Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/25/13

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/18/13

I am excited to be a part of the conversation at #IMWAYR! Thank you to SheilaJen and Kellee for inspiring and hosting this meme.

I am looking forward to a little time off for Thanksgiving, so I can dive into my to-be-read pile of books!  In the meantime, I read some good ones this past week:

For all ages

Caroline Kennedy's collection of poetry, Poems to Learn by Heart, strikes me as one that should be in everyone's home and library.  Jon J. Muth's illustrations perfectly capture the moods of the poems that Kennedy hand selected and together, the poetry and illustrations are just beautiful.

For elementary
Tracking Tyrannosaurs: Meet T. Rex's Fascinating Family, from Tiny Terrors to Feathered Giants is indeed fascinating.  This book includes some excellent big, bold illustrations and infographics,  as well as quite a bit of informational text.  The visuals will make this appealing to younger students who aren't quite ready for the dense text, while the information will intrigue middle grade readers who already know a bit about dinosaurs.

Rec. for grades 5+

The most powerful read of my week was The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...on Schindler's List: a Memoir by Leon Leyson.  Leyson was just a boy when World War II began and the Nazis invaded his Polish hometown; most of his family was saved because of Leon's father's association with Oskar Schindler.  This is a surprisingly positive look at humanity and the Holocaust.  Leyson doesn’t gloss over the horror, but neither does he dwell on it - instead he focuses on the amazing good that Schindler did.  As a result, this is a rare book about the Holocaust that I think can have a place in an elementary school library.  

For adults
Finally, I got somewhat bogged down reading The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier, a book that both annoyed and intrigued me.  It is based on the premise that there was indeed an ancient civilization of warrior women (the Amazons) and the narrative thread goes back and forth, telling the story of Myrina, the leader of the Amazons and Diana, a present-day philologist who is hunting for proof of the Amazons existence.  I liked the back and forth nature of the narrative, but in both the Amazon story and Diana's story, I could barely get through the romantic entanglements that the women were involved in.  There were a number of times when I wanted to abandon this book, but the mystery of how Diana's grandmother was involved with the Amazons kept me reading, somewhat to my chagrin.

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