Saturday, February 26, 2011

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In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.  The books you share do not have to be ones you actually received in the mail.  They can be ones you bought at the book store, checked out at the library, or downloaded to your e-reader.  The idea is just to share what's on your TBR pile for the upcoming week. 


Library Loot:

Fat Kid Rules the World (audiobook) by K.L. Going
First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Bought at my library's used book store:

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M. M. Blume
Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (one of my all-time favorite children's classics!)
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson

Executive chef at Aquavit in NYC, Marcus Samuelsson is a bit of an enigma.  He was born in Ethiopia but raised in Sweden.  Clearly his dark hair and dark skin stood out in the land of blond hair and fair skin, but he had a loving adopted family and was raised a true Swede. For a long time he didn't know much about the continent of his birth and decided he needed to remedy that.  This book was a journey for him to learn about the cuisine of his homeland. Despite being a cookbook, it's really a love story to his heritage.  The pictures and colors are stunning and the recipes show a vast diversity in the cuisine which most people assume is very one-dimensional.

This is a wonderful book to introduce outsiders to the diversity of African Cuisine, which most people assume is not very diverse at all. The recipes, however, did not leave me very inspired to try them in my own kitchen. The only recipe out of the 204 included that I actually attempted was the sesame cookies.

I baked a batch this morning and I have to say I was quite pleased with the flavor.  They are basically a sugar cookie with a whole cup of sesame seeds added into the dough.  The first taste you get is the sweetness from the sugar, but then you get the earthiness from the sesame seeds which makes for an interesting dichotomy of flavors. Given the success of this recipe, I might go ahead and try some others.

Sesame Cookies
 
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup sesame seeds, toasted

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat thoroughly. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Beat in the sesame seeds.  Allow the dough to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease parchment.  Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons onto the baking sheets leaving about 1 & 1/2 inches between cookies.  

Bake until golden, about 7-10 minutes (the original recipe calls for 5-7 but that was not nearly enough time), turning the baking sheets around midway through baking.  Remove from baking sheets and cool on a wire rack.  

Enjoy!



The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson
Published: September 2006 by Wiley
Pages: 368
Genre: Cookery
Audience: Adults

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex: Audiobook Review

 From Goodreads:  
Twelve-year-old Gratuity "Tip" Tucci is assigned to write five pages on "The True Meaning of Smekday" for the National Time Capsule contest, and she’s not sure where to begin: when her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended to Earth, and aliens—called the Boov—abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it "Smekland" (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo, a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom, a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious, and an outrageous plan to save Earth from yet another alien invasion.



The humor in this book is unreal.  I could not stop laughing the entire time.  Much of that had to do with the masterful audio narration of Bahni Turpin. There are some narrators that make the audiobook even more entertaining than just reading the book itself and Bahni Turnpin is one such narrator. Her voice of the alien Boov J. Lo was not only entertaining, but downright hilarious. She made him so amusing and endearing that you can't help but think to yourself, "I wish I had my own J. Lo. to travel around with."

And let's not forget about Adam Rex here.  There has to be a bit of madness for someone to have such a crazy sense of humor.  I mean, where does one come up with an idea to create an alien and name him J. Lo?  Or have a mother so crazy that she names her daughter Gratuity?

And the dialogue.  Oh where do I begin with the hilarity of the dialogue?  I was listening to this on my iPod and when I came to this particular exchange in the story, I literally spit out my iced tea I was laughing so hard.  Here Gratuity's mom was talking to her about J.Lo's behavior when J. Lo interjects:

"He doesn't take care of you, I do. If anything, I take care of him too. This morning I had to stop him drinking the water out of a car battery." 
"Is good that way. Tangy!"  

 Pair this exchange with Bahni Turpin's pitch-perfect narration and my iced tea never had a chance of making it to my esophagus.

Adam Rex, I hope you write more middle grade novels because if you do, I will be the first in line to read them.  I know most of the books you've done have been as an illustrator and not a writer, but please, I beg of you, bring that crazy sense of humor to more of your own stories.  As it is, I will be talking up this one like crazy in my classroom.  I may even play them snippets of the audiobook just to get them more intrigued. 

Now I'm off to the library to check out more of Rex's books and find more audiobooks narrated by Bahni Turpin...

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Audiobook narrator: Bahni Turpin
Published: October 2007
Publisher: Hyperion
Audiobook published:  April 2010 by Listening Library
Pages: 423
Audiobook length: 10 hours, 38 minutes
Genre: Science fiction
Audience: Middle grade
Disclosure: Library Copy

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Where She Went by Gayle Forman


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming titles you're looking forward to reading.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Publish Date: April 5, 2011
Pages: 258
Audience: YA
It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance. - taken from Goodreads



Let me start off first by saying that If I Stay was not a book that felt like it needed a sequel.  It could have stood on its own and no one would have balked. Having said that, however, this is the book I have pining to read the most in 2011. Every time there's an ARC giveaway, I jump on it.  Every time someone reviews  it on their blog, I am nuts with jealousy.

So if I don't think If I Stay even needed a sequel, why then am I so desperate to read it?  


Because If I Stay introduced me to a world and a set of characters that I wish I could know in real life.  I loved Mia and her family.  I loved Adam and Mia's relationship.  I loved that the characters in the story were intensely musical but not intensely competitive.  Music was a part of their family and their soul.  It wasn't just something to excel at. 

I am under no false pretenses that this story will be as magical as the first book.  Sequels are often disappointing that way.  But when you invest so much of your emotional memory to a book and a set of characters, you have a tendency to want to go back to see how life has been treating them since last we met.  I see Mia and Adam as real people.  I care about them.  I want to know how they're doing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Book to Movie Adaptations


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the very awesome blog The Broke and the Bookish.

This week: What are your top ten favorite book to movie adaptations?

10. The Harry Potter dynasty
Just because it felt like sacrilege not to include this one.  

9. Sense and Sensibility
I remember in high school our English teacher had us choose one Jane Austen novel to read.  I picked Sense & Sensibility.   I could not get into the book at all, and my mom suggested I watch the movie to get a better sense of the story.  The intention was that I'd eventually go back and finish the book... I didn't. Or at least I don't remember if I did or didn't.  Still, I loved movie.  I still love the line at the end of the movie when Hugh Grant says to Emma Thompson, "My heart is and always will be... yours." So dreamy.

8. The Devil Wears Prada
There are very few movies out there that I prefer over the book.  This was one of them.  I liked that the movie had more of a positive vibe to it - and that the characters actually became less irritating as the movie went on.

7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
I'm going to make a shameful admission here: I didn't actually read this book.  I saw the movie and fell in love with the scenes in Santorini, which is my favorite place on earth.

6. Speak 
This was a made-for-TV adaptation featuring Kristen Stewart before she was a huge star.  It is a fairly accurate and powerful portrayal of the book.

5. Julie & Julia
I abandoned the horribly crass and irritating book.  I loved the movie.  The movie adaptation is definitely a sugar-coated version of the book, and a much-needed sugar-coating in my opinion.

4. The Shawskank Redemption
 OK, so technically, this is a short story, but it's still one of my favorite "book" adaptations.  Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman?  Loved them together!

3. The Secret Life of Bees 
Characters make or break a book.  Actors make or break a movie.  This is one of those movies where every actor was cast perfectly in their role.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird
One of the best books, if not THE best book in the canon of American literature. It's amazing that a movie based on such a sacred American classic was able to do the story justice. Gregory Peck gave Atticus Finch the dignity and tenderness he deserved.

1. Memoirs of a Geisha
I have never seen such a visually stunning movie in all my life.  The story was spell-binding, the cinematography was hypnotizing, and the music heightened the emotion of the story.  Simply gorgeous.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I WILL be renewing my subscription to Bon Appetit!

I have a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine.  Every month it comes in my mailbox wrapped in plastic, covered with a 8.5x11 subscription card.  So I don't see the cover until I free it from the plastic casing and take out the subscription card.  I received my March issue of Bon Appetit yesterday, but I didn't liberate it from its plastic prison until just a few minutes ago - and I think I had a foodgasm:
This picture actually doesn't do it justice.  You have to have a copy of the magazine in your hands to really appreciate the physiological reaction I had as soon as I laid eyes on the cover.  I am not exaggerating or being figurative when I say that my mouth is watering.  It literally is.  And I honestly felt like I could physically grab that fork out of the picture and start devouring that bowl of mac & cheese in one sitting.

Must. Make. Mac. And. Cheese. For. Dinner.

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does - he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.


Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve, a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours. - taken from dust jacket

So I think my girl-bias might have skewed my impression of the story a bit. I didn't LOVE this book, but I think that's because this is definitely a book written for boys. And you know what? I'm perfectly OK with that. I need to find more books for my classroom that appeal to boys and this one fits the bill.

I liked how tongue-and-cheek the whole story is with being a spoof of The Godfather, all the way down to the cover art. Though I think adults will get more of a kick out of this than the kids since I'm assuming most 11 and 12 year-old boys haven't seen The Godfather (Truth be told, neither have I, but I'm old enough to know a great deal of facets of the story since it's so much a part of American pop culture). Still, reading this book made me consider for the first time my need to actually watch this movie. I've never had any desire up until now to see The Godfather, but now I feel like some really hilarious scenes in this book probably went right over my head since I've never seen the movie.

The writing in this book was really simple, but I'm sure that was by design. Rylander was clearly targeting boys for this story, and middle-grade boys like clean, no-nonsense writing. As I was reading all I could think was, "Why didn't he describe this character more?" or "Why didn't he describe this setting in more detail?" but the more I read the book, the more I realized the sparse descriptions were all a part of the boy-appeal. 


The ending of the story wraps everything up nicely, yet still leaves you hanging in a big way.  A lot of times cliffhangers just make me frustrated and angry.  This one, however, made me think to myself, "Ooooh!  Does that mean there's going to be another book?  There HAS to be another book!  He can't end it like that and not write another one!"

Now that I'm finished, I will definitely be handing this off to some of my sixth grade boys. I'm sure they'll get a huge kick out of it.  


The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander
Published: February 8, 2011 by Walden Pond Press
Pages: 314
Genre: Realistic fiction
Audience: Middle grade


Review copy provided by publisher

Saturday, February 19, 2011

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In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Library Loot:

Picture books:

Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Holabird, illustrations by Helen Craig
The Listeners by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Mike Benny

Audiobooks:
 
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Cookbook:

The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour by Kim O'Donnel

Downloaded from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab:
 
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Wither by Lauren DeStfano
Stay by Deb Caletti

Downloaded from Netgalley:
 
Shine by Lauren Myracle

Monday, February 14, 2011

Follower Love Blog Hop Giveaway Winners


The winners of this giveaway were chosen at random using the number generator on random.org

The winner of Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel is:

Lisa Loves to Read

The winner of The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton is:

Thebookfaery

Both winners have 48 hours to contact me with their address or I will select a new winner.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered. I love all my new and old followers! :o)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

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In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.  The idea is to connect with other bloggers and book lovers to see what everyone is reading.  Books don't have to literally come in your mailbox.  They can be books you checked out at the library, bought at the bookstore, or downloaded to your e-reader.  The idea is just to share what's new on your immediate TBR pile. 

This was a great book week for me:
For Review:
 
The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

I had a mom come up to me after school one day last week and said, "I have an assignment for you.  I've heard that if you have Borders gift cards you should spend them ASAP in case they go bankrupt.  I know what a great classroom library you have so if I give you $100 in gift cards, will you spend them by this weekend?"

DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Of course I will!  :o)  These are the books I bought for my classroom library:

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin (I'm a sucker for dog books and word has it, this one won't make you cry at the end)
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (wish I hadn't bought this one now that I know the smarmy way it was written)

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan
The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz

The Order of Odd Fish by James Kennedy
Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel by Garreth Hinds

One by Kathryn Otoshi
Zero by Kathyrn Otoshi

I always try to stop by my town's library on a Tuesdays because their used book store is open when I stop by after work.  I always get tons of goodies for my classroom library whenever I stop there.  This week was no different: (Notice the beer bottle in the background to give the picture that touch of class :p  Oops!)
 
 Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
How to Rule the School by Kathryn Lay
Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
Chasing the Falconers 1-4, 6 by Gordan Korman
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar
Devoured by Amanda Marrone 

And finally, this is one my favorite things book-related I received this week.  I went upstairs to our school's library earlier this week to talk to the librarian and I noticed there was an empty, rotating book rack just sitting there.  It had formerly been filled with all the library's paperbacks, but they have recently been moved to some available bookshelf space.  Since my classroom bookshelves are filling up quickly, I asked the librarian if she was getting rid of the rack.  She said, "Why, do you want it?"  I practically yelled the word YES!  She said, "It's yours."

So now I am now the current owner of my very own rotating book rack:
My students said to me the other day, "Mrs. S, your room is starting to look more like a library than a classroom."  Better yet, they said this statement with excitement and pride.  As one of my friends on Facebook said, "Surround them with enough books and they won't even know they're learning."  That is precisely the idea!

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Amal is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She loves fashion, TV-shows, and going shopping with her friends. But she is also committed to her faith and despite the difficulty she knows she will endure, has decided to start wearing the Islamic hijab full-time.

Randa Abdel-Fattah does a really great job educating her target audience that Islam in its purest form is not oppressive to women.  So in that regard, I have to say that this is a perfectly-timed narrative given the fear and the hate-mongering that Muslims living in Western countries must feel. However, I thought story itself and the juxtaposition of educating her audience about Islam needed to be a little more seamless. The whole thing reeked of desperation at times. I never felt like I could relax into the story and just enjoy the characters because every scene felt like one big lesson for the ignorant non-Muslims out there who don't know any better.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the sentiment behind the story and I really think the author has done a service to non-Muslim teens by writing this book and helping to squash some huge misconceptions; I guess I just wish it hadn't been done in such an "in your face" manner.  


Even so, this is a worthwhile read and proves to everyone that there are wackadoos and hate-filled people in every religion.  Abdel-Fattah makes the perfect case that terrorists speak for Islam as much as the Ku Klux Klan speaks for Christianity.  There will always be people that manipulate the beliefs of a religion to promote hate.  Intelligent, open-minded people should know better than to let that hatred be their one-dimensional view of a religion.  


I remember a few years ago the 6th-8th grade at the Catholic school where I teach visited a mosque.  I still get choked up when I think about the beauty of that moment and what it did to open hearts and minds of students, parents, and teachers.  Some of my own prejudices about Islam had been squelched that day. It was a moment in my life that affected me deeply and will be forever burned in my memory.  I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience something like that.  It might change a lot of minds.


So having gone through that experience and despite my critical view of this book, I understand the reason and the passion for why Randa Abdel-Fattah wrote it.  She's hoping that all those young people who pick it up will have an experience even the tiniest bit similar to that life-changing one I had sitting in that mosque five years ago.  




Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fatttah
Published: May 2007 
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 360
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: YA
Disclosure: Library copy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Follwer Love Giveaway Hop


Thanks to Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader Not, a Writer who is hosting the Follower Love Giveaway Hop!

Seeing as how this is the month of February, I'm giving away two books for this blog hop that deal with love:

Giveaway #1:
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton
Published: July 2010 by Headline Review (U.K.)
Pages: 406
Audience: Adult 

A rural idyll: that's what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the CĂ©vennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you're no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbours, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that's before the arrival of Catherine's sister, Bryony. - from Goodreads


Giveaway #2:
Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Published: May 2010 by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Pages: 262
Audience: YA

Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.

As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like 35, and she is pregnant.

Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love. When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.

Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what. They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.

Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future.
- from Goodreads




The Deets: 
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter
  • Open to U.S. residents only
  • Must be a GFC follower
  • Starts February 8th, ends February 13th at 11:59 PM EST
  • Optional entry: Leave a comment telling me your favorite romantic scene from a book or movie
  • Fill out the entry form


My favorite romantic movie moment was from When Harry Met Sally at the end of the movie when Harry and Sally had a falling out and he runs to the New Year's Eve party and says to her "The reason I came here tonight is because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."  *Sigh* One of the best movie lines of all time.  

Can't wait to hear about your favorite romantic movie and book moments!

Don't forget to visit the other blogs participating in the blog hop:







Sunday, February 6, 2011

And they said Detroit would never win a Superbowl

...but this Chrysler commercial sure looks like a win to me!



Pure awesomeness. It's nice to have people love your hometown for a change. Detroiters don't get to feel that too often.

Audiobook Rant

My work commute is very long: 50 minutes each way.  So I have become quite the expert on listening to audiobooks. 

I have come to understand that a narrator can make or break a book.  And there's nothing that breaks a book more than a middle grade novel being told in first person, with a MIDDLE-AGED audiobook narrator.  I mean, this is a total and complete fail on the part of the producers of the audiobook.

I just started listening to Ann M. Martin's A Corner of the Universe which is the story of Hattie Owens' and the summer she turns twelve, when her mentally disabled uncle shows up on their doorstep.  Hattie is the book's first-person narrator and therefore should have a young audiobook narrator, or at the very least an adult with a child-like voice.  Instead, the producers chose Judith Ivey, who not only has a very mature voice, but she sounds like a pack a day smoker.   


Audiobook producers, please, do readers a favor: choose age-appropriate narrators!  If A Corner of the Universe had been a novel told in third-person, then I would have no qualms about choosing Judith Ivey as a narrator. A third-person narrator is not inside the story and therefore does not need to sound like a particular character.  In fact, it's probably better that they don't since a third-person narrator tends to be a neutral voice.  But when you have someone telling a story who is twelve-years-old and the audio narrator sounds fifty, this undermines the authenticity of the story.  Not only that, but it turns your audience off since they ARE twelve-years-old and they want to hear someone who sounds like them if the person telling the story is their age. 

What audiobooks have you listened to where the producers got the narrator completely wrong?

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In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

Library Loot: (I've been on a Caldecott streak the past few weeks if you haven't noticed)


A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Hondo & Fabian by Peter McCarty
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

Audibooks downloaded to my iPod:


Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

What did you get in your mailbox this week?