I am LOVING #bookaday started by @donalynbooks. Whether you are participating in the holiday version of #bookaday or not, following the #bookaday hashtag on twitter will give you lots of great books to add to your TBR pile.
We are on Day 6 of vacation and I have read 8 fabulous books! I thought I'd share these quickly before I move on to the 2nd half of the event. I am all about characters and read completely for character. I have to love the characters to love the book and you will notice that I love all of the new characters I've read about. Most of my #bookaday reading has focused on middle grade novels. I find that no matter how much I read, I can never keep up with all of the great books coming out for our 3rd through 6th graders. They are the readers I have always been most interested in and it has been nice to make time to catch up on some of the books I've been wanting to read. I am anxious to share them all with students when we get back to school.
PENNY DREADFUL by Laurel Snyder was my first #bookaday read and it was a great one. I loved the the characters. This felt a little like Polly Horvath but also a little like some of my favorite books from childhood--A LITTLE PRINCESS, THE SECRET GARDEN, etc. It is a quirky,upbeat kind of book with some unique characters. This is probably a book I'll share with 4th and 5th graders.A great fun book all around.
I was very excited to get an ARC of MARTY MCGUIRE by Kate Messner. This is the first in a series due out in May of 2011. I am always looking for great new books for kids newer to chapter books and Marty McGuire is a great book for those readers. Again, I love this character in this book. This is a great read for kids who love Judy Moody, Clementine, Roscoe Riley, etc. The story is told in first person by Marty and she is a character you love almost instantly. She is a spunky girl who knows how to solve a problem and be herself. I am looking forward to more Marty McGuire books!
There are not many books that would make great reads for ages 6-12, but I think LULU AND THE BRONTOSAURUS would be a great read aloud for grades 1-5. Kids of all ages will love this book. Mary Lee reviewed the book and I immediately moved it to the top of my pile. Judith Viorst is brilliant as always, and a fun feature of the book is the way that she chats with the reader throughout the story.
I am a huge fan of James Preller and finally had a chance to read his book BYSTANDER. This is a book about middle school and bullying. The storyline and the characters are believable and this would make a great choice for a book club or read aloud. The book provides lots to talk about in terms of how kids treat each other and how they handle difficult situations. James Preller has a good handle on this age group and that is important for this story.
A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park was a very powerful read. I hadn't realized before I started that this story, about the lost boys of Sudan, was mostly true. I think it is hard to write about hard topics in a way that is accessible to middle grade and middle school readers but this book is done perfectly for this age. The two stories that Park tells come together brilliantly and the difficulty is clear. This is a book that will live with me for a long time and I think it would make an amazing read aloud for 5th or 6th grade.
I discovered Lauren Oliver, a great new YA author in early December. I received BEFORE I FALL in my ALAN box and read it in early December. Oliver has a new book coming out in February called DELIRIUM and I was able to borrow an ARC. I forgot how much I love YA and am thrilled to have discovered Lauren Oliver. DELERIUM tells the story of a society who has figured out a way to cure people from love. An interesting concept and great characters. Looking forward to reading everything that Oliver writes in the future. I don't have much time to read YA Lit but will make time to read anything that she writes.
THE RABBIT PROBLEM is a picture book by Emily Gravett. I love Emily Gravett and am not sure how I missed this book. This is a fun picture book around the Fibonacci problem posed hundreds of years ago. The book is set up in calendar form and Gravett includes many unique features and great humor as always.
I love every book by Lisa Graff so was thrilled to have some time to read SOPHIE SIMON SOLVES THEM ALL. This is a bit of a different book for Graff--meant for a bit of a younger audience. Sophie Simon is another character I love and the story is a great one for 3rd-4th grade readers. I haven't heard that this will become a series, but it would be great news if it did!
I love every book that I've read and recommend every one of them. I am so loving #bookaday! I am already looking forward to participating in Summer #bookaday.