Sunday, October 22, 2017

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.

Last Week on the Blog:


Review: You Bring the Distant Near
by Mitali Perkins

Last Week in Books:

Passionate Readers is fabulous and all teachers should read it. It really gets at what we need to be focusing on with our students if we really want to produce readers. Pernille Ripp also asks questions that can help us reflect on what we are doing in our classrooms and why.

All's Faire in Middle School was a fun middle grade graphic novel by the author of Roller Girl. I loved having a book set in a Renaissance Faire. 

The stand out picture book of the week was Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos. I enjoyed learning more about Frida Kahlo from this fun perspective.

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen was a fun early chapter book that revolved around food and family. Now I want to try making mochi.

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was compelling. Families are so complicated and with grief added into the picture, Julia has a hard time with her parental relationships.

I enjoyed Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy. I have only read Lumberjanes so the other characters were new to me, but it was still fun. They are always filled with plenty of action and interesting interactions.

The Coming Week: I'm still listening to They Both Die at the End, but will probably finish up this week. I have quite a stack waiting for me, but I'm not sure which one to grab next.


Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 576/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 207/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 116/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

Saturday, October 21, 2017

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.

The view from my computer. Yay! It's autumn.
 Celebrating Connections
 
We had our final day of Lego League. It was nice that the students had the chance to share their learning and creations with each other and their families. This week we also had conferences at school. It was a great time for chatting with families and students. Because we hosted a book fair, there were many students and families coming through the library. It makes for long days, but the conversations are worth the time.

I also got to chat (texting) with two of our former exchange students this week. It's great to see what they are doing now. They make me smile. I'm thankful for apps that make it possible to talk to people around the world so easily. Now if we could make a way to zip between here and there in moments, that would be beyond awesome.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

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.

Last Week on the Blog:




Last Week in Books:



Creepy Pair of Underwear is a hilarious sequel to Creepy Carrots. My students and I just had to laugh. The illustrations are fantastic. The World is Not a Rectangle is a great picture book biography of architect Zaha Hadid. I love her designs and it's great to have a book sharing her work. 

The Handmaid's Tale is well written and was highly unsettling. It would be disturbing anytime, but in the current climate, it's exceedingly troubling.

The Coming Week: I'm currently listening to They Both Die at the End and it's keeping me enthralled as expected. I'm also reading Pernille Ripp's Passionate Readers. It's inspiring and instructive. 

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 566/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 202/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 112/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

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.




This weekend was full of nature and connections. Hmong New Year is a great community event I usually try to attend. It was a little cold and wet this year (50s and intermittent rain), but I saw many students, ate wonderful food, bought some items to add to our Hmong culture kit in the library and had some great conversations with parents of my students and other community members. I also got to talk to an artist and watch him make prints. The first day, I drove, but the second day, I rode my bicycle the six miles each way on a path through wetlands. It was gorgeous. 

I also participated in a night run with some teachers and girls from our school running club. The run benefits the Boys & Girls Club and honors the husband of one of our teachers who loved the club and was a runner. It's a great run because it goes through a park and wetlands with torches along the water. It's beautiful even in the rain. Yes, it was in the upper 40s or maybe 50 while we rain in the rain. That made it even more of an interesting experience for the girls. Most of them had never run that far before so now they have a great story about their first run. Also, they know they can do most anything if they can run and withstand the cold and rain too.

I'm glad we were still able to have fun in spite of the iffy weather.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review: Broken Circle

Title: Broken Circle
Authors: J.L. Powers & M.A. Powers
Publisher: Akashic Books
Genre: Paranormal
Pages: 318
Availability: On shelves now
Review copy: Supplied by Publisher

Summary: Adam wants nothing more than to be a “normal” teen, but his reality is quickly leaking normal. Afraid to sleep because of the monster that stalks his dreams, Adam’s breakdown at school in front of his crush Sarah lands him in the hospital.

As he struggles to cope with his day-to-day life, Adam can only vaguely comprehend some sort of future. His mother died when he was only four and his eccentric father—who might be an assassin, a voodoo god, the reincarnation of the Buddha, or something even stranger—is never available when Adam really needs him. Even his paranoid grandfather, who insists that people are “out to kill the entire family,” is no help.

Adam’s life takes an even weirder turn when a fat man with a gold tooth and a medallion confronts his father regarding Adam’s supposed “True Destiny.” Adam is soon headed toward a collision with life, death, and the entities charged with shepherding souls of the newly dead, all competing to control lucrative territories where some nightmares are real and psychopomps of ancient legends walk the streets of North America.

Review: Early in the book, Adam wonders, "Where do you find courage when Fear is calling the shots?" Fear and anxiety was something I could relate to even if I couldn't relate to the psychopomps and demonic monsters. I don't read a lot of paranormal or creepy books so this was a bit out of my comfort zone. The fact that it was still basically about a teen trying to figure out who he is while he tries to conquer his fears kept me reading. It's not a comedy, but there are also many bits of humor so it didn't get bogged down with the death business. And this book definitely deals with death.

A quirky thing about this book is the inclusion of a backstory through brief chapters tucked in between the main action. This history is delivered through conversations and they are amusing. They often sound like a paperback romance and not necessarily a fabulous one. At first I was mildly annoyed by these chapters, but by the end I didn't mind and even laughed a bit once I accepted them for the comic relief they were.

The creepy parts were pretty great even for someone like me. It was intense enough to make me want to read as fast as I could, but never got bad enough to induce nightmares. The monsters are intimidating and impressive, but the whole world is divorced from reality so it was just the right amount of scary for me.

This is part of a series and I hope that some of the secondary characters get a little more development. They were fairly simply described and were mostly identifiable by cultural cues. I was wanting more depth. With subsequent books perhaps that will happen.

Recommendation: If paranormal is your thing, you might want to give this one a try.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

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.

Last Week on the Blog:
Last Week in Books:
 
Warcross and Refugee were both books I could not put down. I lost sleep because of both. I stayed up way too late for them. Excellent storytelling.

After the Fall is quite a unique perspective on Humpty Dumpty. To get the backstory, check out the podcast with Matthew Winner and Dan Santat. This story comes from a very personal place.

I am up past my bedtime so I will just say you shouldn't miss I am Peace, When's My Birthday and if you enjoyed Leonardo the Terrible Monster, do grab Sam the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World.

The Coming Week: I'm in the middle of The Handmaid's Tale for book club. I also started listening to They Both Die at the End. I also started reading Passionate Readers by Pernille Ripp. It should be a great week of reading.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 561/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 202/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 112/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

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.


This week I'm celebrating my dog once again. On Monday, Schatzie seemed a little lethargic, but I figured he was just feeling a little off. On Tuesday though, he still wasn't his usual self. By evening, I  was getting concerned because he wasn't moving around much. I carried him to his food and water. He was very happy to have a drink, but was completely uninterested in food. He seemed a little warm and I figured we needed to see the vet. We slept together on the couch that night and he went to the vet in the morning. They ran lots of tests and found that while they weren't sure why, he was carrying a high fever. He has had antibiotics and pain relievers and is pretty much back to normal. We had a wonderful long walk today in the sun with fall leaves scattering around us in the breeze. I'm very glad his tests didn't show anything serious and his illness seems to be just a blip in his life. It reminded us that we don't know how long we have our pets though. I'm celebrating that we have Schatzie with us today.