It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/4/13

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:

allegiantSo I finally found out what the drama surrounding Veronica Roth’s Allegiant has been all about. I understand readers’ (especially YA readers’) frustrations with the ending of the series, but I don’t share it.

I just don’t think I became as emotionally invested in this series as some others. For example, I read Insurgent in the summer soon after it was first published. In the fall, it was wildly popular in my middle school library and had a ridiculous amount of reserves. I took it home over Spring Break because I forgot I had read it, and it took me about 50 pages to realize that I already had.

The best thing about Allegiant was the true back story about the factions and why and how the United States came to be the way it came to be. I found it fascinating. And so I was less interested in what the characters were doing. And when the big moment came I had to read that part over a couple times to make sure what happened really happened. And I wasn’t that affected emotionally. Not like I have been by other books and/or series.

What is very interesting is the discussions about author and readers’ expectations  and fulfilling (or not) those expectations that this book has stirred up. Veronica Roth has weighed in on it on her blog (warning: contains ALL the spoilers). Lots of bloggers have discussed it. John Green has tweeted about it (another blogger summarizes the tweets here) . And that kind of dialogue is a good thing–no matter which “side” you’re on.

spending spree

I particularly like being able to read e-galleys of informational texts. Although I do read reviews for them in Library Media Connection and School Library Journal, I find that more often than not, I take a bit of a leap of faith when choosing informational texts to meet a certain need in the collection. I found Spending Spree: The History of American Shopping to be an excellent and engaging work. You can read more about it in my latest “Saturday Book Share” post.

Popularity PapersA sixth grade student asked me earlier this year if The Popularity Papers series by Amy Ignatow was available in our library. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to request the first book from Paperback Swap. What a great realistic fiction story for upper elementary and middle school students! The book is set up like a journal that two friends, Lydia and Julie, write together. In an effort to become more popular, the two girls devise and carry out a number of experiments throughout the school year. What they find and what they do puts quite a strain on their own friendship, and the two girls learn many valuable lessons from how others treat them and how they treat others. Amy Ignatow certainly remembers quite vividly what is like to be a girl this age and writes and draws about it all so well. I am definitely ordering the rest of the series–5 more books so far–for my library. I will start sharing it with fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Drama, but I surely won’t stop there.

This Week’s Books:

Currently Reading:

Rot_&_Ruin_CoverAs a school librarian I read lots and lots and lots of books. I read some because they won (or are predicted to win) awards.  I read some because I have to read them for the Caudill committee. I read some to make sure they are a good fit for my middle school students. I read some so I can do booktalks on a certain theme. I read some because a student will explode if I don’t read a favorite of hers/his. I read some to review for this blog. And I read some just for me.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry is just for me. Zombie books are all the rage in my library (as in many others), and so all I have to do is show students the cover and say, “I haven’t read this yet, but lots of people who like zombie books love this series.” And then it’s sold. So I really don’t need to read it. But I have always loved horror, and I have heard so much about this series that I just can’t wait any longer. And bonus: the fourth book (and series ender) just came out so I get to read them all together, too–no waiting 🙂

On Deck:

Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close, Wild Animal Neighbors: Sharing Our Urban World by Ann Downer, and Never Say Die by Will Hobbs



8 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/4/13

    1. The only student reaction to Allegiant I have gotten so far is from a boy, who said he was surprised by the end but not upset. He also liked the back story. I think the other copies are checked out by girls, so it will be interesting to hear their reactions.

  1. I enjoyed Divergent well enough but haven’t felt compelled to complete the series and doubt I will. Too many books I want to read!Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Allegiant and links to other comments about the ending. I just looked at the Chuck Close book last week–fascinating! My husband is reading the Rot & Ruin series now and loves it, so I’m sure I will eventually get to it.

    1. The thing about the really good zombie books (and movies) is that they’re really about the humans and not the zombies. Rot & Ruin is definitely proving to be one of the really good ones.

  2. I am working on Allegiant now. I have heard the grumblings, but luckily have managed to avoid any real spoilers! I have enjoyed the series so far and I agree that the back story is really interesting! I can’t wait to finish and finally see what others are saying. Have a great week!

  3. My middle school daughter loves the Popularity Papers books, too and indeed they are great titles for Smile fans. I haven’t yet approached the Divergent series, so it is interesting to hear that not everyone is enamored with it. I fear my dystopian-avoiding self might fall into that camp!

    1. Yes, I would say unless you are really into dystopias then that’s a series you can pass by. Good–but not a must-read. Maybe it’s the age/experience of the author–she is just now 25. That said, I thought the first book was really great, so maybe there was too much pressure to get the others out right away.

  4. Hi, You’re right in noting that there has been quite a lot of talk/discussion about Veronica Roth’s novels lately – I appreciate your candid thoughts about the series, that is indeed very refreshing and quite helpful too. I have my own struggles with contemporary YA novels of this theme. Good to know that rot and ruin happens to be interesting enough. I know what you mean about reading recommendations given by children, i haven’t done much of that lately, so I’m a little guilty about that. Hopefully, soon, after my marking in the university is done. Have a great reading week!

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