Books I Read Last Week:
The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers by Sheridan D. Blau
I like Blau's ideas of ways to effectively teach whole class texts because for so long, it seems as if English teachers have been living this lie that we think all our students go home and actually read the books we assign them. Why would students do that when they can just come to class and the teacher will tell them exactly what the book means anyway? Blau addresses this dirty little secret of the English teaching world head on and helps teachers find ways to help students make discoveries on their own.
Some Cat! by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt
Adorable story about an adopted cat who must learn to get along with his new family, which includes a pair of curious canines.
The book includes some repetition of the cat's displeasure when he proclaims "Meowwww! Hissssss! Spat!" on several pages. This could be a nice way to show students the difference between using repetition for a purpose and being too repetitive.
I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen
Told from Galileo's perspective as an old man looking back on his life, Bonnie Christensen captures Galileo's accomplishments and struggles with simple words and beautiful pictures that are almost stained-glass-like.
Bon Appetit: The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessi Hartland
This charming picture book details the life of "The French Chef" Julia Child in a format similar to a graphic novel. A few people have mentioned that the format and font is a bit confusing, but I found it no more confusing to read than a graphic novel. Yes, a tad cluttered in places, but overall put me in mind of Julia's lovely memoir, My Life in France.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Talk about a lead that pulls you in from the first sentence! I was riveted the second I started listening.
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
I am so excited to be reading this book, you have no idea. My husband and I were in Germany last summer and so we were able to visit with Lenore and her husband Daniel before I flew back home, and in that time, Lenore read me a few paragraphs of Level 2 and I was hooked in those few paragraphs. I've been waiting to read this book for a year now and I'm currently halfway through it. It is amazing y'all. It is truly like nothing I've ever read before. And I'm not just saying that because she's a friend. I really mean this. I can absolutely see this book as a movie. I think once January 15th hits, Lenore's going to be fending off fans with a stick! Can I use any more superlatives here before I sound like a total fangirl? Oh, who am I kidding, I am a total fangirl. :)
The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry
So ummmm... I'm supposed to be reading this book for a poetry class I'm taking right now but I'm totally distracted by Level 2. This is a great book that makes poetry structures like iambic pentameter much more accessible than when I learned about it in high school, so in that regard I'm enjoying it, but it's kind of hard to force yourself to pick this book up when you have an ARC of a friend's debut novel beckoning you to finish it.