It’s Monday! What are you Reading? 11/18/13

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.

IMWAYR

If you click the image above, then you can connect to other participating blogs and discover even more new books.

Last Week’s Books:

unforgotten coatThe Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce is about the impact two boys from Mongolia have on school students in Liverpool. Julie befriends them, becoming the nomad boys’ “Good Guide,” for their brief stay in the community and until their family is taken away by immigration authorities. The book is peppered with photographs Julie finds in the older boy Chingis’ coat when she goes back and visits their classroom as an adult. This quirky little book was awarded the Guardian’s prize for children’s fiction in 2012, was inspired by a true story, and was written to support a Liverpool charity, the  Reader Organisation. But for some reason it was hard for me to connect to–perhaps I expected a little more laugh-out-loud humor, based on the author and things I had read about it. Oh, well, I am just chalking it up to not every book being for every reader.

A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn FitzmauriceA student checked out One for the Murphys, so I decided to read Kathryn Fitzmaurice’s A Diamond in the Desert instead. This book is also 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 was 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. I wish I had read this book before last quarter’s reading interventions, as I had a group that read Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki. I definitely would have suggested it as a follow up. I will just have to catch those students the next time they are looking for a new book 🙂

Currently Reading:

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10 Things I Hate about Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller
Swagger by Carl Deuker

What are YOU reading this week?

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4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you Reading? 11/18/13

    1. I just talked to our Asst. Superintendent about using it as a book study for teachers. It is really a must-read for all Lit teachers, but particularly those engaged in Reader’s Workshop.

  1. I asked our librarian to purchase Reading in the Wild for a course that I’d be teaching in January. I hope that we get it soon. I have a copy of Millions and one other novel that Boyce has written, it’s the first time I heard of this one. Thanks for sharing your candid thoughts about it. Have a great reading week ahead of you!

  2. I love Boyce’s other books. Didn’t realize he had a new one! Will have to look for this one. Thanks for sharing! I’m reading Donalyn Miller’s new book right now and loving it. A must-read for workshop teachers (well, actually a must-read for everyone, but I think workshop teachers will find some new ways to extend what they do).

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