It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Book Journeys. 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.
If you click the image above, then you can connect to other participating blogs and discover even more new books.
Last Week’s Books:
Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice:
Erik Carlson must leave his home in New York to stay with grandparents he barely remembers when his Army reservist parents are both deployed to Iraq. The trip to North Dakota is sudden and prevents Erik from joining his best friend on a long-planned hunting expedition. While Erik’s grandmother tries to give him a warm welcome, his grandfather is less than friendly as he is still grieving the son he lost many years ago to war.
Soon after he arrives, Erik helps rescue a hunting dog from a porcupine encounter and hopes to nurse her to health until her owner can be found, but his grandfather forbids the dog to be in the house. Lonesome, homesick, and angry, Erik takes his uncle’s old rifle, Quill (his name for the dog), and a few supplies and sets off to “live off the land.”
As one would expect, after a few days and some harrowing experiences, Erik is reunited with his grandparent,s and he and his grandfather embark on a much closer relationship. DeFelice tells a solid story about family while satisfying readers who love adventure and the outdoors.
Deborah Ellis’ novels always call attention to social issues around the world, and No Ordinary Day is no exception to the rule. Valli is a ten-ish year old girl who lives in the coal town of Jharia, India until she finds out the people she has been living with are not her real family. Tired of their mistreatment, Valli hops aboard a truck bound for anywhere-but-here.
It is not long before Valli learns the ins and outs of living life as a homeless person in the city of Kolkata. Readers will be inspired by Valli–even though she has nothing, she always finds a way to share whatever she can find with those less fortunate or just as unfortunate as herself. After a chance meeting with a doctor named Indra, Valli reluctantly follows her to a hospital in order for her bruised and battered feet to get treated. The doctor knows that Valli is suffering from leprosy and wants to operate. A fearful Valli runs away at first, but eventually returns to the hospital for treatment and the start of a new life.
This slim book will do much to educate children about the plight of the homeless and the suffering caused by leprosy. But through the spirit and determination of Valli, they will also experience the power of courage and perseverance. When booktalking, I think I will pair this book with a current Rebecca Caudill nominee, Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth (also set in India). They are both eye-opening books about how very different the lives of children in other countries can be.
This Week’s Books:
It is taking me longer than I thought to get through The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb. I knew it was an informational text, of course, but Scholastic’s trailer was so engaging that I imagined it would be told in a more story-like way–like Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin, for example. Although it is chock-full of detailed information about the search for Adolf Eichmann and the people responsible for tracking him down, the book is a bit drier than I had anticipated.
Usually, when I am reading informational texts, I start a novel as well. So I am also reading Unstoppable by Tim Green. Many students at school love this author, and I have only read one of his books, so I thought it was time for another.