It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/29/14

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:

banned comics

bone1A friend invited me to a Banned Books Week Facebook event, and so this week I read Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith. The Bone series has shown up on more than one frequently challenged/banned list. My husband and son are both fans of Bone, and it is at both of my schools’ libraries, but I had never before read any of the volumes myself.

The first book is very much an introduction to characters, setting, etc. Fone Bone, who was kicked out of Boneville along with cousins Smiley and Phoney, finds himself lost in a desert and separated from his kin. He meets a number of friends and foes, but develops a special relationship with a human girl named Thorn. I think my favorite characters so far may be the rat creatures, villains who are fierce-looking albeit lovably dumb.

So what’s so wrong with this book? Well, I did see cigar smoking…GASP! And Smiley works in a bar, so apparently there is drinking later in the series–oh and also “political viewpoint,” racism, and violence. Can’t wait!

girlfromtarpaperschoolI also read an informational text this week: The Girl from the Tar Paper School by Teri Kanefield. It’s a book about Barbara Rose Johns, a little-known pioneer of the civil rights movement. In 1951 while a student at Moton High, the “black” high school in Farmville, Virginia, she organzied a student strike to protest the terribly run-down condition of the school and the school board’s feet-dragging in making repairs or building a new facility. When the NAACP lawyers were finally convinced to take the students seriously, a lawsuit was filed and the case was eventually consolidated with four similar cases to make the historic Brown vs. Board of Education. This book is an excellent addition to children’s literature about the civil rights movement. The author’s thorough research was made challenging by the fact that many of the Johns family photos and records were destroyed in a fire, and Johns, herself, passed away in 1991. The back matter includes an author’s note, a civil rights timeline, extensive endnotes, sources, image credits, and a healthy index, making this a shining example of informational text features.

rottersEven though I had been listening to Daniel Kraus’ Rotters for over a month, I was sorry to hear the tale come to an end.

Here is what I posted on Goodreads soon after:

Best YA horror novel I have encountered. Ever. Deliciously disturbing, so much so that you might feel tainted by enjoying it so much.

Do yourself a favor and listen to the audiobook. Kirby Heyborne’s performance gave me the chills several times. And he even made the ending credits sound ominous. This well-deserved Odyssey Award winner makes me wonder if I will ever listen to an audiobook that will be its equal.”

There are plenty of places you could go to read about the plot, but if you are a fan of horror just think of how spectacular it would be to start listening without any preconceived ideas. You would kind of be like that innocent camper taking your last stroll into the woods….

Currently Reading/Listening to:

I am continuing to prepare for Neal Shusterman’s visit in November. UnWholly is book two in the Unwind series.
Have I chosen the farthest audiobook from Rotters (in terms of narration and maybe a lot more) as I could? So far, it’s quite different, but I have to admit I am finally listening to this Newbery-award winner because Kirby Heyborne makes an “appearance” in here somewhere.
Under My Hat is a great short story book for "edge time" reading. So far my favorite tale has been "Payment Due" by Frances Hardinge.
Under My Hat is a great short story book for “edge time” reading. So far my favorite tale has been “Payment Due” by Frances Hardinge.

3 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/29/14

  1. Rotters is probably too terrifying for me, but your description does make me curious…. Sounds like the audiobook is the way to go, so I’ll be on the lookout. I’ve never read Bone either. My students in Adolescent Lit enjoy reading banned books and trying to figure out why they’re banned–they often have no clue and can’t figure it out.

  2. What a powerful review of Rotters. I have an affinity for dark novels, for some reason. Daniel Kraus has the strange combination of being both poetic and horrifying. I do have a copy of Rotters but I hesitate to open it at this point. Maybe next year. 🙂

    1. I like dark novels, too, and I am definitely becoming a fan of Daniel Kraus. He is currently challenging himself and others to watch 31 horror movies during the month of October and then tweet about them using #31HorrorFilms31days. I don;t know if I’ll make it, but I have watched 4 films so far.

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