It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/7/14

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.

Last Week’s Books:

deathstruckyearA Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier is about the Spanish Influenza plague of 1918. I think the choice of Portland, Oregon as the setting is an interesting one, as it shows how many people believed the plague would never spread to where they live–and still it did. Cleo Berry, is a plucky teen who escapes the confines of her school, volunteers for the Red Cross, meets and loses a best friend and falls in love. A privileged youth, Cleo’s world is changed when she sees the suffering of others, as we would expect, and in helping others, she grows as a young adult, also as we would expect. I’m finding myself wishing for a bit  more character development at the beginning of the novel–we know that Cleo is rich and well taken care of; however, I think her growth would seem greater had readers known her better at the start. Still, it is a solid historical fiction offering for junior high and high school readers.

Hope Was HereAs I have been a librarian for 20 years there are some books I know I have read, but I can’t remember very much about them. There are also books I assume I must have read along the way somewhere because they are  award-winners, have appeared on best books list, etc. And so, I  really thought I had already read Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer, since it earned the Newbery Honor designation in 2001. When I picked it up last week to consider booktalking it to students in preparation for Joan Bauer’s visit to our school, I thought maybe I hadn’t. So I took it home to read it (again?), and then I knew there’s no way I had read it before–I would not have forgotten such a powerfully beautiful book about family. In fact, I don’t even want to tell you all too much about it because there is so much joy in seeing Hope’s story unfold that I would love for readers to experience it for themselves–if they haven’t already….

Currently Reading:

Robert Lettrick FRENZY middle grade horror

 

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4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/7/14

  1. I really liked A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR, but you’re right — it probably could have used more character development at the beginning. I’ve never heard of HOPE WAS HERE, but I think I need to check it out. Thanks for the head’s up!

  2. Hope was here sounds like a powerful read indeed. I know what you mean about reading so many books, yet there are a few that would remain with you. Enjoy the rest of your reading week.

    1. We had such an amazing visit with her Monday! (I posted about it yesterday) She carried on a great conversation with our group of 100 sixth graders. I even had a student ask for her email address so she could keep the connection going 🙂

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