Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9-23-13

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

Happy Banned Books Week! That actually sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? We're celebrating our fREADom to read, but we're celebrating it because there are people who try to take that fREADom away.

Last night I had the privilege of organizing and participating in the very first #nctechat to kick off Banned Books Week. Laurie Halse Anderson and Teri Lesesne were the guest hosts and Judy Blume and Stephen Chbosky even joined in on the discussion as well. At one point we were the #2 trending topic! If you missed it, or you just want to go over it again because the tweets were flying by too fast, the Storify archive is now up.

Also, don't forget to check out my current giveaway for Banned Books Week, a beautiful hardcover read-aloud edition of Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

I had a great reading week last week. I finished reading:

Living with Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles 
What I love about Jo Knowles's books is her ability to create characters the reader truly cares about. In the hands of a different author, our main character, Josh, would have been completely unlikable because of his previous actions in Jumping Off Swings, but she somehow manages to not only make him likable in Living with Jackie Chan the sequel to Jumping Off Swings, but also in the first book too. And Uncle Larry? What can I say about him? He is a complete dork. But that's OK. He's a totally lovable dork. In fact, I wish I had an Uncle Larry.

Picture books I particularly enjoyed last week:

Line 135 by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine
I have so much to say about this book that I think I'm going to write a full review of it. I absolutely adored it. The illustrations and the story are so simple yet complex at the same time.

Rainstorm by Barbara Lehman
So much to discuss in this beautiful wordless picture book. There are lots of comparisons to draw upon between this book and Journey by Aaron Becker.

Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer 
Despite finding the ending rather strange/curious, I did enjoy the story and illustrations as a whole. I'm still scratching my head on the ending though. 

Last week I finished listening:

Sidekicked by John David Anderson
While not my type of book, I can really see that this is a fantastic book for kids who like fantasy action/adventure. I could see this becoming an animated movie.

Last week I reviewed: 

The Price of Freedom by Dennis and Judith Fradin, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Currently (still) reading:

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen
Crank by Ellen Hopkins 

Currently listening:

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


  1. Sidekicks is not my usual kind of read either-I tend to go with more realistic fiction, but I did like it a lot!

    I WANT to read Living with Jackie Chan. Do I need kleenex like her Harry's book??? :)

    Crank is on my bookshelf at home along with another one of her's-can't remember the title right now and too lazy to walk in the other room to find out. :)

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane is on my TBR list and I REALLY want to read it!

    I read several kid books this week including the 1st book in the graphic novel series-Amulet which began with a BANG, let me tell you!

    Have a great week!


  2. So many books up on deck! Have fun with those wonderful books... Hoping to read Sidekicked...

  3. I really enjoyed reading Sidekicked but would love to hear the audio version. Does Neil Gaiman narrate The Ocean at the End of the Lane? That man has THE perfect voice!

  4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of my favourite reads this year. Used it in my book club session with 9-12 year old kids. Fascinating the many things we discussed and discovered through the book.

  5. I also adored Line 135! Such an amazing book. I bought it without reading it first as I LOVED, LOVED (and did I say LOVED!!!)? Little Bird by same author/illustrator. I have given that book as a gift numerous times. It is beyond special. I also have Sky High. Many people haven't liked it as text and illustrations seem incongruent. I, though, loved it. My husband and I bought it to inspire art projects. I am treating it as a wordless book for those purposed. Illustrations are divine.

  6. The Gaiman is SO good. One of my fav reads too! I've heard stupendous things in the last week about the Jo Knowles book. About time for me to put it on my TBR list!

  7. Beth - What a great week of reading! I have loved Barbara Lehmann books for a long time now - Museum Trip started me off and I've bought every book since. Great for inferring! Line 136 is one I haven't seen before but am now very intrigued and have it on my must reads for this week! Also on your list that I've been hearing about but haven't read yet is Side Kicked and Living with Jackie Chan - so will be adding those to my list too! Thank you!

  8. I am so looking forward to receiving my copy of Jackie Chan!