Every week I participate in this meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Teach Mentor Texts. Jen and Kellee had the brilliant idea to adapt this meme to talk about the great young adult and children’s literature that we are reading. Head over to their blog for more great reads and a plethora of recommendations of great kidlit.
Books I Read This Week:
I enjoyed the high fantasy book Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. Elisa is married off to the King of a nearby land in a hurried deal. She has always been the younger princess who does not get involved with court issues. She likes to eat and is self-conscious because of her weight. She does not understand why she is being sent off so young. The only thing she knows that she has going for her is the fact that she carries a godstone. This means that she has been chosen by God but she does not know when she will have to act or what she will
have to do. Throughout the book, Elisa evolves and turns into a very strong female
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach is definitely a boy book. I can see teenage boys really identifying with Felton and understanding his angst. I was a little tickled with the references to landmarks I know well since the story is set in a small Wisconsin town. This book is a about a kid who figures out that he has athletic talent and begins to be more accepted by his peers because of it, but it is also about complex psychological issues. Felton feels like everything outside of his home is coming together so nicely, but meanwhile his family is
falling apart. This book is more geared toward high school boys, but I have a student in mind
that I think will really like it so I will be recommending it to an 8th grader.
Brain Camp by Susan Kim is a fun sci-fi graphic novel. The story is about a summer camp and two kids that go there after the summer has begun. Something is not quite right at camp and these two are determined to figure out what is happening. What they find out is almost more than they can handle. I really enjoyed this book and I know that my students will love it. However, there is one sequence in the book where the young teen has a dream about the
girl he likes and wakes up suddenly. The next frame shows him in the bathroom rinsing out
his underwear. Although I recognize that this is something that happens to young teenage
boys, I dread the way my 8th graders will deal with this scene. Maybe I am wrong about the
way they might react, but I don’t see the necessity for this sequence and wish it were not in
I was super fortunate this year with Christmas gifts. My sister gave me a writing themed gift with three books I have been wanting to read about writing. I already had this book, but I was thrilled to get another copy of it. I especially was excited to read this one during our flight home. It was a great insight into the writing process of Walter Dean Myers and I am excited to share it with students. I definitely will either read the whole book aloud or excerpts of it before doing NaNoWriMo next year. I like that Myers has a process for
planning his books and I think I might be able to use some of his advice in my own writing as
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has been on my to-read list for quite a while. I enjoy mysteries and this one sounded like it would be right up my alley. I did enjoy this book, but found it to be less of a mystery and more of a book about psychology and relationships. The author did manage to surprise me throughout the story and I think the premise is fantastic. I really enjoyed the complexity of the characters and the situation they all were in. I would recommend this book to other adults, but I did not love it like I thought I would.
The Always War By Margaret Peterson Haddix is another high-interest, low-readability book that I know my struggling readers will love. I enjoyed the post-apocalyptic tale which included high amounts of adventure and three very likeable protagonists. I will recommend this one to all students but especially those that need a good book with less challenge.
I have been wanting to read this one for quite a while. It was another Christmas gift from my awesome sister. In Delerium by Lauren Oliver, Lena lives in a society that has been saved from an awful disease. Love has been cured and this makes their lives safe and secure. Every person receives the cure for this awful disease when he or she is 18 years old. Until then, teenagers must be kept separate lest they get infected with the disease. Lena is a good girl who follows all the rules because she has always lived under a cloud because her mother
was never cured and committed suicide. She is a normal 18 year old who is looking forward
to her match and her cure. Once these things happen, she will be able to go to college and
then get married when she is done with school. She is excited for all of this until she meets
Alex. He changes everything for her and she starts to realize that maybe love isn’t this awful
disease after all. I really liked this book although the ending almost ruined it for me.
Hopefully the rest of the series will make up for that. I am glad I have Pandemonium here in
the house and will be able to read it this week. I will recommend this book to students who
enjoy dystopian fiction.
What I will read this week:
I will start 47 by Walter Mosley today. I have wanted to read this book for years. I will also get to Pandemonium soon. I have a box of books in my trunk from the warehouse sale and don’t remember all of the books that are in there but I will probably pull a book or two from that box this week. I also have the graphic novels Resistance and The Walking Dead (volume 1) that I will read.
What are you reading?