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.
After quite a while of reading and listening to a lot of YA and adult titles, I was happily mucking about in middle grade books last week :-)
Last Week’s Books:
I had the great fortune of finding a Barnes and Noble gift card in my old fine box that still had a tidy sum on it! I took the opportunity to order a few books that have been rumbling around Twitter and blogs I read lately, and I read two of them this week!
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson has been called “the next Smile” by more than one person lately, and I whole-heartedly agree that fans of Telegemeir’s work will enjoy this great new graphic novel. In the summer before junior high, Astrid’s mother takes her and best friend, Nicole, to see a roller derby match. Astrid falls in love with the sport and decides to give junior camp a try, only to be crushed by Nicole’s choosing dance camp instead. Jamieson captures the essence of worrying about friendships, fitting in, and falling down (both literally and figuratively) in a way that will resonate soundly with middle grade readers. I consider it an absolute must-purchase for all middle school libraries, and I’ll bet Scholastic is trying to get those paperback rights for next year’s fall book fairs.
I have also been hearing great things about the comic, Lumberjanes, created by a cast of women writers and illustrators, headed up by Noelle Stevenson. I purchased the first trade paperback, Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy, which compiles comics #1 – 4. It tells the story of a group of five campers at Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp (for hard-core lady-types) who have become fast friends and boon companions. Their counselor, Jen, does her best to give them fulfilling experiences with nature and to help them work on their badges; however, all the magic happens at night while Jen is sleeping or when the campers get separated from her (accidentally on purpose). In this volume, the girls meet and battle, among other things, talking wolves, fierce statue guards, yetis, and zombified boy campers, and there is an underlying current that there must be a magical explanation that ties together why all these bizarre creatures are around the camp. The book is action-packed, and students will love these fierce girls who never back down from a challenge. This book counts for my 2015 Read Harder Challenge (written by someone under 25).
I reviewed Flying Cars for Andrew Glass for Library Media Connection, so I cannot yet share my full review. However, I must point out that this is the first information book I have seen about people’s attempts to combine cars and airplanes throughout history, and the author has certainly done his research on the subject.
It has been quite a while since I have read a professional book about the history and criticism of children’s literature rather than about its use in the library and classroom. Bird, Danielson, and Sieruta are all big names in this area of research and writing, and their essays treat readers to behind-the-scenes information about books and authors on such topics as censorship and banned books; celebrity authors; LGBT authors, illustrators, and works; and children’s literature pre- and post- Harry Potter. This is more of an entertaining than a scholarly read, but it still provided much food for thought.
Finally, early in the week I intended to skim a bit of Neal Shusterman’s Challenger Deep in order to write a review for its release on Tuesday. I wound up rereading the whole thing, as described in this post.
Currently Reading/Listening To: