Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/7/14Re

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

Well, the 2013 Maine Student Book Award winner has been announced and I am so thrilled that the kids of Maine chose RJ Palacio's Wonder.  It is an incredibly powerful story and my students have all loved it… just as much as I do!

 I've been on a little fantasy bender of late, by accident, really and in so doing I realized how much I've grown as a reader in the past few years.  Fantasy used to be a genre that I tolerated, but it has grown to be one that I love.  I credit my students for that transformation, as they have always shown me the way when it comes to the magical world of fantasy.

Rec. for grades 5-8
And speaking of growing as a reader, I haven't quite become a fan of scary stories, but Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener is an exception.  I had the huge privilege of seeing Auxier speak at the AASL conference in October and I was smitten - he is funny, thoughtful, and passionate about literature.  I was almost a little nervous to read his book, for fear that the book wouldn't live up to the man, but I couldn't put The Night Gardener down.  It is creepy, atmospheric and heartbreaking, at times.  I can't wait to hand it to kids who beg me for scary stories, because while it certainly fits that bill, it also touches on so many themes: greed, family, vulnerability, and bravery, to mention just a few.  Don't miss this one when it comes out in May!

Rec. for grades 5-8

Tania Unsworth's One Safe Place reminded me a bit of Kate Messner's Wake Up Missing, as they are both about children thinking they are going somewhere special and wonderful, only to find that they are a part of a horrific scientific experiment.  One Safe Place is a dystopian tale that is both chilling and fast paced. When Devin’s grandfather dies, Devin must bury him and leave the farm that they have been living on together. He walks to the city, hoping to find food, work, or help. Instead he is whisked off to a children’s home, with promises of plentiful food and care. All is not as it seems, though, and Devin and his new friends work to uncover a sinister plot that endangers their lives.  Unsworth paints a vivid picture of the contrast between the farm, the city, and the horror that is the Home.

I loved the adult books I read this week too!

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