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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/29/14

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

banned comics

bone1A friend invited me to a Banned Books Week Facebook event, and so this week I read Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith. The Bone series has shown up on more than one frequently challenged/banned list. My husband and son are both fans of Bone, and it is at both of my schools’ libraries, but I had never before read any of the volumes myself.

The first book is very much an introduction to characters, setting, etc. Fone Bone, who was kicked out of Boneville along with cousins Smiley and Phoney, finds himself lost in a desert and separated from his kin. He meets a number of friends and foes, but develops a special relationship with a human girl named Thorn. I think my favorite characters so far may be the rat creatures, villains who are fierce-looking albeit lovably dumb.

So what’s so wrong with this book? Well, I did see cigar smoking…GASP! And Smiley works in a bar, so apparently there is drinking later in the series–oh and also “political viewpoint,” racism, and violence. Can’t wait!

girlfromtarpaperschoolI also read an informational text this week: The Girl from the Tar Paper School by Teri Kanefield. It’s a book about Barbara Rose Johns, a little-known pioneer of the civil rights movement. In 1951 while a student at Moton High, the “black” high school in Farmville, Virginia, she organzied a student strike to protest the terribly run-down condition of the school and the school board’s feet-dragging in making repairs or building a new facility. When the NAACP lawyers were finally convinced to take the students seriously, a lawsuit was filed and the case was eventually consolidated with four similar cases to make the historic Brown vs. Board of Education. This book is an excellent addition to children’s literature about the civil rights movement. The author’s thorough research was made challenging by the fact that many of the Johns family photos and records were destroyed in a fire, and Johns, herself, passed away in 1991. The back matter includes an author’s note, a civil rights timeline, extensive endnotes, sources, image credits, and a healthy index, making this a shining example of informational text features.

rottersEven though I had been listening to Daniel Kraus’ Rotters for over a month, I was sorry to hear the tale come to an end.

Here is what I posted on Goodreads soon after:

Best YA horror novel I have encountered. Ever. Deliciously disturbing, so much so that you might feel tainted by enjoying it so much.

Do yourself a favor and listen to the audiobook. Kirby Heyborne’s performance gave me the chills several times. And he even made the ending credits sound ominous. This well-deserved Odyssey Award winner makes me wonder if I will ever listen to an audiobook that will be its equal.”

There are plenty of places you could go to read about the plot, but if you are a fan of horror just think of how spectacular it would be to start listening without any preconceived ideas. You would kind of be like that innocent camper taking your last stroll into the woods….

Currently Reading/Listening to:

unwholly
I am continuing to prepare for Neal Shusterman’s visit in November. UnWholly is book two in the Unwind series.
moonovermanifest
Have I chosen the farthest audiobook from Rotters (in terms of narration and maybe a lot more) as I could? So far, it’s quite different, but I have to admit I am finally listening to this Newbery-award winner because Kirby Heyborne makes an “appearance” in here somewhere.
Under My Hat is a great short story book for "edge time" reading. So far my favorite tale has been "Payment Due" by Frances Hardinge.
Under My Hat is a great short story book for “edge time” reading. So far my favorite tale has been “Payment Due” by Frances Hardinge.
rcyrba

2015 Rebecca Caudill Roundup: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

tuesdayscastleWhen the King and Queen of Glower go missing on a trip to visit their eldest son, the younger prince Rolf and princesses Lilah and Celie refuse to believe they are dead, no matter how much the royal councilors push to name Rolf as (puppet) king. Celie has always had a special relationship with The Castle, which can change and create rooms, passageways, and decor at will and is said to be the entity that truly chooses a new king. When the trio uncover a plot in which the councilors will turn over the kingdom to Glower’s sworn enemies, they must use their wits and The Castles’ whims and wisdom to win the day.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George was as delightful, funny, and inventive as I expected it to be. I love how richly drawn are George’s characters. I felt like I knew Celie, Rolf, and Lilah–and The Castle, of course, which is an amazing character unto itself. The bad guys are so devilishly bad that it is fun to root against them, even though you know things will turn out alright in the end. Perfect middle grade fantasy.

Caudill Fun Fact: On her website, Jessica Day George has a page about why she wrote Tuesdays at the Castle which includes the original name of Castle Glower….

Bonus: there are sequels, too :-)

wednesdaysinthetower thursdayswiththecrown

Thursdays with the Crown is due to be published on October 7, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Other 2015 Rebecca Caudill Reading Roundup Posts

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/22/14

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

night_eternalThe Night Eternal is the final book in The Strain trilogy. Finishing it means that I have read six adult books so far this calendar year–which is way, way up for me. I have always been a fan of horror, and I really like how this tale of a vampire take-over played out. Both the humans and the vampires follow their paths that had been set up in the first two books. A few additional characters moved the story along to its inevitable conclusion–a final showdown between Ephraim Goodweather, formerly of the CDC, and The Master, the vampire who has been pulling all the strings and commanding the hive-minded creatures of the night. It will continue to be interesting to see how it all translates to television, as I am now a few episodes behind.

chompAfter reading and listening to some horror stories, I found it somewhat of a relief to read a fun book by Carl Hiaasen. Chomp is the story of Wahoo Cray, a boy who lives among a slew of wild animals that his father wrangles. When the opportunity comes to provide animals for the hugely popular television show, Expedition Survival!, Wahoo’s dads jumps at the chance to get back up to speed on their mortgage and other bills. It’s not long before the two realize that TV star Derek Badger is a pampered poser who doesn’t do his own stunts and stays in a hotel or trailer between shoots. The scenes with Derek is where Hiaasen’s trademark humor plays the biggest part. There is also a sub-plot about Wahoo’s friend Tuna, a girl running away from her abusive father. The action is definitely what drives the story, however, and Hiaasen fans will not be disappointed.

Currently Reading/Listening To:

undermyhatrotters

 

 

rcyrba

2015 Rebecca Caudill Roundup: A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

diamonddesertKathryn Fitzmaurice’s A Diamond in the Desert is based on a true story, telling the tale of a baseball team at the Gila River Relocation Center, a WWII Japanese internment camp in Arizona. Twelve-year-old Tetsu Kishi is relocated there from California, along with his mother and younger sister, Kimi. His father has been detained for some time by the government for questioning, as he was a leader in the Japanese American community. Testu works with Coach Tanaka and the other boys in the camp to both create a field and field a team. The middle of the book includes a poignant sub-plot about Kimi going missing and contracting valley fever–and Tetsu’s guilt that is so strong he quits baseball for several months. However, when his father returns to the family and his sister starts getting stronger, Tetsu finds his passion for the sport once more.

Learn more about the Gila River Camp

Other 2015 Rebecca Caudill Reading Roundup Posts

 

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/15/14

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Well, I did not finish a book–almost finished but not quite. I could blame it on a busy start to the school year and some after school meetings but the truth of the matter is that I did have some downtime and spent it surfing or watching TV instead. Not blaming the book either. Just need to renew my commitment to putting the time in again.

Currently Reading/Listening To (still):

night_eternalrotters