#IMWAYR December 29, 2014

Between finishing up homemade gifts, hosting a book fair, and a family crisis, the last month has been a wee bit insane. It hasn't left much time for blogging, but I've continued to read with my eyes and ears. The truth is that no matter what else is going on in my life, reading is one of those things that keeps me sane. It's just that writing about my reading life has had to drop in priority. I hope things are returning to as normal as they ever get around here. 

I am overjoyed to be getting back on track with #IMWAYR. In the past week I've read a number of picture books and listened to a number of novels. I can't wait to read what other bloggers have to say about their reading lives! Check out Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers, and you too may discover all kinds of treasures to read.

I listened to If I Stay by Gayle Forman earlier in the month and was delighted with the sequel, Where She Went, that I listened to last week.  I enjoyed both of these books. It was interesting that the first book was narrated by the girl, and the second by the boy. 4 stars

I finished up Spirit Animals #1, Wild Born, by Brandon Mull. Students at school are really enjoying this series so I wanted to see what was drawing them in. I get it. There is action and suspense, but what I suspect is most appealing are the characters' special connections with their spirit animals. This connection had me thinking of Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Unfortunately, Wild Born, while an entertaining read, doesn't compare to that book. 3 stars

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech has been on my to read list since last March so I am happy to have completed it. I loved the sweetness of John and Marta and their capacity for unconditional love. This is an exquisitely written book. Much as I truly enjoyed this story, I'm not sure how many of my readers will take to it. To be honest, I worry it is a book more for adults than children. 
4 stars. 

I also found time to listen to The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holme. Wow! That is some read. I loved the characters, the plot, the science, and the moral dilemma. 
5 stars

I downloaded The Book of Lost Things (Mr Max #1) by Cynthia Voigt, just because  we have some of her work in our library, but I have never read anything by her. It was ok. I liked the bizarreness of it. Max Sterling's parents have gone missing and he has to learn to survive almost on his own.  I liked the characters, (the grandmother is a librarian, so I had to like her) I liked that it is a collection of stories that wend themselves together. I'm not sure about the role of Madam Olenka, but expect readers might learn more about her and her nefarious family in a sequel. It was a delightful book to listen to, but I doubt I'll do any more. 3 stars

I'm almost finished Goblin Secrets by William Alexander. We have this one at school but it doesn't get much circulation so I decided to find out if it was worth keeping. So far, I'm enjoying it. I like the combination of fairy tale and steam punk. I especially like this representation of Goblins who are not what I expected at all. I will definitely encourage fantasy and adventure readers to try this one. 

I've been working on For the Win by Cory Doctorow. I'm conflicted about it, but mostly I'm just confused. I think I need to learn a whole lot more about the world of video games so I have enough background knowledge to make sense of this one. I persist only because it is Cory Doctorow.  

I got my husband, who is a filmmaker, an early Christmas gift. Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book by Rufus Butler Seder, so intriged him and another friend, they started talking about taking one of the pages apart to figure out the technology behind the animation. Thankfully, the internet provided information about the process. My two year old niece was over during the holidays and was also enchanted by this one. 5 stars

I laughed out loud a number of times while reading The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak. I can't wait to read it to a group of children! 4 stars

The Hug Machine by Scott Campbell, a story of a little boy who goes around hugging everyone and everything is adorable. I'll have to get a copy for our library. 4 stars

Mr Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis is an engaging nonfiction picture book that tells the story of the creation of the first ferris wheel. It is a fabulous read for any ages. I caught a few of my adult guests reading and talking about it earlier this week. I will definitely get this one for our library! 5 stars

We are heading off to our place out of town that has no internet. I am giddily looking forward to reading the pile of books I've been saving for just this time. Included in this collection are Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm also planning on rereading Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, and starting How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg, both books I got for Christmas. 


  1. What a wonderful stack of reading you have ahead of you this week! I shared your thoughts about Boy on Porch. Intriguing as I found it, I haven't thought of a single reader to give it to. I was a very bookish child, and I'm not even sure I would have liked it! I got The Book With No Pictures for Xmas--can't wait to read with my son! 14th Goldfish was one of my favorite middle-grades of the year.

    1. I always wonder when I listen to a book if it will be as good read with one's eyes, but I've read so much other great stuff about The 14th Goldfish hat I don't think it will be a problem. I can hardly wait to book talk it at our first Monday Morning Assemble of the new year!

  2. I loved The Fourteenth Goldfish and can't wait to read Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. The fantasy titles you've included look interesting, as does Mister Max. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Catherine. I'm sure you will be delighted by Mr Ferris. I finished Goblin's Secrets and was pleasantly surprised by the ending. I love it when I am still filled with wonder by the time the story is over.