Here we are again! #IMWAYR, when bloggers share the books they have been reading in the past week. If you follow these links, Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers, you can find many great reads. My reading life has slowed down this past week. I'm trying to get our school library under control in preparation for two author visits this week and the Scholastic Book Fair that arrives on Friday. I managed to finally get to Kidsbooks to do some shopping and spent over $700 there. All this means I've put in longer hours and arrived home so tired that while I managed to get a bit of reading in, I didn't get any reviewing done.
The other reason my reading is slowing down is that I've got knitting to finish before Christmas arrives. I'm not the world's best knitter, and I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I end up ripping things out and redoing them. I've renewed Circular Knitting Workshop by Margaret Radcliffe from the library three times and think I'm going to have to purchase it as it has turned out to be an invaluable resource with lots of small projects I hope to finish as gifts this year.
I finished The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein. I stopped reading it when the father was arrested. While I had anticipated something like this, I wasn't prepared for it actually happening. I went back to it after a bit of a break. Still, it was difficult for me to fathom the nastiness of those grandparents and their family. Although I am not a 'dog person' I enjoyed that this novel is told from a dog's point of view. It reminded me of A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron.
I also completed On a Clear Day by Walter Dean Myers. Although I was content with the first part of this one, by the time I finished it, it left me deeply unsatisfied and sad. I'm pretty sure that Myers wouldn't want this to be his last work.
I've been entertained by a number of divine picture books this week.
I've read Walk On by Marla Frazee with some of the K/1/2's. We all loved this one. The charming illustrations had us all laughing. I gave it to our VP to read to a group of older children and his report is that they loved it, although he said he had to help them make the connections between a baby learning to walk, and their learning to do something new. I didn't worry about that with my groups.
I also read and loved Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty. It broke my heart. One of our 5/6/7 teachers asked for a picture book to read to her class so I gave it to her. Her feedback was that while the kids were absolutely engaged in the story, none of them guessed where the father had gone. This one will go in my bin of picture books for older readers and on my list of picture books to use for critical thinking.
One of the books I picked up from Kidsbooks is The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. I adore this book! It's a magnificent testimony to the power of creativity, imagination, and perseverance. I can't wait to read it to a group of children.
We have Aubrey Davis coming today so I read some of his work to children last week in anticipation of his arrival. The Enormous Potato was a big hit. I read Bagels From Benny to a group without abiding to my rule of reading it to myself first. I wish I had followed my rule as I would have started out with a discussion of what God meant to them in our multicultural, secular school. Still, after it was finished we had a conversation about what the important message in the book was. These K/1/2's decided it was about how important it is to help out other people. All in all, that's a pretty satisfying conclusion.
On Tuesday and Wednesday we have Anne Dublin coming to visit the older children. While I haven't finished anything of hers yet, I have had the opportunity to introduce students to the The Orphan Rescue and Stealing Time by reading the first few pages out loud to them. The children were desperate to check the books out, but I told them they have to wait until this week when they can put a reserve on them.
I've got Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick (I love love his work) and The Young Elites by Marie Liu on deck to read since they are due at the library soon. Libba Bray's The Diviners, is on my ipod ready to listen to as I'm out and about and knitting.