Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading? 8/20

Every week Jen and Kellee host this meme on their blog Teach Mentor Texts for people to write about the books they are reading.  This meme focuses mostly on Kidlit and YA literature.  Head on over to their blog to see some great posts about great reads.

This week I did not get as much reading in as I thought I would.  I had inservices on Monday and Tuesday mornings.  Then my mother came to town on Wednesday and I spent the afternoon and night with her before we left for a women's retreat at camp which lasted until Sunday afternoon.  Since I was so busy, I had less time for reading but still got through some great books.

Books I Finished This Week:

I don't know why it took me so long to read this book.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor is an excellent book.  I am so glad that I have multiple copies of this book and will be able to have students learn about race issues in the South from this perspective.  

Postcards From No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers is a beautiful book which alternates narration between a teenager in 1995 in Amsterdam and a young woman living in Holland during World War II.  This book is a great piece of literature and I really lost myself in this amazing writing.  The issues that all of the characters are dealing with are complex and a certain maturity level is needed to appreciate the issues.  I am not sure I will take this book to my 8th grade classroom but it is a must-have for high school classrooms.  

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde is a fascinating fantasy story.  In this book, Giannine gets stuck in a virtual reality game and her life is dependent on winning.  She has to survive to be crowned the king and not be killed in the three days until her coronation.  This is an interesting science fiction story that is entertaining and fun.  I am looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Guts by Gary Paulsen is a great memoir which tells some of the real life adventure stories that inspired his Brian stories.  I will definitely read some excerpts from this book as mentor texts when we talk about memoir writing.

Books I am Currently Reading:

10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know--There are so many great ideas in this book that it is taking me longer to read because I am spending time marking it up and taking notes.  

Daughter of Smoke and Bone--I am listening to this one and really only get to it when I am working out.  It is a great motivator to get my butt on the spin bike so I can read more of this book.  

What I Will Read Next:

I still want to get to Readicide and Opening Minds.  I also want to read Tantalize, Beauty Queens, Enclave, and The Dark and Hollow Places along with anything else that I decide to grab off the shelf.  

I am trying to finish the summer strong and have a great number to post on my classroom door to let students know about my challenge.  I am planning to make a door display like Donalyn Miller does.  Her picture of her door was amazing and I can't wait to print out the images of book covers that I finished this summer to do a similar display.  I want to have a big number of books finished so that I can show kids that it is not impossible to get through 40 books in a school year.  I am currently at 85 books and would love to get to at least 90 before the summer is over.  


  1. The idea of your door is great. I hope you'll post what it looks like when you finish. I know some of these, but really intrigued by Postcards from No Man's Land-it sounds so good. Thanks for all & have a good start to the year!

    1. I can't take credit for the door. It was an idea of Donalyn Miller. She posted a picture on Twitter and I thought it was amazing. I will post pictures when I have it done. I hope you have a nice start to the year as well!

  2. I am so glad that more people are reading Heir Apparent- I have loved it and use it in my literature circles. I also love Roll of Thunder and if you haven't read anything else by her, you should. The whole series is good.
    I haven't heard of Postcards from No Man's Land- definitely going to add it to my TBR.

    Happy reading this week! :)

    1. I will definitely read more of the Logan series. Like I said, I can't believe I took this long to read this one. Happy reading to you and good luck in your first week back.