My reading life has been a little crazy. I have not given myself as much time to read as usual because I am really working hard to get into a good exercise routine (Reading Teachers Running). It takes a lot of time to exercise and to eat healthy. And I know when I get into a good book, it is hard to make time for anything else. So, I am mostly reading at night. I am trying NOT to read as much--last January, I read 40 books but I am trying to be a bit more balanced this January.This week, I read:
I missed last week's post so I'll talk about the last week or two of reading.
The Most Important Book I've Read Lately
John Green's new book THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. This book has been hugely anticipated and I was looking forward to it. I am a huge John Green fan and have read all of his other books. PAPER TOWNS is my favorite. I was excited about this one but a bit worried that it couldn't live up to the hype. And it couldn't live up to his other books for me. How wrong I was. This is an amazing book. Brilliant and all-consuming. It is the story of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. I really don't even know what to say about this book except that I will most likely read it again sometime soon. It is a story that will live with me forever--a story that actually changed who I am, I think. No matter what is on your To-Be-Read stack, I would highly recommend moving this one to the top. The book is being reviewed and rated everywhere and I have not seen or have not heard of one person who was disappointed. Be prepared--it is not an easy read. You will be sucked in to the joy, pain, fear and energy of these characters. As I said, it is all-consuming. (I actually purchased 2 copies of this book--one for me and one for my 21 year old. I do not want to give mine up and I know we will each want to keep a copy of this one forever.)
FED UP WITH LUNCH by Sara Wu
If you discovered the blog FED UP WITH LUNCH where Mrs. Q., a public school teacher, decided to eat a school lunch every day for a year. She took photos and blogged about her experiences. From the way the food looked to the way it tasted to the way it made her feel. She had no idea that the blog would attract so much attention but it is and she has become a huge advocate for healthier school lunches. Once she gave away her identity, she published this book. Her book has been recently released and whether you read her blog during her lunch-eating year or not, this is a great read. I was afraid it would be a repeat of the blog, but it wasn't. There is lots of good information and ways to make a difference in your school community. A great book and a great attitude about how to make good change.
Donalyn Miller recommended this book to me and I LOVED it. It wasn't a book I would have picked up myself. I am not a horse love. Don't love adventure or islands really. But I LOVED this book. There is a bit of romance, but a huge theme that I loved. The story is set on an island that provides an amazing backdrop for the characters. And I loved the characters the most, as I do in most books that I love. I loved the main characters and the not-so-main ones. The island is a small town where everyone knows everyone, and somehow the author made you feel that way too. I can't really explain why I loved this book but I did and I highly recommend it.
Catching up on Caldecott reading as we get ready for Caldecott Voting at school next week. Last week, Miss Loren from the Dublin Library came to visit and talk to the kids about Caldecott contenders. We love when she comes because we discover lots of new books and we love to hear her thinking. This week, kids will have time to look around and vote for a book they think should win. I read the following books to catch up a bit on 2011 picture book reading.
*BLUE CHICKEN by Deborah Freedman
*PLANT A KISS by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
*ZOMBIE IN LOVE by Kelly DiPucchio (This one would make a fun Valentine's Day read aloud.)
**GRANDPA GREEN by Lane Smith
SAY HELLO TO ZORRO by Carter Goodrich
JONATHAN AND THE BIG BLUE BOAT by Philip Stead
UNDERGROUND: FINDING THE LIGHT TO FREEDOM by Shane Evans
LEVI STRAUSS GETS A BRIGHT IDEA by Tony Johnston
BEFORE YOU CAME by Patricia Maclachlan
NIGHT FLIGHT by Robert Burleigh
WOOF MEOW TWEET-TWEET by Cecile Boyer
***WHERE'S WALRUS by Stephen Savage (One of my favorite new wordless books.)
WHERE'S MY T-R-U-C-K? by Karen Beaumont
Coming up Next
Not sure that I will read any fiction this week. I will probably choose a YA book sometime soon --maybe CINDER. Or I might read THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE by Christopher Paul Curtis. (I keep hearing amazing things about this one and I have an ARC from NCTE!) But I need to think about THE FAULT OF OUR STARS for a bit before I commit to new characters.
OPENING MINDS: USING LANGUAGE TO CHANGE LIVES by Peter Johnston. I am a huge fan of Peter Johnston and his book CHOICE WORDS. CHOICE WORDS is a small book that has had such a huge impact on my teaching. In it Peter Johnston teaches us about the power of language and the messages our language gives to children. This new book looks to be an extension of that thinking and I can't wait to read it.
I have also been looking forward to reading Louise Borden's upcoming book HIS NAME WAS RAOUL WALLENBERG. I saw this one in process and can't wait to see the final book. Such an amazing story.
I would also like to fit in ICEFALL by Matthew Kirby. I have been hearing great things about it and it is all of a sudden getting some Newbery buzz. And it looks like a book that my students would love. So I am wondering if I can fit it in before next Monday...