It's Monday, What are You Reading.

It's  #IMWAYR. I'm so thankful to: TeachMentorTexts and Unleashing Readers for starting it all off. 

My world has been very busy so my reading life has been a bit sparse this past week. 

I finished reading Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. It's not at all appropriate for my elementary school readers, but for older readers looking for something fresh and new (and want insight into what goes on inside a teen age boy's mind) I highly recommend it. Here is my Goodreads review:

Excrementum sanctum!
That was some book!
It's a read you climb into and then hang on for dear life as you are spun in and out of spaces (at least for me) I never thought I wanted to go.
It's set in Ealing, Iowa, a dying town since the local manufacturing plant moved its business overseas. It's a town steeped in religious fundamentalism and rife with homophobia.
Austen, our 17 year old hero is all tangled up in his love and desire for his two best friends, Shann, a girl, and Robby, a boy.
To make matters worse, local hoodlums stole a glowing curiosity from the second hand shop.
It was not a good idea.
They dropped it, unleashing spores of flesh eating preying mantises, and started the end of the world.
My words can not do justice to this book. It's part science fiction, part horror, and part social commentary. It's dark, twisted, hilarious, intense and sweet.
Comparisons to Andrew Smith's writing have been made to Kurt Vonnegut and Hunter S. Thompson. I see both of them here.
My only wish for this book is that Austen's friends' were more equally developed. Shann is essentially a stereotype, while Robby is a richly developed character.

I also finished reading Escape From Mr Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. It started out pretty slow but once I got into it, I was hooked. I anticipated it would be full of more action, but I came to appreciate the thoughtful integration of book title clues into what turns out to be a literary detective novel. 

I also finished two high interest, low vocabulary books from the Dark Hunter Series by Benjamin Holme-Cross. I think if you click on the book title it will take you to my good reads review. 
I've sent them off to a grade 5/6/7 classroom to be tested by real readers. 

I've started reading Countdown by Deborah Wiles. I'm going to confess that I am old enough to remember living the times this historical novel is set in. I'm not sure why I resisted this title, since I have loved all of Wiles' work since first reading Each Little Bird that Sings. (I just replaced our copies of it and Love, Ruby Lavender.) So far, I am loving this title and plan to get the entire series for the library by next September. If you have read and liked this one, you might enjoy Rex Zero: The Great Pretender by Tim Wynne Jones, a book that details the Canadian experience of this era. 

I've also started listening to Terrier by Tamora Pierce. What can I say? Pierce is one of my guilty pleasures. I love her strong female characters. So do all the girls I introduce her work to. 


  1. So pleased you are liking Countdown. I REALLY liked it and Miss B loved it too. I want to read Revolution next. Still not sure if I want to read Grasshopper Jungle. I've heard it is a ride . . .

  2. There's such a difference between reading an historical novel set in a time you lived, and one long long ago. The connections just fly off the page. Grasshopper Jungle is disturbing, but worth it I think.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Grasshopper Jungle! I've often read very vague thoughts about it, but nothing specific. This must be a first time that I'm actually getting an insight into what the book is about, so thanks for that. :) I've been meaning to read Lemoncello's Library, perhaps when we have a mystery theme! :)

    1. Grasshopper Jungle is one of those weird ones, but I am glad I read it. You need one of those every once in a while.