Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Every Monday, the awesome duo at Teach Mentor Texts hosts their What Are You Reading? meme so that anyone who loves children's literature can share the titles they've recently enjoyed as well as their reading plans for the week!  Thanks, Jen and Kellee!
Be sure to head over to the Teach Mentor Texts blog to find out what everyone else is reading!

I just finished reading My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt.  I've always wanted to read this one, especially since I so enjoyed her novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, but I finally picked it up because of a book by another author!  Last week, I finished The Year of the Book, by Andrea Cheng, and her main character, Anna, loves to read.  One of my favorite things about The Year of the Book is the way we get to watch Anna lead a reading life.  As we follow Anna on her story, we also learn about the stories she's exploring through her reading, and, you guessed it, My Louisiana Sky is one of those stories.  So, thanks, Anna for inspiring me to finally dig in to this one!

My Louisiana Sky is one of those books whose characters are easy to fall in love with even though there's nothing easy about them.  Tiger Ann is a strong, endearing narrator, whose love for her family carries her through every storm she encounters.  I love that she is able to recognize her own insecurities and to work through her doubts while remaining true to herself and the ones she loves.

Read-alikes:  When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, Rules by Cynthia Lord, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, Wonder by R.J. Polacio, Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles, Missing May by Cynthia Rylant, The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

Last week, I also read these titles:

A Dog Called Homeless was, as predicted, a tear-jerker.  It definitely made my top 10 list of books about dogs, but, like all good dog books, it's about so much more than the dog!  When Cally loses her mother and begins to have difficulty communicating with her father, she decides to stop talking altogether.  Some special friends (a few of the two-legged variety and one of the four-legged variety) end up convincing Cally that her voice is worth listening to.

I didn't need a fortune-teller to predict that I would love The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, the third novel in Tom Angleberger's Origami Yoda series!  The usual cast of characters is back, minus Dwight, and a new foldable Star Wars character is doling out advice.  Tommy, Harvey, Kellen and the gang soon realize, however, that even a paper fortune-teller guided by the force can't replace Dwight in all his weirdness!  Can the fortune wookiee help their friend, or is Dwight forever lost to the dark side?  As usual, I loved Angleberger's humor, and I love that he writes about kids who are genuinely interested in helping each other out!  I'm so excited that the series isn't going to end with Fortune Wookiee!

Here are my ratings (out of five stars) for this week's books:
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman * * * *
The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland * * *
The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb Rosenstock * * * *
The Art of Miss Chew by Patricia Polacco * * *
The Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson * * * *
One Hen:  How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway * * *
There's a Nightmare In My Closet by Mercer Mayer * * * *
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean * * * *
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger * * * *
Zinnia and Dot by Lisa Campbell Ernst * * *
The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg * * * *
Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke * *
Benny and Penny In the Toy Breaker by Geoffrey Hayes * * *
Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish * *
The Boy Who Cried Wolf by B.G. Hennessy * * * *
Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler * * *
Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish * *
The Story of Hanukkah by Amy Ehrlich * * *
Little One Step by Simon James * * *
My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt * * * *

This week, I'm looking forward to starting Libba Bray's latest, The Diviners.  Although I love YA fiction, I don't typically read a lot of it during the school year, because I usually try to read books that are written at the age level of the kids who use my library.  BUT I've heard so many good things about it, and I absolutely love everything Libba Bray has ever written, SO I'm going to allow myself this one!

I'm also continuing to listen to an audio recording of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.  I have a feeling it's going to take me a while to listen to the whole thing-mostly because I have limited listening time available to me at the moment, but I'm enjoying getting re-acquainted with this long-time favorite of mine!  I've noticed that, as an adult reader, I'm finding much more humor in Anne Shirley's escapades; whereas, as a child, I felt a great deal of sympathy and injustice on her behalf!

Have a great week of reading, everyone!


  1. I love your book cover collage! My Louisiana Sky is a favorite! The movie is not bad also.

  2. My Louisiana Sky has been on my TBR for a while, but I may need to bump it up in line! :)

    I love your collage of books! I too enjoyed Fortune Wookiee, and loved art work in particular in The Camping Trip that Changed America. That two page spread of the tall trees is awesome, especially if you've ever been to see those trees before!

  3. Oh that Amelia Bedilia! She was a favorite growing up and I can still laugh at her silliness! Looks like you had an excellent week reading. (I'm wondering though, why a Hanukkah book in September?) I'll be sure to be back next week to check our your new reads!

  4. Haha! About half of my picture book choices are heavily influenced by my kindergartener, who is free to choose her titles according to what she wants to read. Currently, she's gravitating towards the Amelia Bedelia shelf and the holidays shelf (thus the Hanukkah book). I actually kind of enjoy the random element she brings to my reading!

  5. Oh wow, what a spread of books you have in here. I just borrowed The Year of the Book from our library. I have a feeling that I'd finish it in half a day, it looks like a great and quick read. :) I have yet to find Fortune Wookee!! Everyone seems to be raving about it, I should really borrow it from our library soon.