Monday, November 17, 2014

My Book Obsession - the Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

the Mara Dyer trilogy
by Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Final Book Release Date: November 4, 2014
I have been obsessed with Michelle Hodkin's debut series ever since I first read an early copy of THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER in June of 2011 and stayed up way too late because I couldn't stop reading and woke up too early after a late night because I needed to know what would happen. It instantly became my most often recommended book to all of my friends and students.

Instead of just sharing my thoughts about the final book, I've put my thoughts from all three books in the same place in the hope that if you haven't yet listened to my recommendation to read. this. book. now., this will inspire you to now that you can read through the whole trilogy at once (and not have to wait over three years like I did!).

When it all came full circle...RETRIBUTION
Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.

There is.
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.
She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.
Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived. 
Oh how I love this series! The ending was worth the wait for Michelle to get it just right, and she did. There were expletives said, sections reread, mind blown, paragraphs & lines savored, questions answered, connections to the previous books, smirks on my face, cheers in my head, and fulfillment felt as I read through this final chapter in the Mara Dyer saga.

Where it all started...UNBECOMING
Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.It can. 
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER is one of the most interesting books that I have read in awhile. It blew my mind, kept me on my toes, crawled under my skin, tugged at my heart, and won't get out of my head. It is a multi-layered story: part psychological thriller, part epic teen romance, part high school story, part mystery, part family dynamics, and part suspense. Oh, and I can't forget the slight paranormal tendencies (in the mental sense not creatures) underlying the events of this book. It is a page-turning, hard to put down, want to know what will happen and how the main character will figure it all out kind of book. It starts with a note from Mara setting up the premise that she's going to be telling you her story (under a pseudonym) of why her life is not normal. It's definitely a book you have to read with an open mind so you can just go with it. At times I thought, "oh, this is like ___" only to find out I was wrong, but I could definitely see the influences of other YA books, but done with unique twists. There are lots of "what is going on?!" and "did that just happen?!" moments, but that's what made it so much more readable.

Michelle Hodkin (a debut author!) has an engaging writing style that is a nice balance of descriptive, exciting, humorous, suspenseful, sarcastic, and intelligent. It just draws you in without even realizing it and you find yourself negotiating "just one more chapter before I go to sleep" fifteen times in a row until you can't keep your eyes open anymore. Parts of this book (especially the dialogue) were so smile to myself entertaining I found myself rereading them just to soak them in more and deeply process the subtle references and entertaining quality.

And the main character Michelle has written in Mara? Not the most reliable, or most sane, but she's got an awesome sass to her that I love, and underneath her insecurity and unsureness has a strength and integrity that drew me to her even more. Mara doesn't remember what happened the night the building collapsed and her friends were killed. One of the best parts of this book is the way that Mara's memories of that night start to come back to her. We get flashbacks through her dreams as she gets them - leaving us feeling as unsure as Mara does about what's going on - but eventually we finally get the whole story of that night and the story comes together really well. It's written in the way that makes you feel like the character is feeling at that point in the book - you'll be scared, hopeful, worried, confused, happy, and freaked out when Mara is feeling that way as you go through the story with her.

Should we talk boys now? How about my newest (and quite possibly best ever) literary crush - Noah Shaw. Really, after reading it, I sigh just hearing his name. I love, love, love Noah's character. He's got a great way of talking (and lots of hidden secrets to come) and interacting and being that is just captivating. The parts I found myself rereading the most were the interactions between Mara and Noah. Now, I should warn you, at first I was a little skeptical because he seemed like the stereotypical bad boy, insta-crush, jerk to girls, love interest character, but there's much, much more than meets the eye (or rumor mill as the case may be) with Noah Shaw. Don't let his early interactions fool you - there is an epic sort of romance that develops between Mara and Noah that will have you swooning by the end.

Secondary characters deserve a mention too - maybe because I have two brothers myself and am the middle/only girl, I really enjoyed Mara's relationship with her brothers - especially her older brother Daniel. He's great. He watches out for her, covers for her, protects her, and pushes her to get out there. I want a big brother like him. We also see Mara at her new school after they move out of state and meet her new friend Jamie. He is awesomely sarcastic and witty and good comedic relief. He also serves as commentary to set the stage for what's going on in the new school's dynamics. I enjoyed reading both Daniel's and Jamie's characters; I would have liked a little more of Jamie though.

This book all leads up to an ending that is unexpected and left me wondering What?! How did that happen?! It made me want to go back and reread the whole book with that new perspective and see if it changed my thoughts on earlier parts of the story. It ends at a point that added a final cliffhanger of a twist and left me hoping that there would be more - and there will be a sequel (thank goodness because I need answers!) You may feel a little off balance at the end of this one, but I truly think that's part of the reason that it is so good. I want my stories to surprise me once in awhile and this one was definitely surprising. Be on the lookout for THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER in September!


When it left me dying for more...EVOLUTION
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.She can’t.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.They aren’t.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

I'm not totally sure how to express my feelings about this book because there are so many! My immediate thoughts at the end of it included some unprintable words because I was so blown away. I obsessively loved THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER when I got an early read of it last year, and was eagerly anticipating reading the sequel, THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER, and was extremely lucky to be able to get an early copy loaned to me, and it completely lived up to the anticipation I had going into it. This was a strong second book that definitely matched up to my love of the first book.

I adore Michelle Hodkin, but I finished this book feeling like she's a diabolical genius of a writer. It surprises me that she wasn't a writer before this, and I hope she continues to be one for a long time. Maybe that's part of the reason that I enjoy her writing so much, it came from a spark of an idea for a story, and because her background is diverse, there's a spark to the writing that just really clicks for me. The way the writing is paced, the intelligence to it, the unreliable narrator, the mood, the witty banter, the uncomfortable suspense of not knowing what's going to happen, the love and support of family, the heart at the center of this chaotic psychological thriller, and, yes, the romance, too...it all grabs me and doesn't let me go. I read 544 pages in two days (and those were teaching/working days!) because I just couldn't stop reading. It's a long book that doesn't feel long. It's a sequel that keeps the story moving, but is interesting in its own right. So much was revealed in this book about what's really going on with Mara and Noah and everything that happened. I appreciated that we were given so much information and many questions were answered, but some still are not and more were created that make me anxious to see where this is all headed.

Interestingly, I didn't think this book had as much of the creepy feeling as the first one, but it definitely had suspenseful and psychological tension to it. Favorite characters were back, and new intriguing ones were introduced. Family support and love is still central to the relationships that hold Mara together. And I can't forget the romantic storyline between Mara and Noah Shaw, which because of their unique abilities, becomes even more difficult for them to manage. At its heart, there are questions of truth, reality, trust, faith...all the things that make for a conflicted character who is just trying to hold it all together against odds that seem stacked against her.

As much as I loved this book, there was one thing bugged me. There was a clue fairly early on to a twist that seemed so obvious to me, and Mara is very intelligent, and so it seemed like she should have realized it, but I guess she is dealing with quite a bit of psychosis stuff at this point, so I should cut her some slack for not catching it. I'm still thrilled there is going to be a third book, THE RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER, coming in 2013, especially after the twists and reveals of the ending of this book! Not sure how I'll be able to wait so long!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Where I'll Be - #NCTE14 & #ALAN14

This week I'll be heading to National Harbor (outside Washington, D.C.) for my annual trek to the NCTE Annual Convention. This year will be my 4th time attending the National Council of Teachers of English convention, and my 3rd time presenting. It's one of the most meaningful professional development experiences of my year because not only are there great sessions to attend with gurus in the field of E/LA education, but I have the opportunity to network and continue developing relationships with the amazingly supportive publisher reps who recommend books to bring back for my students, and also a chance to see my edufriends - people I've gotten to know over the year's through my PLN on twitter and now consider friends, even if we only see each other in person a few times a year at conferences. I always feel exhausted, but reinvigorated after attending NCTE. I come back with ideas of things to try in the classroom and ways to improve my teaching, validation of the goals I've set for myself professionally and the growth I'm aiming for, and lots of new and upcoming books to share with my students.

The most exciting part this year is the session I am co-chairing with Sarah Andersen for the second year in a row (it was such a success last year, we're hoping to make it an annual session!). We created a session with roundtables of authors with their editors to talk with teachers about their writing and revising process in order to help teachers take on more of an editor role with the student writers in their classrooms. I heard so many ideas to take right back to my classroom and start implementing last year, and I can't wait to hear what this year's group of authors and editors will have to share that will impact my teaching.

Thank you to all of the amazing publishers who support their authors and editors in attending to make this session possible!

If you're going to be at NCTE, I'd love to see you there (or around anywhere)! Please come say hi if you spot me.
The start of the ALAN Workshop is like English teacher's Christmas, and the energy in the room is equivalent!
Then, on Monday and Tuesday, I get to spend two days listening to author talks and panels discussing YA literature at the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE) Workshop. This is always one of my most anticipated events of the year, and not just for the awesome box of books we get upon arrival (over 40 this year!) but because it's a nice wind down from the craziness of running around at NCTE and I always hear things I can bring back to share with my students and things that remind me why I'm passionate about this field and why I do what I do to get books into the hands of adolescents.  This year will be my 7th straight ALAN Workshop - I can't wait!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Busy Reading, New Role (Chair)

I've been busy reading, very busy reading, but there hasn't been as much time to blog about the books individually because of an exciting new role I've taken on and the reading I've been doing related to it. It became official this weekend!
The Wisconsin State Reading Association (WSRA) Children's Literature Committee is a group of WI education professionals who read widely in an effort to create a master recommendation list of the best books published each year [Sept of the previous year through Dec of the current year] for students based on quality, kid appeal, and value for teacher use. We create two lists: Picture This! (picture books) & Just One More Page! (chapter books up to 8th grade).

I joined this committee last fall, and I'm thrilled to be taking on a new role as the Chair! This weekend, we had our last meeting of the year to discuss and decide on our final lists. Our lists are not revealed publicly until the WSRA Convention in February, but I am excited that every convention attendee (approximately 3000) will receive a copy of the lists this year, and afterwards, it will be posted publicly to share (watch for that post in early Feb!). 

With the changeover and new direction we are heading in for these lists as we work to grow the presence and increase the usefulness, this is a transitional year for us, but I'm proud of the work this group of ten people has done in trying to help teachers, librarians, and parents sort through the wealth of children's books released this past year in order to make recommendations. We selected 120 titles for our Picture This! list and 92 books for Just One More Page! 

So that's where I've been, what I've been working on, and what I'm been focused on lately (outside of my teaching work). I've read over 416 books so far this year (106 of which were novels) - I've upped my picture book reading game considerably. Now I'm anxious to get to those 2015 advanced copies that I had to hide away to avoid temptation until we finished our work on this year's lists!

What would make your list of some of the best books released in 2014?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TTT: Top 10 Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

Barcelona
ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins

Prague
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor

Hogwarts
The HARRY POTTER series by JK Rowling

Paris
STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney

Coldtown
THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black

Cinque Terre, Italy
WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN by Kristin Rae

The Winter Olympics
GOLD MEDAL WINTER by Donna Freitas

Backstage on a Concert Tour
OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord

New Orleans
INFINITYGLASS by Myra McEntire & OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

Midnight Gulch
A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Some More of What I've Been Reading Lately

A busy start to the school year meant not much blogging. It always surprises me even how little reading I get done in the first two weeks of a new school year, but I've been getting back into it. These are the books I've been reading since I got back to start working in my classroom mid-August. Almost all of these are ones I'd consider adding to my classroom library. I'm letting you know why I chose to read it, and then my quick thoughts after reading it (which can also been seen on my goodreads account). Happy reading!

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
(I know, I know, it doesn't come out until June 2015, but I want you to know about it and I hope you'll check out her other books, too.)
I have loved both of Trish Doller's previous books, Something Like Normal & Where the Stars Still Shine, and could not wait to read her next one. There is just something about her writing and her characters that has undoubtedly pushed her onto my must-buy & favorite authors list.
This book, following up Boy Nobody, hits the right notes of keeping the things I enjoyed from the first book while still making it fresh and moving the overall plot forward. Getting to know the main character more, and getting to find out more about the organization behind his assassin work, led to a more engaging read where we're rooting for the main character to come out on top. There is action, excitement, and an intriguing sinister secret organization. I'm handing this to the video game loving boys in my classroom.

Killer Instinct (sequel to The Naturals) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I couldn't wait to read this one after reading the first book and liking it so much (as do my students who have read it). It is a can't-stop-reading kind of book.
This is a fantastic series. Highly engaging, incredibly interesting, and unendingly thrilling. The mental and crime aspects are intriguing, and somewhat frightening. I hope there will be more to this series!





Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt
Another free verse book - yay. Another book addressing issues with bullying. Another book that will appeal to the boys in my classroom and help them see other perspectives on an issue that affects them.
A bully finds a different side to himself - there was more to him than anyone knew. He is the poetry bandit, sharing found poems, and telling his story in free verse.

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
I had been hearing so many good things about this middle grades book and needed a quick read. This was a perfect choice. Now I want to share it with our science teacher.
A great early middle grades book with heart. Science concepts tie in to make the family elements even stronger, and the humor inherent in the concept makes for an entertaining story.



Empower (the final book in the Embrace series) by Jessica Shirvington
I have been waiting and waiting for this digital copy to be available from my library. I could not stop reading the first four books in this series (I've been a fan since I had an ARC of the first book from my first NCTE convention).
A satisfying conclusion to an addictively readable series.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
I had been hearing about this Swoon Reads title, a love story told from 14 different POVs, for awhile, and was in the mood for something light and fun.
Very unique concept to tell a romance story through 14 different voices - none of which are the couple at the center of the will they or won't they get together situation - and it succeeds. I especially smiled at the bench and squirrel voices every time. Added into the voices of a brother, friends, classmates, a professor, a diner waitress, a Chinese delivery guy, a bus driver, and a barista, it becomes easy to follow what's going on in Gabe's and Lea's lives throughout this school year at college. It's a quick read, a cute story, and has one of my all time favorite big brothers in any book. A Little Something Different is true to it's title, and is also fun to read and entertaining. It's a romance of two unsure people with missed opportunities and misunderstandings, and the way everyone around them sees what's happening and is rooting for them, even while they struggle to figure it out themselves. Although the characters are in college, the book is clean with just a bit of underage drinking (fake IDs are mentioned in the first line), but nothing else questionable, so this could be handed to students with other YA offerings. This is a book for the sky kids. If you're looking for a little something different in a sweet romance, try A Little Something Different.


I Am the Mission (Boy Nobody, renamed I Am the Weapon, book 2) by Allen Zadoff
I really enjoyed reading Boy Nobody last year, and knew that it would be the kind of action-packed, exciting book that would appeal to the boys in my classroom, so I was eager to find out what would happen next.
This book, following up Boy Nobody, hits the right notes of keeping the things I enjoyed from the first book while still making it fresh and moving the overall plot forward. Getting to know the main character more, and getting to find out more about the organization behind his assassin work, led to a more engaging read where we're rooting for the main character to come out on top. There is action, excitement, and an intriguing sinister secret organization. I'm handing this to the video game loving boys in my classroom.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
This was highly recommended to me by one of the HarperCollins reps (thanks, Molly!) at ALA.
The Jewel is being compared to Kiera Cass' The Selection, and I think that's appropriate. They both have that same sense of being addictive reading (with some plot holes or unnecessary deviations) with instalove, but not being great literature. And talk about a cliffhanger ending... It's an interesting premise for a world, and there are hints of fascinating world-building, but I still didn't feel like I fully understood how/why things are like they are. But I still couldn't stop reading. It's full of political intrigue and societal commentary and a bit of a whole lot of stuff. Basically, I'll be waiting for the next book, and will have students who will like it, but it won't make a best of list for me. I would also recommend to readers who liked Aimee Carter's Pawn and Marie Rutkowski's The Winner's Curse.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Some of What I've Read Lately

I had a busy summer and beginning of the school year, and I've been trying to read as much as possible, which has led to not as much blogging happening. But I wanted to share some of what I read over the last part of summer that I've added to my classroom library so you can watch for these titles, too. I'm letting you know why I chose to read it, and then my quick thoughts after reading it (which can also been seen on my goodreads account). Happy reading!


The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley
The premise of this graphic novel was intriguing to me, the title is fun, and I'm always looking for new graphic novel stories to include in my classroom library.
Funny, entertaining, honest. An autobiographical graphic novel dealing with the author's start in coca in middle school and how he had self-published by age 15. I'm betting my students will enjoy this one.





Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
I've had this book on preorder since it was first announced. You can bet I was starting it as soon as I was able to get my hands on it. I loved Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, so I was anxious to read this final companion book. I love not only Perkins' love stories, but the unique ability she has to make a setting into its own character.
Worth the wait! Reading this book made me so happy, and I couldn't put it down until I was done. So, so good. This was a great story on its own and getting glimpses to catch up on the characters from the previous books was fun. Perkins once again exemplifies a city/setting becoming a character in her deft hands. Her romances are sweet and layered and not without their struggles, but they and her characters feel so real. Loved it!

The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
My students love Lisa's free verse books, and the storyline of this one intrigued me.
I enjoyed this story told in alternating voices and verse/prose, so we get both the boy's and the girl's perspective of a budding friendship between two kindred spirits. Having hopes beyond what parents can see, and feeling alone, Colby and Lauren find a friend who understands them just when they need it. My favorite part was seeing how their relationship developed and grew from when they first met through many interactions after. I have a feeling my students will really like this one. While I felt some parts happened too easily, there are some heavy themes addressed within. It's a quick read. I would recommend this to those who liked One for the Murphys.

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
There was a lot of buzz about this book in the middle school teacher and #weneeddiversebooks circles, so I wanted to read it and see what it was all about. Plus, I love heist stories.
Took a bit to get into it with the numerous characters and history to catch up on, but moved quickly after that. Fast-paced Ocean's 11 type heist story set in middle school. Entertaining. Perfect for fans of Heist Society and The Fourth Stall.




Atlantia by Ally Condie
It's Ally Condie! I was a huge fan of the Matched series, so I was anxiously awaiting her next book - and it's a standalone.
I was very much looking forward to Ally Condie's follow up to the Matched series, and although I wasn't as enamored with Atlantis as I was the first series, I still enjoyed reading it for it's uniqueness and heart and engaging writing style. I will definitely be handing this off to students this fall. It seems a bit of a quieter book (perhaps having to do with the underwater location), and has themes of religion and persecution and acceptance and trust and truth and family and determination and corruption and environmentalism and self-reliance woven throughout within a well-built world.


Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo
No matter how many people recommended Shadow & Bone to me, I was determined to wait until closer to the release of the third book to start it, and I still started too early in April. They were all right-it's an amazing series! I was dying for the final book to find out how this story would end-at least I didn't have too long to wait.
A satisfying end to a great series. Will continue to recommend to my students looking for an engaging YA fantasy trilogy.




The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
This one sounded like a powerful diverse story, and another free verse option, and she was signing at ALA, so I stopped by the publisher booth to get a signed copy.
Told in verse from a young girl's perspective, The Red Pencil is a powerful story of survival and finding hope in the midst of the horrors of war in Sudan, addressing the complications that go along with it in a way that is accessible to younger readers. Pair with A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story.



Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
Terry saw on twitter that I was looking for 2014 middle grades books for my committee work & asked if she could send me her book to consider. I'm so glad she did because it was great!
Great story of survival and moving past grief. Love the Alaskan setting and the sled dogs and their relationship with strong, smart female main character. Pair with any survival story.






The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
So many teachers had been talking about this one toward the end of the year, and it sounded like it would especially hook all the basketball playing boys in my room. I'm always on the lookout for free verse books with guy appeal.
A story of family, basketball, and heart written in engaging verse.







Some Boys
by Patty Blount

I love her powerful, gritty, realistic stories of heavy issues that face teens today.
If the news reports are any indication, as it keeps happening over and over, there is a need for books for young adults that address rape, rape culture, slut shaming, spreading of viral videos of attacks, and consent. This can be one of those books, and because it is written in an engaging way, can aid in the conversations that should be happening. Patty Blount writes books about tough topics! that teens need to be reading. Having dual POVs provides the perspective of not only the survivor, but also the best friend of the attacker, giving a glimpse into both sides of a he said, she said story that is all too common. This is a book to pair with Speak, that adds the element of more of the post-technology advancements to the equation.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Legend series is a favorite, so had to read this one right away!
Lu has built an intriguing and dark new (old?) world. Power, trust, family, policy, royalty, fights, rulers, darkness, and magic abound. The last nine pages changed the game and left me anxious to read the next installment.









One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
I really liked Shirvington's Embrace series, and this one sounded like an intriguing premise. Read this in one sitting because I couldn't go to sleep not knowing how it would end. Although elements were predictable, I enjoyed it. Think Every Day meets Pivot Point with a dash of Girl Interrupted.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ATLANTIA by Ally Condie + Giveaway

Title: ATLANTIA
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Children's (a Penguin imprint)
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Number of Pages: 368
Source of Book: ARC from Publisher at ALA

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
        For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
        Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

My Thoughts:
I was very much looking forward to Ally Condie's follow up to the Matched series, and although I wasn't as enamored with Atlantia as I was the first series, I still enjoyed reading it for it's uniqueness and heart and engaging writing style. I will definitely be handing this off to students this fall. It seems a bit of a quieter book (perhaps having to do with the underwater location), and has themes of religion and persecution and acceptance and trust and truth and family and determination and corruption and environmentalism and self-reliance woven throughout within a well-built world.


Because I ended up with a second advanced copy of Ally Condie's new book, Atlantia, in the mail (Thanks, Penguin Classroom!!),  I'm giving away an early ARC to one reader. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 11, 2014

2014 Picture Book 10 for 10

I have been making a concerted effort to read more picture books in the last year, and with my work on the Wisconsin State Reading Association's (WSRA) Children's Literature Committee, it has given me even more reason to. And then, when I found out I would have an additional 10 minutes for each class period this coming year, I decided I would do a picture book #bookaday read aloud each of the 178 days that I see my students this coming school year. That's a lot of picture books I need to know. Even more reason to share in my #pb10for10 post. Last year, since it was my first year participating, I chose to make the list my favorites. This year, I decided to think back on all the books I've read this year that are 2014 releases and do a list of my Top 10 Favorite Picture Books of 2014 (so far).
My #pb10for10 Favorite Picture Books of 2014 (so far)

Flight School by Lita Judge



Pardon Me! by Daniel Miyares

Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (wordless)

Hunters of the Great Forest by Dennis Nolan (wordless)

Froodle by Antoinette Portis

Pirate, Viking & Scientist by Jared Chapman

Over There (a Pixar Animation Studios Showcase) by Steve Pilcher

This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris

Thursday, August 7, 2014

TTT: Top Ten Books I'd Give to Readers Who Have Never Read a Free Verse Novel

Catching that silly summer cold over the weekend, I completely missed Top Ten Tuesday, so I'm making it a Top Ten Thursday this week.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Books I'd Give to Readers Who Have Never Read 
a Free Verse Novel

WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN'T KNOW by Sonya Sones
TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story by Sonya Sones

LOVE & LEFTOVERS by Sarah Tregay
THE DAY BEFORE by Lisa Schroeder

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
WORDS WITH WINGS by Nikki Grimes

THE RED PENCIL by Andrea Davis Pinkney
INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai

SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP by Ron Koertge
THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander

What are free verse books would you recommend?

 
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