Howdy, folks! Today it occurred to me that I’ve been posting about my week’s books since June. Fun!
I’ve also been playing with a badge – not because this series has any huge importance, but I just feel like creating a personal shield that says something about me and one of my passions. It’s a draft, and I’ll use it for now. Just like this series, who knows what it will become?
This week’s list is a mix of YA dystopia, historical fiction, an easy chapter book and a new poetry book for young children.
What is Poetry?, by Trudi Strain Trueit
I received an ARC of What is Poetry from Netgalley. Solid non-fiction that works for the youngest readers can be hard to find, and Trudi Trueit always seems to deliver. Our use of poetry with Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten was a delightful celebration of word last year as we jumped into National Poetry month with a passion.
This book would be a very beneficial accompaniment to that work. It explains poetical forms in simple terms without talking down, gives concrete examples of the forms it defines, and provides the reader with numerous resources for further reading. Trueit has a real gift for writing non-fiction that connects with developing readers in an engaging way. She’s demonstrated that attention to detail and developmental appropriateness once again with her latest, which releases September 1st. There are others in the series, but she penned this one only, because, as she told me, “I will turn down work if I don’t feel I have enough time to do my best work. It’s kind of a thing with me!” As one who’s read lots of scantily researched nonfiction for young people, this is something I deeply appreciate, and will use as a model in my own work when I start writing non-fiction for the little guys, too.
The Magical Ms. Plum, by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Amy Portnoy
I love Bonny Becker’s A Visitor for Bear, partly because of how much my students have loved it. I went looking for the other Bear books in the library catalog recently, since Bear has a new book out (A Library Book for Bear), which is on my must-have list, and I needed a fix. I found this gem by Becker in the catalog, and checked it out. Really, what a sweet treat. I can picture which students would really relate to this book and its lovely palette of characters with very separate needs, all met by the wonderful Ms. Plum.
Bear will appear in a MWiB post soon, but this was certainly a lovely detour on my quest.
Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Action galore. Edge of my seat roller coaster ride, both emotional and physical, and with characters I could really love and hate. I will be reading the others in this series, and I even think I’d like to see the movie, from what I’ve heard. I don’t usually want to. I also love that this was recommended by a student and that I liked it (I usually do, though once in awhile…).
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein, audio by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell
Maybe it’s writing a book set during one of the World Wars that has me increasingly fascinated by both of them, the character and nature of the conflict, but most especially the role of women at home and abroad. Code Name Verity gets mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I experienced this book as an audio title and the characterizations were nothing short of exquisite, so beautifully and chillingly performed.
The story follows a female pilot and a female spy in World War II. I found it mesmerizing and I didn’t want it to end.
Did you finish a mesmerizing book recently?