It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/15/15

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:

I didn’t realize it was such a busy reading week for me, although a couple of titles I have been working on for a while.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher was the subject of a book discussion sponsored by the MID-State Reading Council, my local chapter of the Illinois Reading Council. We had a diverse group of participants, including professionals in the health care field so that made for great talks of this realistic fiction YA book about a girl who commits suicide and makes a series of cassette tapes to send to peers who made her life miserable. Powerful story from Jay Asher.

It took me a long time to listen to The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven since I listened only when I was in the car by myself. It’s about Charlie, Jack, and Esme who get caught up with a demon from Hell called The Scourge and wind up having to save the universe. The book was certainly creepy in many parts, but it was very long and a bit hard to follow once the teens journeyed to Hell and met a huge cast of demons. Not sure if it would have been easier to read rather than listen. This book counts for my Horror Reading Challenge 2015.

I finally read this year’s Newbery The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, a novel in verse. It was as wonderful and as cool as everyone has said. Beautiful language, basketball scenes that spring to life, and rich family dynamics. I was pretty stunned at the end. Read it and find out why. This book counts for my Award-Winning Book Challenge 2015.

I also read the verse memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson. I felt like I was transported in time as Woodson recounted her childhood memories living in South Carolina and New York during the time of the Civil Rights movement. And in the midst of it all, she started her journey as a writer, even before she could hold a pencil. Another inspiring, powerful read. This books counts for my Award-Winning Book Challenge 2015 (National Book Award, Newbery Honor and more!)

The Young Elites by Marie Lu just left me feeling flat. Sometimes, I don’t even read the flaps of books before starting, much less reviews, so I had no idea of the villain’s journey concept. Although it makes sense now, as I had very little sympathy for Adelina throughout, even when she was worried about saving her sister. It just seems like she unnecessarily complicated things herself by refusing to trust, be honest, etc., and even given her background that just didn’t sit well with me. Some of the other characters were interesting, but didn’t save the book for me.

In contrast, Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin was a heartprint book 🙂 I connected with Rose right away and was blown away by her positive attitude, kindness, and selflessness, especially knowing the challenges she faced at school and at home. I felt such relief that she had a wonderful, caring adult like Uncle Wedlon in her life, The world needs more Uncle Weldons.

Currently Reading:


On Deck:

We leave for a road trip to Arizona on Thursday, so I am currently making a stack which I will post in the next couple of days. Even though I am sharing the driving, I know my husband will want to do most of it. I also will get some new books on our trip, I am certain. We already have two bookstores to visit with my mom once we get there, and my best friend sent me a list of 66 Bookstores on Route 66. OH MY!


11 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/15/15

    1. I am reading a lot of books from my TBR list this summer–ones that were talked about in the past year or so that I didn’t get to and also ones that were always checked out by my students so I could never get my hands on them–a good problem to have 🙂

  1. For as much as I loved the Legend series Young Elites did nothing for me, either. :/ I listened to the audio of 13 Reasons Why. So sad. I still need to read Brown Girl Dreaming and The Crossover! Rain Reign … sigh. I felt like a jerk reading it because I did not connect with Rose. She sort of drove me crazy. 😦 But I, too, am very glad she had her Uncle Weldon.

  2. Oh dear–66 bookstores on Route 66. sounds like a road trip I want to make! I love vacation reading. Rain Reign is on my must read list this year–really need to get to it. The Crossover was definitely a favorite for me, though I didn’t connect quite as much as others with Brown Girl Dreaming. Enjoy your vacation!

  3. I’ve read some of these, and probably won’t touch The Black Tattoo with a ten foot pole. I don’t do horror. Elisabeth Ellington turned me on to How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson after I read Brown Girl Dreaming. Much as I enjoyed Woodson’s book, I think I liked Nelson’s better.

  4. I’ve been avoiding Thirteen Reasons Why as it just seems so heavy even though I own a copy of the book. Great to hear how much you love Brown Girl Dreaming, I loved it too – same with The Crossover which I will be discussing with my own book club for young readers this Sunday. Look forward to finding Rain Reign very soon.

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