Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for hosting this meme each week! Please be sure to visit these awesome blogs for lots of great reading suggestions!
This week, I finished (and loved) Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. I've seen novels in verse done well, and I've seen them done poorly, and this one is done well. I was amazed at how Applegate was able to capture Kek's emotional journey in so few words.
I also read these chapter books last week:
The Lemonade War was a fun read; I really enjoyed the brother/sister relationship between Ethan and Jesse, and I love that they solve their problems on their own, without adult interference.
Roxie and the Hooligans was recommended to me by some fourth graders who read it aloud in their classroom. Roxie reminded me of Pennypacker's Clementine and Dahl's Matilda; she's resourceful, brave, and smart--what else can you ask for in a heroine?
Patricia MacLachlan has a knack for writing kids with real problems without turning a story sappy, and that knack doesn't fail her in The Truth of Me. It was a quick read, but it packed a powerful punch.
I'm still ruminating over Margi Preus' West of the Moon. I like the skillful integration of folktales and realistic fiction, but I didn't really feel the impact of the story until I read the author's note about what inspired her story. I almost wished I had read it first, as it cast a different perspective on the story.
I also got a chance to make a trip to the local bookstore in Austin, and was able to take a peek at these picture books:
This week, I'm two chapters into The Boys of Blur, and I'm already loving how the long, rambling, repetitive sentences imitate the boys' running. I'm also enjoying the combination of football, mystery, and magical elements.