Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/24/14

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've been taking a little blogging hiatus, but I've been busy reading and reviewing.  Last weekend the Maine Student Book Award committee met and finalized the MSBA list.  It is exceptionally difficult (way more so than I realized) to create a balanced list that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.  I love many of the titles on this year's list and I'm looking forward to sharing and discussing them with my students.

Now, it's on to books with a 2014 copyright!  I've been treating myself to a few adult books, but also trying to get a jump on next year's MSBA possibilities.   So, this is what I've been reading:

For grades 7+
Threatened, Elliot Schrefer’s follow up to Endangered, does not disappoint.  Set in Gabon, Luc is indentured to Prof.,  a mysterious man who says he wants to be Africa’s own “janegoodall.”  Together they venture deep into the jungle to observe and study chimps.  Luc’s painful loneliness after losing his family, his bravery and fear and his growing friendship with Prof. are all beautifully rendered.  The setting is extraordinary and feels like a character all of its own and the chimps are fascinating.  I loved this book.

For grades 3-6

, by Wendy McClude tells the story of three kids who, through differing tragic circumstances, end up on the orphan train headed to Kansas. Terrified by the stories they hear about what will happen to them when they are “adopted” they jump off the train and find themselves adopted by Alexander, a boy who has created his own little utopia in the woods. This is an easy reading Boxcar-esque first in a series that I think middle grade readers will enjoy.

For grades 5-8
Piers Torday's The Last Wild is a dystopian fantasy about a boy named Kester who can’t speak to humans, but who can communicate silently with the few animals that are left in the world after “the red eye” killed off most of them.  He teams with a group of animals, including a beautiful and fierce stag, a mischievous wolf cub, a cockroach called “General” and a flock of pigeons to try to save the world from both disease and evil humans.   I loved the characters, both animal and human, in this imaginative tale.

My adult reading was pretty heavy hitting this past week - both Susan Minot's Thirty Girls and Alex Myers' Revolutionary are memorable for their contrasting darkness and light.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura. This is the first time I'm seeing these books. Wanderville and The Last Wild in particular caught my eye. They look interesting.