Here it is again, Monday, a time for bloggers to reveal what they've been reading in the past week. Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Rickie from Unleashing Readers host this weekly event. Check out the links on their sites for ideas to enrich your reading life.
I've managed to read a few fabulous picture books, and marvelous novels this week.
Uptown by Bryan Collier
This book is so gorgeous it gave me shivers and brought tears to my eyes. The text and the images are all about pride of place - bringing to outsiders, like myself, an inside view of what a wonderful place Harlem is to our narrator.
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles and Jerome Lagarrigue (Illustrator)
I had tears in my eyes again by the time I finished this book. It's the story of two best friends growing up together in a town in southern USA in the 1960's. One is white and one is black. When the Civil Rights Act became law in 1964, the two boys thought they would now be able to do everything together. Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple as the white community shut down the pool and closed stores to avoid integration.
The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle
I love this whole family. Ty is a sweet boy who has two older sisters, and a new baby one. Since the new baby came along, it hasn't been easy for him. His mother's time is consumed with the new baby, leaving Ty feeling abandoned. To add to his misery, his best friend, Joseph is in the hospital getting treated for leukemia. On a school field trip to the aquarium, Ty ends up doing something he shouldn't. Luckily, this is a family that helps each other out, and his sisters come to his rescue.
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Our library needs this book. Every elementary library needs this book. Once readers connect with a fictional character, it's easier to accept and befriend a real person in the same situation. This is the story of a transgender girl, Grayson, and how she finds the courage to become who she really is. Click the above link to read my full review.
Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fford
This was my first Jasper Fford novel. Although it took me a bit to get into it, (probably because I've been reading so much intense realistic fiction) by the time I adjusted to a new kind of reading ride, I was delighted. It is reminiscent of Philip Reeves' Larklight series, being unabashedly weird, yet Fford's book is also a critical treatise on our society. It's set "in a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing." All our hero, Eddie Russet, can see is red. This puts him at the lower end of the social strata, just better than greys. He has been sent off to the far end of nowhere (East Carmi) to count chairs and learn humility. Once there he discovers a land full of corruption and bitter truths. Much of the latter is due to his infatuation with Jane, a strong willed Grey renowned for her sharp temper. I've read rumors that there will be no more of this series. Whether this is true or not, I'll definitely read more Fford!
Currently I'm reading Greenglass House by Kate Milford, and listening to As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, the most recent Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley. Up next I've got Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and then Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. Both have to be returned to the library by next weekend!