It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/13/14

IMWAYRIt’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:

shadow on the mountainbookbloodWell, you can tell I was easing back into work, as I was tired in the evenings and only made it through two books this past week.

I chose Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus as the featured book for my post, Pull Up A Chair, It’s a Saturday Book Share.

Then I read the informational text, The Book of Blood by HP Newquist. Doesn’t it have a great cover? Doesn’t the subtitle “From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins” creep you out a bit? Well, no worries, this is pretty much a straight-up science book about what blood is, how it functions in our body, and how we have learned that throughout human history.

Very little time is spent on the “gee-whiz” or “that’s gross” kind of stuff I expected from the cover. A “Jennifer” over at Goodreads said that “Houghton Mifflin pulls a bit of a bait and switch with this one.” And I really have to agree. Had I gone in expecting a great science resource I would not have been disappointed in the very little time spent on the icky-ness and scariness of many things associated with blood. The couple of chapters about vampires and leeches were about history and misconceptions not about making the reader’s skin crawl. And I have to say that I do not blame the author, HP Newquist, in the least. Like Jennifer, I think the cover and subtitle were part of a marketing plan. Which, while clever, is likely to mislead the book’s intended middle-grade audience.

All that said, if you are looking for an informational text about blood, this is the one. Explanations are in-depth, but at a level of understanding for upper elementary and middle school students. Illustrations and photographs help illuminate concepts. Information is up-to-date. Back matter is complete.

Currently Reading:

Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin and Slob by Ellen Potter

bomb slob


5 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/13/14

    1. Isn’t it funny the ways we “force” ourselves to read a certain book or genre? Sometimes I choose a theme for upcoming book talks that will challenge me to get through that TBR pile 🙂

  1. Shadow on the Mountain looks like a fascinating read. I am late to the Bomb party as well. Will recommend this title to my book club of young readers, so that I’d have a reason to really read it. 🙂

  2. I have been meaning to read Shadow on the Mountain for awhile. EVENTUALLY I will get to it! I loved Bomb–one of my top 10 favorites from 2013. I put it on the syllabus for my Adolescent lit course this semester and plan to book talk it this week in Children’s Lit in the hopes that someone will want to read it.

    1. I joined a challenge to read at least 25 books from my “Plan to Read” Shelfari shelf–mostly books from 2010 to mid-2013. So I will be getting to lots of things I “missed” when brand new–turning “eventually” into “now” for some of them at least 🙂

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