Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Monday, What are YOU Reading? 1/2/12

Check out what other bloggers are reading this week at Teach Mentor Texts!

Well, let's just say I surpassed my own reading expectations this past week. Thanks to having a wonderful and relaxing week off for winter break, I was able to accomplish a TON of reading!

Let's start with the novels...

First, I finished the last book in The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. This is another must-read series. The way in which Suzanne Collins tied up the series was exactly what I had hoped for, although it did tug at my heart strings like any good series should.

Next, I read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. This is a beautifully written story about love and loss. I highly recommend it, but warn that you will need a box of tissues nearby as you near the end of the story. The story is haunting and tragic, accompanied by creepy yet exquisite artwork from Jim Kay (the cover art is only a preview of what lies inside).

After finishing such an emotionally heavy book, I went for something on the lighter side. I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. This story is about the magical power of an origami puppet (or maybe it's his creator who has the true "magic") to give sound advice to those who seek it. With a middle school-aged male protagonist, I think this book will appeal to many boys who are still considered developing readers.

With part of my New Year's resolution being to challenge myself in my reading life by reading as many Newbery Award winning books as possible, I headed out to the store and bought a few. I was able to finish The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman in a few hours. I'll admit I was hesitant about this book at first, but as I continued to read the story really grew on me. I admit I love dynamic characters who learn and grow through their successes and failures, of which this female protagonist has many.

I also read a graphic novel, The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen,which had stunning artwork. The story is about a town plagued by a dragon in a time when all dragons were thought to be extinct. Through a clever plot to destroy it, the lead character and a less-than-thrilled "hero" set out to save their town.

And then there were the picture books...

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney is a Caldecott Award winning wordless picture book that tells Aesop's famous fable about two creatures who become unlikely allies. It had some modern twists and new additions, and the artwork was beautiful. I found myself lingering on each page to make sure I didn't miss a thing.

Chickadee Winter is an older book by Dawn L. Watkins  that I discovered for the first time. It is written in prose and tells a heartwarming story of a boy and his family who uprooted their lives in New Mexico. They find themselves now living in a winter wonderland with the boy's grandparents. Only the grandfather seems to know the secret to "getting used to" new surroundings. I thought this book was very sweet and enjoyed the colorful illustrations that made me feel as if I was looking through my own window out to the crisp, fresh fallen snow.

A Full Moon is Rising was an intriguing book of poems by Marilyn Singer about celebrations and customs around the world related to the various phases of the moon. I enjoyed the varied poems and the colorful illustrations that accompanied each. I also appreciated the information about the moon in the beginning of the book to help supplement my background knowledge about Earth's satellite.

Since school will be starting this week, I am sorry to say that I do not think I will get quite as much reading done over the next seven days. However, here are the books I am going to *try* to get through.

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Newbery Award Winner)

Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go (Circles of Heck) by Dale E. Basye (it looked so interesting I had to grab it!)
What books did you read this week?


  1. My husband is reading the Origami books to our boys. I'm reading Kisses from Katie. I'm reading Out of My Mind with my students. I read it first and fell in love with it. Have you read that one, yet? Also, I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

  2. I have not read the others. I will have to add them to my ever-growing To-Be-Read (TBR) list.

  3. Man, I really need to start reading more! I put some of the books you read on my library hold list, so that's a start.

  4. You're welcome, Kristen! Karen, I started reading more recently and it is wonderful. Whenever I have the TV on I ask myself "Am I enjoying this more than I would a good book?" The answer is rarely "Yes." :)

  5. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, either. I'm still working on finding a balance between work and family. If I'm not working on grading or planning in the evenings I often fall asleep shortly after I get my girls in bed for the night. I'm going to start reading for the same 30 minute period they do, though.

  6. You had an amazing reading week! Between finishing the Hunger Games trilogy, A Monster Calls and some beautiful picture books- it was overall a winning week!

    Hope this week brings as many great reads!

  7. It was a great week! We'll see how this one goes :)

  8. I hope you will be reading my post because I am awarding you...(drum roll, please)...
    The Liebster Award. Come by my page to see how to claim your award. CONGRATS!


  9. Great list! I have Strawberry Girl in my classroom but have not read it yet. I finished The Hunger Games yesterday and started Catching Fire today. Whoa! :)


  10. I am enjoying it, but will say the dialogue took some getting used to! I highly recommend reading the introduction the author wrote. It gives some background as to how the book came about. Enjoy!
    P.S. I love, love, LOVE The Hunger Games trilogy.

  11. Knock, Knock...
    Who's there?
    Owl, who?
    That's right this owl, who's because she won an award. LOL!
    Come by my page to get it!
    Always Live.Laugh.Teach