In preparation for this Sunday’s mock award dinner, I have read mostly Children’s books with a single YA novel and a single Non-fiction. Let’s start with the first.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect: Linda Urban – Funny and charming. Zoe, our would-be Carnegie Hall pianist, finds a crooked kind of perfection in playing TV theme shows on a wheezy organ.
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval City: Laura Amy Schlitz – Poetic (and so in the Newberry category rather than the Sibert, as it originally was placed) monologues and duets that can be performed by students inclined to the dramatic.
One Well: the Story of Water on Earth: Rochelle Strauss ill. Rosemary Woods – This was an extremely appropriate read considering my non-fic pic of the month (The World Without Us – see below) and gives rise to important but often ignored facts… we all need water to live. The amount of water in the world doesn’t change. It’s just recycled. SO TAKE CARE OF IT (like by not polluting the ocean with plastic… which just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces but does not actually break down, so smaller and smaller animals are ingesting it).
Skyscrapper: Lynn Curlie – A dense read, more like a text book (possibly more of a YA read), but interesting. I do wish it had pics of all the skyscrapers mentioned.
PSSST!: Adam Rex – Beautifully drawn, hilarious. One boy falls prey to the pleas of several zoo animals. Not one I’d choose for a story time (because some of the pics/text is so small) but it has worked for some of my colleagues.
Little Night: Yuyi Morales – A small night plays hide and seek with her mother.
17 Things I’m Not Allowed to do Anymore: Jenny Offill – The more malicious female counterpart to David (of No, David! fame), this little girl gets into all kinds of mischief. I enjoyed it, although I think it went right over the heads of the 2nd grade class I read it to.
Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary: A cute book but, I agree with my super, not a Caldecott winner.
Windflyers: Angela Johnson – “Wind Flyers artfully interweaves a character study of a World War II airman from the historic black Tuskegee squadron, a celebration of the dream of flight, and a tale of a child who learns to share both a love of flying and a poignant sense of history through his great-great-uncle’s experience. Poetic text and rich, fluid illustrations guide readers through the skies on an important journey of remembrance that also honors the beauty we can find above our heads—and in our hearts—if we take a few moments to look upward.” from the Reading Guide.
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain: Peter Sis – A tear jerker but great!
The Bartimeaus Trilogy: Ptolemy’s Gate:Jonathan Stroud – A captivating, plot-twisting, very satisfying ending to a well-written, highly enjoyable series. I plowed through it and couldn’t get enough.
The World Without Us: Alan Weisman – While some of this was above my understanding, I got the gist… and, oh man, am I nervous! What a wreck this planet has become because of us but what a joy to know it can all be fixed. There is only one variable: how long will we continue the damage (and how many more life forms will we obliterate in that time), thereby effecting how long nature will take to restore itself. The frightening power of nature did not escape me… for something I almost always read about in poetic or high prose terms, this was a splash in the face with ice cold (albeit containing small particles of plastic) ocean water.