It is already August and I know in some places people will be returning to school soon. My school; however, did not get out until June 23rd so I still have about another month to reach my Book-A-Day goal of 80 books. if you don't know about the Book-A-Day Challenge you can check out Donalyn Miller's (The Book Whisperer) blog post about the Book-A-Day Challenge . Several educators and librarians have been sharing our reading on Twitter, GoodReads, and through our individual blogs. Currently, I have read 54 books towards my total goal of 80.
During week 6, my sister came out to California to visit me. With all the running around, I was left with little time for reading. Hence a combined two week post.
Book-A-Day Weeks 6 & 7 reads:
Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme, Illustrated by Olivier Tallec and translated by Claudia Bedrick - This is a beautiful story of friendship between a big wolf who is use to being on his own and worrying about no one and a smaller wolf who manages to make a big impression. Children will enjoy this tale. Bedrick's translation work earned the book a Batchelder's Honor Award.
Fancy Nancy: Hooray For Beauty Day! by Jane O'Connor, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser - Fancy Nancy books are always fun. I enjoy the way it introduces children to a variety of vocabulary. My only minor concern with this book is that the pages seemed very "full" almost distracting. In addition to the wonderful illustrations and regular text, there were "tips" for how to perform certain things (i.e., applying nail polish, or doing a facial).
Animal House by Candace Ryan, Illustrated by Nathan Hale - This is a fun story about a boy who lives in a Gorvilla and where everything is not what you would expect. The classroom teacher thinks Jeremy just has an overactive imagination until she does a homevisit. This will make you laugh out loud. Click here to read my review.
The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily, Ordinary First Day of School by Albert Lorenz - This book was different. There appears to be an attempt to deal with a child's fears with the first day in a new school but instead it turns out to be an overly busy book. Every page is filled with elaborately detailed illustrations, speech bubbles, text, and vocabulary definitions. Click here to read my review.
Graphic Novels, Middle Grades
Over My Dead Body (43 Old Cemetery Road) by Kate Klise, Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise - This is the second book in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series by the Klise sisters. I need to start a writing petition for more books. Nine & ten year olds will love the story of a boy, a ghost, and a grumpy old writer who all share a home. Click here to read my review.
Copper by Kazu Kibuishi - Readers are introduced to Copper & his dog Fred in Kibuishi's Flight Explorer Series. In this book, it is all about Copper and Fred. The book is composed of a series of short stories (similar to a weekly comic strip series). Copper & Fred are a bit of an odd pairing but compliment each other nicely. I have become a huge Kibuishi fan this summer.
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes - I can't say enough wonderful things about this book. A beautiful debut novel that features a young Latina girl who learns to deal with loss and grief through family, stories, friendship, and love. Grab a tissue when reading. This Click here to read my review.
Sprout by Dale Peck - Sprout Bradford moves from NY to Kansas. This is a story about loss and discovering one's self. The book deals with the theme of homosexuality and does include sexual content which may make some parents uncomfortable. Though there were some things that I really appreciated about this book, I was disappointed that many of the characters seemed flat and not well developed.
White Cat by Holly Black - Think of this book as a bit of the Sopranos, a bit of Leverage all done with an element of the magical. Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers (people who with a touch can either make you forget something, or change your feelings, or even kill you). But more than that Cassel's family are really a bunch of Grifters and Cons. Book one of this trilogy sets the stage and explores the world of Curse Workers. Cassel must come to learn his own role in his family. I loved this book and want book 2 now not in 9 more months.
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez - There is a little piece of Cuban and American history that is not well known. In 1960 to 1962, families in Cuba sent 14,000 children under Operation Pedro Pan to the United States to avoid Castro's Revolution. Gonzalez combines her family's history with the history of others to create a beautiful story which give voice to the experience that many older Cuban Americans lived through. This book is not just for teens. A wonderful read.
Graceling by Kristen Cashore - High fantasy done well. I have had this on my TBR list since forever and finally got to it. It certainly reminded me of why I love fantasy. Strong female protagonist, a well-matched ally in the form of a swoon-worthy male paired with action, adversity, and challenge.
Maybe not 14 books in the past two weeks but there were some really long YA novels. :-) Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. Would love to hear what fun books people are reading.