didn't know I'd be on a picture book award committee - eek!)
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 262/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 159/125
#MustReadin2017 - 23/24