The kidlit edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts. Drop by to find out what others are reading or to add your blog to the list.
So far, May #bookaday isn’t going so well. I got off to a great start: 11 books in 9 days. And then…. inertia happened. And also the Internet. So distracting! I am in the middle of reading a lot of books, so if I can just finish some of those, I’m sure I’ll reach my reading goal.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on The Hub 2013 Reading Challenge.
Stargazing Dog is on the Graphic Novels list. I did not like the art in this graphic novel, for the most part. The dog and the sunflowers were nice, but the people were creepy. But I did like the story here: on one level, it’s about how we should all love our dogs more, but on another level, it’s a philosophical story about how we are all stargazing dogs, longing for what we can never have.
Stonewall Honor book Sparks by s.j. adams comes with a mouthful of a subtitle: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie. Debbie has long been in love with her best friend, Lisa, and has finally decided to confess all–on the same night that Lisa and her blah boyfriend may be planning to consummate their relationship. But Debbie’s quest is much bigger than the pursuit of Lisa. The story is really about making new friends and figuring out who you are. This book reminded me a bit of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and a bit of Weetzie Bat–very good company. It’s not as good as those two books, but it was an enjoyable story.
The last book I read for the Hub Challenge was Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. For whatever reason, I wanted to be able to resist its charms, but I couldn’t. It’s a delightful story. I don’t think a summary can really do it justice, but I liked it and the other book I’ve read from this year’s Alex Award winners (books written for adults with appeal for teens) so much that I now want to read all the books that won the Alex. Well, except for the Jeffrey Dahmer graphic novel. I don’t need to read that one.
Lizzie Skurnick’s Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading brought back many, many memories of the reading I did from ages 10 to 16 or so. Though it turns out, I remember most of the books really wrong. Maybe that’s because I was reading Happy Endings Are All Alike (you can read Skurnick’s original column on that 1978 YA classic here) when I was 10. In this novel, two lesbians come out and one of them gets raped by a guy who hopes to “cure” her–at least according to Skurnick’s summary, and I’m going to have to take her word for it, because I remember not one bit of this. How much of that would have been over my head at age 10? All of it. And then some. My Barbie and Ken dolls didn’t even have plastic doll sex when I was 10.
Finally, we listened to Anastasia Krupnik on audio as the family drove to a soccer game almost 100 miles away. (Fun fact about living in South Dakota: you think nothing of driving 200 miles round-trip for an hour-long soccer game.) First published in 1979, this is another book I do remember reading around age 10 (and probably understanding a lot more than Happy Endings or Go Ask Alice or Flowers in the Attic). There is some dated dialogue, but it holds up remarkably well. The writing is very strong. Anastasia just might have the best parents in all of children’s literature, too.