Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/13

Every Monday Jen and Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts host this weekly meme to discuss the books we're reading, especially kidlit and YA titles.  Head on over to their blog to get some great ideas of good books to read. 

I am getting to the point in the summer when I start to get a little depressed about how quickly the summer has gone.  I still have a couple weeks until school starts, but I am seeing the days dwindle down and start to feel stressed out about the size of the tbr pile that I didn't get to yet.  I am now prioritizing which books to read before school starts and will start to have less time for reading because I will be planning. 

This week I feel like I read less than usual.  I have been distracted by the Olympics and some time has been spent working on curriculum maps for the coming year. 

Books I Finished this week:

The Blood Spilt by Asa Larsson.  This is the second book in the Rebecka Martinsson series.  It is a murder mystery series set in Sweden.  I have yet to find a Swedish crime writer that I did not like.  This book was a great mystery and I highly recommend it to mystery buffs everywhere.

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos is a candid tale about a big mistake Gantos made as a teenager.  I was riveted by this account and really enjoyed the way the author brought me into his head and let me see what he was thinking throughout this experience.  I love the fact that it is a memoir and will be easy to use as a good mentor text.  I think that my students will enjoy reading this book and will hopefully learn something from the author's experiences.  This one had some mature content so I would only recommend it for older students, 8th grade possibly, but mostly high school.

 Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8 by Stephanie Harvey is a great resource for thinking about incorporating more nonfiction materials in the classroom.  The book was written in 1998 so the chapter about internet resources gave me a few chuckles.  Mostly, this book gives some great ideas about how to go about incorporating more inquiry into the classroom.  What I will use most is the bibliography lists in the appendices of well-written nonfiction books to find. 

This book is the second in a mystery series starring Flavia de Luce.  The books are set in the early 1900's in a countryside village.  Flavia is a twelve year old who is interested in chemistry and is lucky enough to have her very own chemistry lab which she inherited from an uncle.  She is fascinated with poison and keeps a scrapbook of all the most interesting poisoning cases.  In The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley, a puppet master who is passing through her village is suddenly dead in what looks like a horrible accident.  Leave it to Flavia to discover that this was no accident.  I love this series.  Flavia is such a complex and fun character!  I would highly recommend this as a murder mystery series that students in grades 8 and up would really enjoy. 

A couple of weeks ago I read the first book in this series The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  I immediately sought out this book to continue reading the series.  In The Dead-Tossed Waves, the author Carrie Ryan captivated me again with a harrowing and gripping account of this post-apocalyptic world.  This book is realistic and grim but manages to remain hopeful as well.  I will absolutely be seeking out copies of this series for my classroom library and highlighting the first book in booktalks at the beginning of the year. 

Since I don't often read nonfiction, I expected this book to take me a while to get through.  I had started another book and expected to read a chapter or two a day until I was finished with this book.  I couldn't have been more wrong about what was awaiting me.  I was fascinated and hooked from page 1.  Charles and Emma: The Darwin's Leap of Faith kept me riveted and I finished the book in 2 days.  The author did an excellent job of highlighting Darwin's doubts about religion and his worry that his scientific theory about natural selection would upset his wife.  The book is a biography and tells of the life that this couple lived and the lives of their ten children.  The author uses abundant primary sources to really help the reader to hear the voices of the Darwins as the reader learns about their lives.  I highly recommend this book. 

Books I am Currently Reading:

Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Jeff Anderson

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (audiobook) by Laini Taylor---gotta love the free downloads on Sync 

Books I am planning to read:

The copy I was waiting for of Readicide by Kelly Gallagher finally came in so I will dig into that one.  I still would like to get to Opening Minds before school starts also.  Other than that it will be whatever floats my boat :)

Summer Bookaday Progress:  I am happy to report that I have surpassed my goal for books this summer.  I now have a total of 81 books.  When I go back to school at the end of August I will have had 76 days of summer vacation.  I can't wait to see what the grand total is at the end of the summer!

1 comment:

  1. I've only read Dead Tossed Waves- many of the others have been on my TBR and I need to get to them sooner than later.

    Enjoy Readicide- it is pretty brilliant.

    Happy reading this week! :)