Monday, February 2, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading? #14

It's Monday! What are you reading? is the original weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  It's Monday! What are you reading? - from Picture Books to YA is a kidlit focused meme just like the original and is hosted weekly by Teach Mentor Texts.  The purpose is the same: to recap what you have read and/or reviewed and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week.

This week was a lot of reading and rereading for the Cybils and other awards, so it was a middle grade fest as far as I am concerned, though I did miss my usual fare of picture books.  Of course, today are the ALA awards and I am curious to see what will win the Newbury this year - just a few hours left and all will be revealed.

These are my rereads:

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulson Books, 2014, 336 pages
A 2015 Newbery Honor Book

Written in free verse, Woodson remembers the family members, friends and experiences of her childhood and youth, allowing the reader to see the evolution of her as the writer she is today.  A slow reader as a child, we see how she struggled with the very same words that came to mean so much to her and her writing.  She has written Brown Girl Dreaming with unflinching honesty and love, as much an homage to her life as it is to her craft.  

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Feiwel & Friends, 2014, 240 pages

For Rose Howard, the world is a chaotic, confusing place, but as Martin carefully explores the world from Rose's point of view, we see how she keeps her world under control with rules, homonyms, and prime numbers.  And when she loses her beloved dog, only to discover later that Rain belonged to another family, she is compelled to return him to the rightful owners.  However painful it may be, it is after all, the right thing to do.
The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Brown
Chronicle Books, 2014, 220 pages

Not really understanding why her dad's legs have fallen asleep, Maggie, 11, discovers that her family has been shielding her from his multiple sclerosis.  But now the disease is progressing faster, and Maggie must "pulls up her bootstraps" and come to terms with all the changes that will mean for her and her family. 

These are my first reads:

  Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford
  Puffin Books, 2014, 272 pages (paperback edition)

  Based on the mystery person who was really leaving cash around for people 
  to find, this is the story of how one 11 year old lawbreaking boy with a 
  transplanted heart named Sam ends up becoming Nickel Bay Nick.  Normally, 
  Nick leaves $100 around this impoverished Maine town just before Christmas,       
  but this year he didn't show up.  Sad and depressed, Christmas was a bust for 
  the town's residents, but thanks for falling out of a tree on private property, 
  Nickel Bay Nick aka Same returns for the 12 days of Christmas.

 Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart
 Random House, 2014, 272 pages

 After his dad dies, Ben, 12, and his mom hit some hard financial times.  Now, 
 on the verge of eviction, Ben feels the need to make money to help his mom, 
 but selling candy bars from WaWa isn't enough.  Ben is also a "sweeper" which means he enters as many contests to win money as he can, but so far all he has is an interesting correspondence with the head of Royal-T toilet paper, and coupons for free rolls.  There is lots of toilet and toilet paper info throughout the book.

The Magic Tree House Super Edition #1: Danger in the Darkest Hour by Mary Pope Osborn
Random House, 2015, 192 pages

Young fans of the Magic Tree House will like this longer version of this series.  Jack and Annie time-travel back to Nazi occupied France to rescue Kathleen, a young enchantress from Camelot.  It is a gentle introduction to World War II and though mention is made of Hitler's hatred of Jews, it is not really a true Holocaust story.  

These are this exciting week's reads:

  What are you reading this week?


  1. An amazing array of good books here. I've heard about Stella By Starlight from others, too. Will get it at my conference (later this week). I saw Sharon Draper last year and she was good! Hope you enjoyed the award results!

    1. I can't wait to begin Stella and how lucky to have see Sharon Draper - she's wonderful. I did enjoy the results of the Newbery Awards. I loved all three winner - The Crossover, El Deafo and Brown Girl Dreaming. What did you think of them?

  2. Wow, I haven't only read Black Girl Dreaming once, and haven't read the other two at all. (although they are on my to read list) After reading your comments on these other books, I've been compelled to add Nickel Bay Nick and Danger in the Darkest Hour to my to read list. I've had many little children who can't get over that I haven't read a Magic Tree House Book. (I have but it was so very long ago) If I read this one, they will all be impressed.

    1. Nickel Bay Nick was a real surprise to me - I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. And Danger in the Darkest Hour really was my first Magic Tree House - I just never got around to picking one up and reading when my Kiddo was young and they were around the house. Brown Girl Dreaming…what an inspiration life by a great writer.

  3. X by Ilyazah Shabazz caught my eye - definitely one that I would order in for my higher-degree course. I loved Brown Girl Dreaming - beautiful lyrical story. Been reading a lot of great reviews about Rain Reign - I'm hoping to check that out soonest. :)


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