On my blog this week:
- A round-up of mostly education-themed online reading
- Some suggestions for what to read when you finish all of John Green’s novels
- A review of an excellent picture book biography of folk artist Clementine Hunter
- A Top Ten List for people who love lists
I finished Bill Konigsberg’s novel, Openly Straight, loaned to me by Kali. There’s a great hook here: Rafe, who has not only been out since eighth grade but also an active spokesman for gay rights,has decided to go back into the closet–sort of. He leaves the open and accepting community of Boulder to attend an all boy’s boarding school in Massachusetts where he is choosing not to tell anyone he’s gay. He’s accepted into the jock group, which is a novel experience for him, and in many ways, he fits right in. But of course hiding his sexuality becomes increasingly problematic and he’s also faced with some difficult choices when some of his new friends make homophobic comments. An engaging, quick read that gives the reader plenty to think about–and also features some super supportive parents. Yay for good parents in a YA novel!
Maybe I would have liked Getting the Girl more if I had read the first book in the series, Fighting Ruben Wolfe. But I kind of don’t think so. This book does have some similarities with I Am the Messenger, which I loved, but, unlike Ed in Messenger, Cameron isn’t the most interesting character himself, and once again, the love interest is incredibly underwritten. But it counts for The Hub Reading Challenge AND my YA Shelf of Shame challenge!
My son and I read 16 picture books this week, and these were my favorites:
This one touches me in the cante, as my Lakota students used to say (cante is Lakota for heart). All the Things I Love About You is a sweet-but-never-cloying story written and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, enumerating all the ways a mother loves her son. My son is much too old for this story, but I can tell it touches him in the cante too. I read it to him after I first adopted him, but it didn’t mean much then–to either of us. Now it does.
How in the WORLD did I miss this terrific Yuyi Morales title before now? Just a Minute is a counting book with English-Spanish counting and a trickster tale with a twist–Grandma is the one doing the tricking! Gorgeous art, vivid writing, a clever twist. Good stuff!
This is another book I feel like I should have read before now. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is a terrific story of a shy loner who begins reaching out and helping others after he receives a valentine with an anonymous message and believes that someone loves him. It’s about the ways that small acts of kindness and caring can bring people together. It has a wonderful ending, too.
Hope everyone has a terrific reading week!