Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading? 7-30-12

Originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, Jen and Kellee  over at Teach Mentor Texts also host a kidlit version of It's Monday! What are You Reading?

This week I have lots of cool things to share, the first of which is a guest post I wrote over at the Nerdy Book Club. It is my Top Ten Literary YA Reads, which I'd love for you to join the discussion because if you read my post, you'll notice the whole point of it is to show everyone that narrowing YA lit to just 10 literary titles is not an easy task. There are WAY too many great books to choose from.

I love when the UPS or FedEx man shows up on my doorstep with a book I wasn't expecting. That happened to me this week thanks to Harper Collins Publishers. A few weeks ago I received two ARCs of Sharon Creech's upcoming September release, The Great Unexpected, which I was expecting because I had received an email indicating it would be on its way. But then a few weeks later, i.e. last week, I received another package from Harper Collins, this time with a beautiful new edition of Chasing Redbird.
Thanks so much Harper Collins! You have been amazingly generous to me over the past year!

I have said many times in the past, last week included, that my town has an awesome public library. Unlike most libraries who just hold annual book sales, my library has a used bookstore that is open six days a week. I go there every Tuesday when its members-only day to get first dibs on the "new" stock. This was my loot last week:

(and it's even more awesome that children's paperbacks are only 25 cents a piece. The reason my classroom has 1,500 books is almost purely thanks to the Canton Public Library used bookstore.)

Moving on to what I actually read...

Books I read and loved last week:
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
OMG you guys! This book is so good! It is one of the most original YA books I have ever read. I'll be posting my review later this week. Be prepared for lost of gushing.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Make sure to read this one rather than listen to the audiobook. It's not that the audio production is bad, it's just that if you listen instead of read, you'll miss out on all of the adorable visual experiences: scrapbook pictures, playlists, drawings, receipts, etc. It wasn't until about halfway through the book that I read a blog review that talked about all of the visual extras when I got wise and checked the book out and read the rest. 

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Hop! Plop! by Corey Rosen Schwartz

Don't Squish the Sasquatch! by Kent Redeker, illusrated by Bob Staake
Larf by Ashely Spires
What are the odds that I'd get two books about that have to do with a Sasquatch in one week? I didn't even plan it that way! :) I loved both of these books but Larf has a special place in my heart. The story and illustrations are funny and endearing at the same time. I especially loved Larf's Baby Bjorn-like contraption he used to carry his pet rabbit Eric around in.

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
Babymouse: Beach Babe by Jennifer and Matthew Holm
The Heart and the Bottle is a book that crept up on me. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading and BAM! It hit me. This is one deep, symbolic story that could be used to engage deep discussion in even high school or college classrooms. It read like a heartfelt free verse poem because it was so full of meaning and symbolism.

Audiobooks I finished last week:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
This is a book I won't forget for a long time. It chronicles the story of a fictional family, told in first person through the character of Lina, as they are taken from their house in the middle of the night and imprisoned by the Soviet NKVD as the country of Lithuania is wiped off the map and annexed as part of the Soviet Union.

Split by Swati Avasthi
Tragic and uplifting, a beautiful yet tormented tale of brotherly love in the wake of leaving their abusive father.   

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
An interesting yet gory mystery. The audiobook narrator, Kathleen McInerney, had a strangely comforting voice despite the insidiousness that ran rampant throughout the plot.

Currently reading:
Pushing the Limits by Kate Mcgarry
 Thanks so much to Harlequin Teen for the review copy of this book. I will also be doing a giveaway soon. I'm not that far into the book but it's been engaging in the few pages I've read.

Currently listening:
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van  Draanen


  1. I loved your post on Nerdy Book club and was able to add a few books to my tbr pile from that and now from this post. I just discovered the used book sale at my library and came away with a huge haul like yours. I need to visit their store at the central library too. How do you listen to so many books???

    1. Multi-tasking! I always listen to books when I'm doing mundane things like laundry, or walking the dogs, cooking dinner, etc.

  2. Those kids books you have look hilarious :) Love a great picture book!

    Happy reading this week :)
    The Brunette Librarian Blog

  3. What a great variety and great selection of books. You really scored big for your classroom this week too. I loved Pushing the Limits. It immediately went on my next media center order. Here is my Monday Report. Happy reading!

  4. Your currently listening contain two of my absolute favorite books. Love them both. Have you read any other of Melina Marchetta's books? If not, you're in for a treat (although this Printz winner is probably my least favorite of her books. go figure) I really like the new covers for Sharon Creech's books. Glad they updated them. Don't Squish the Sasquash and Larf are two of my favorite picture books from this year. Bark George is a storytime staple at my library. Really enjoyed Between Shades of Gray, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, and Split as well. *Still* haven't gotten in the new Babymouse book at my library. I ordered it ages ago! I've heard sensational things about Level 2 lately. I hadn't heard of it until this past week!

  5. SO jealous of your library used bookstore- amazing haul especially for 25 cents!
    I agree with you about Amy and Roger- the playlists and souvenirs really add to the story.
    I've just reviewed Pushing The Limits- lives up to the hype!
    Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys is on my TBR so I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    Have a great week!

  6. The cover of The Great Unexpected is gorgeous. That alone makes me want to seek it out. I'm also fortunate that my library has an ongoing booksale, but it's selection is not nearly as nice as it appears your is. Great finds!

  7. I'm glad you liked Larf!!! Isn't he fun? I love him. I just added the Amy and Roger book...I will try to remember to not get the audio. :)

    I haven't read Jellicoe Road but I love Melina Marchetta. I think her writing is beautiful. The Running Dream looks good, too...I've seen it all over...I should look for it!

  8. My library has great sales as well. I need to start going more often!
    You have so many great books this week! How was the audio of Between Shades of Gray? I've read it, but would love to listen if it's good.
    I've heard great things about the Jellicoe Road audio...can't wait to hear your thoughts!

  9. That Library haul is indeed impressive and a great teacher resource! I can't wait to check out those Sasquatch books, especially living in Sasquatch-country here in the Pacific Northwest. And you definitely have me curious about Level 2.

  10. How wonderful that your library does that! That would be so bad for my wallet...I try to avert my eyes from the library books sales!

  11. What an amazing book stack from your library sale! Fantastic for your classroom collection. Adding Between Shades of Grey to my TBR pile. loved your Nerdy Top Ten list. Agreed narrowing a list is next to impossible. I am currently on holiday and brought large stack of YA titles. So many great ones.