Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Books We Need to Read

Okay, so I have been snooping on lots of other book logs. 3 books that sound like must reads for 2006.
FLY BY NIGHT by Frances Hardinge
WEEDFLOWER by Cynthia Kadohata (does this fit your 2 word Newbery rule, ML?)

I am going to IRA this weekend so I hope to come back with a suitcase filled with brand new books!
The prequel to CITY OF EMBER should be out. Very excited about that!

Friday, April 21, 2006

2006 Reading

Well, I finally got started on my 2006 Newbery reading! I read Lois Lowry's GOSSAMER. I loved it. It was a sweet story. It seemed to be for kids younger than THE GIVER. I have a student reading it now who also loves it. I would recommend it. I also picked up LISTEN! by Stephanie Tolan. Looks like a possibility. Has a dog story won lately?

I have two new favorite websites/blogs to share. First is a book award I just discovered. You probably already know it, but it is the Jane Addams Peace Award for children's books. They just announced their 2006 awards.

I've also discovered this amazing blog by a New York librarian. Not sure how I found it. Pure luck, I guess. But she writes every day, reviews lots of new books, and she is hysterically funny. I am hooked to the blog. I will post the link sometime soon.

I am also looking forward to a new book coming out from Stenhouse called BLACK ANTS AND BUDDHISTS by Mary Cowhey. I read much of it online today and love it!

That's about it:-)

Kid Quip, Part Two

The week before Easter, Student B asked, "What's Good Friday?"

I gave him a thumbnail sketch of the death of Christ by crucifixion, and His raising from the dead on Easter.

He looked at me, incredulous, and asked, "What's all that got to do with the Easter Bunny?"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Kid Quip

I asked a student to stop tipping back in his chair. I said I wasn't interested in doing first aid.

Student B asked, "Is there such a thing as second aid?"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Oh, the temptations.

You bought; I resisted. (We both know it's only temporary.)

Elizabeth Berg has a new book. So does Daniel Handler. (Shouldn't he be busy finishing the SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS????) And ever so hard to resist -- a new one by David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS.

I was bad in the bookstore. Barnes and Noble, but I won't say which one, to protect the reputation of the clerk. We were chatting about their summer reading program, and she told me that it was all based around THE SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and Lemony Snicket, "because, you know, SHE would be completing the series in October." I let the faux pas pass, but when I ran across Daniel Handler's adult book in the new fiction, I couldn't resist taking it and showing her the author's picture on the back flap. I didn't rub it in, just said, "THIS is Lemony Snicket."

Is it pathetic, or wonderful, when we know more than the bookstore clerks?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Books

So, I went and heard Ralph Fletcher speak today. It was an amazing workshop. A great day. And, of course, Sally from Cover to Cover was there selling children's books. SOOOO, here is what I bought--

WEEDFLOWER by Cynthia Kadohata--This is the new book by the author of KIRA-KIRA. It looks like a better concept to me. Friendship, racial tension, etc. One of my students shared it with me on Friday. She had picked it up at the bookstore. I am anxious to read it.

GOSSAMER by Lois Lowry--I was so happy! I didn't know that Lois Lowry had another book coming out. It is being compared to The Giver, I guess. I am sooo excited to read it. She is a favorite.

WHAT STINKS by Marilyn Singer--This looks like a great nonfiction book that kids will pick up and love. It is all about things that stink--mostly plants, animals and insects. It looks like it would be pretty funny to kids too. Great photos.

I LOVE OUR EARTH by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson--This is a great text written in poetic form with great photos to go along with each page. There seems to be a picture of a child on each page and they are great photos of kids from different areas in the world.

BUSY IN THE GARDEN by George Shannon--This is a fun book of garden poems for young children. They are great poems with great rhythm and rhyme. Just a fun, happy book!

WALK ON! A GUIDE FOR BABIES OF ALL AGES by Marla Frazee--This picture book is hysterical. It is a How-To book for babies on learning how to walk. Great illustrations too.

NOW AND BEN: THE MODERN INVENTIONS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN by Gene Barretta--This is a book that looks at Ben's inventions and how they are important to us now--how we used the things he invented. Great sharing of how his original inventions have evolved and how important they still are. Great, fun illustrations too.

FAMILIES by Susan Kuklin is a great book with photos and pieces about many different families. They are told in the children's voices and through interviews. The thread of love is clear throughout the book. The message of the book is strong. I may have to buy one for home and one for school!

So, I'll keep you posted as I read them.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mixed Review

You asked for it, so I'll tell you about our discussion of HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE.

Some liked it, some didn't.

Here's what I noticed: if a person loved TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, they probably didn't like HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE so much. And vice versa. And the person who only sort of liked TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE only sort of liked HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE.

One thing is true, my book club is sick of reading time travel books!

So they probably won't want to read my Best Children's Book So Far in 2006: THE BOOK OF STORY BEGINNINGS by Kristin Kladstrup. It's reminiscent of INKHEART and INKSPELL and THE GOOD GREAT THING with some time travel thrown in.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Someone who didn't like BOLEYN GIRL? Hmmmmm. Oh, well. Maybe there is someone out there. I guess it is possible:-) You'll have to let me know what your book group thinks of HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE. Maybe I just missed something. I liked the concept.

So, Sally is going to have lots of new books at the Literacy Connection event on Saturday. So maybe I'll get some new ones for our Newbery fun! Tell me more about BINDI BABES? I saw it a while ago and couldn't decide if it was worth reading. So, is it great?

Finishing NEVER LET ME GO tonight. I'll let you know.

Fair Enough

I'll put THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL on my to-read list and I'll keep your double recommendation in mind along with the almost guilty admission of another reader whose opinions I highly value who said she couldn't finish it. But I'll read it. And it will likely be an experience like the book that had terrorists and I didn't want to read it, but I did and it was fabulous and I'll eat crow yet again. (What was the title of that book?) No copies of Boleyn Girl are available at the library right now, and my reading life is jammed full, so it will be awhile.

My jammed reading life: our book club will be discussing HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE tomorrow night. (I'll spare you the details.) Our next book is TELL THEM I DIDN'T CRY by Jackie Spinner. From what I gather, the story is almost an exact parallel of the Christian Science Monitor reporter who was recently released after being held hostage in Iraq for 80 some days, and who has a twin sister. Maybe minus the hostage part. I'm sure it will make us think about current events in a more personal way, as we did when we read KITE RUNNER.

On the Children's Lit. scene, I am reading THE WRIGHT 3 with a literature circle group in my class, and I am reading BINDI BABES with a 5th grade India-Indian girl who is in my school "family." I gave her BLUE JASMINE to read (a book about a girl, like herself, who moves from India to a Midwestern city) on the condition that she would tell me if the story seemed "true" to her. She totally related to the book's character, and asked wistfully if I knew of any other books that had Indian girls as the main character. A treasure of a children's librarian at Old Worthington put me on to BINDI BABES and the follow-up book, BOLLYWOOD BABES.

I'm listening to MARCH in the car and loving it! I was so smart to listen to LITTLE WOMEN before this.

And, as usual, I'm hopelessly behind on reading professional journals and books. Don't ask by how many months.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Repeat Recommendation

Okay, I like books like that lately too. Soooo, again, I will tell you, you have to read THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Philippa Gregory. Just like all of the ones you mentioned and as close to Tracy Chevalier as I've read. Since I read that "wonderful" HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE, I think you owe it to me to try THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL. I am pretty sure you'll love it. I haven't heard of anyone who has read it that hasn't.

Bought some new children's books today. Have you seen OWEN and MZEE? Very amazing story. And ANTHONY AND THE GIRLS totally amused me.

Compulsive Behavior

No, it's not a LITTLE WOMEN kick, so much as it is my compulsion to read books "in order." You know the one. It forces me to read the first book in the series first, no matter what. So I had to go back to the source (LITTLE WOMEN) before I read the off-shoot (MARCH).

What it's really about is looking at an old familiar story (which I thought LITTLE WOMEN was, but about which I was proven totally wrong once I listened to it and realized I'd never persevered through the whole book) from a new point of view. Or the idea that an author can invent a whole new story from scraps in another. That's why I liked THE RED TENT, WICKED, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, LADY AND THE UNICORN, MISTS OF AVALON. These all give a different perspective, or a different back story to the more commonly known story. Lots of reading branches off into different directions, while this kind of reading seems to be a layering of sorts.