Mock Newbery 2014 Club Summer #1 Meeting

Mock Newbery 2014 Club Summer #1 Meeting

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week. I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.

Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans
Aw, I LOVED this book! I was laughing the whole way through and then loved the sweet ending. The illustrations are hilarious and have a Jon Klassen quality (I wrote this before listening to Appelhans's podcast - see link above - in which he talks about Klassen). Love the thick pages and sepia tones. And I love Sparky. I now want a pet sloth. Pair this up with A Little Book of Sloth.
Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems
Melissa Sweet never disappoints. This beautifully illustrated book of poems compiled by Paul Janeczko and arranged around the seasons is a must have for the classroom library! Some of my favorite poems like "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "Fog" are given new life. It's amazing that Janeczko is the anthologist of almost fifty collections and Stewart has illustrated almost 100 books. What a team!
Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual
This a strange but intriguing book that makes an environmental point about what might happen if we allow birds to go extinct. The illustrations manage to be beautiful and disturbing at the same time. I look forward to more by this new picture book author/illustrator.
Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking: A 14 Day Mystery
art, audio-book, grandparents, intermediate-kids-book, mystery, young-adult-book

I listened to this entertaining mystery, and I loved the narrator's Boston accent. The spunky main character had me rooting for her the whole time, and I thought Dionne's characterization of Grumps was excellent. The way Moxie treated her grandfather's Alzheimer's was touching, and I enjoyed hers and Ollie's friendship. The real life art heist is intriguing - be sure to listen to/read the author's note at the end. This reminded me of Balliett's Chasing Vermeer and Messner's Silver Jaguar Society mysteries. I'm reading aloud to one of my 6th grade classes.
Grasshopper Jungle
NOTE:  This is NOT for middle graders!
This one was tough for me to decide how to rate/review. I completely understand and appreciate the brilliance of this writer, the raw and honest way he writes, and the ground-breaking storytelling, but it was not my cup of tea. It was gross and disturbing, and I had a hard time liking any of the characters. I debated abandoning it, but I had to find out how it ended (I guess that tells you that it IS compelling). Many Nerdy Book Club folks wrote excellent reviews, and I respect their love of this book. I don't want to take anything away from Andrew Smith's talent. He has a ton of fans, and I know there are older teens out there who would love this book, but it was not for me.
The Selection (The Selection, #1)
The Summer of Letting Go
My family loves to read, too!
Libby (21 yrs. old)

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Katie (18) is in the middle of a "Grey's Anatomy" marathon - season 7. ;-)


The Art of Hearing Heartbeats


Death Rides a Chestnut Mare (Danny Duggin, #1)

My husband, Ed

Kill Shot (Mitch Rapp, #2)

What are YOU reading this week?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday

 I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row. 

More creative nonfiction this week!

Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey


This is a beautiful and interesting book about a box of pupae shipped to a museum in Boston from a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. Burns chronicles the life cycle of a butterfly in this innovative and captivating book, filled with gorgeous photographs. Now I want to visit Costa Rica!

Feathers: Not Just for Flying


What a great addition to our unit on creative nonfiction! Stewart teaches us fascinating information about feathers through similes. There were a lot of things I didn't know about the way birds use their feathers. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous - I love the color tones and the scrapbook-like design. Great author's note at the end. I will definitely be purchasing this for our classroom library.