It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 5/5/14

IMWAYR

Visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to participate in the kidlit version of this popular weekly meme.

On my blog this week:

In reading:

openly straight

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!

getting the girl

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:

all the things i love about you

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.

just a minute

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!

somebody loves you mr hatch

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!

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3 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 5/5/14

  1. Oh Mr. Hatch. Sigh. This one gets me every time. And I read it often. So, so good. Love the look of both of the other picture books you shared – both fantastic illustrators. They are new to me. So nice you are reading so many picture books with your son.

  2. LeUyen Pham is simply wonderful, this title is one that is unfamiliar to me – so I have to really hunt this one down in our library. Mr. Hatch sounds like a powerful read, and I admire Yuyi Morales’ style – so fearless. I think I own a copy of this Markus Zusak title – I just fell in love with his Book Thief that I am a little apprehensive starting another one of his novels, for fear that it might not live up to my expectations. Openly Straight sounds like a novel that would have been perfect for our diversity reading theme.

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