Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Am I Reading? 7/31/17

The weekly post where I recap all the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Occasionally, I’ll also review some adult fiction books as well.

Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR pile.

Picture Books

Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful book. Both the illustrations and the text are just wonderful. We read this one 3 times in a row. I will be buying this one for my bookshelf. 

 Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

I was so excited to read Little Red. I think that the artwork is stunning. Whenever I am reading a fairy tale, I love it when the story is authentic. What I mean is that it's not changed just because it's for little kids. Granny gets eaten by the wolf, not locked in a closet. And this one does not disappoint. It is Little Red with a bit of a twist in the end. My daughter's only complaint was that it was too short.

 The Doghouse by Jan Thomas

I was not particularly excited about this book--my daughter wanted to get it. But I was pleasantly surprised. It ended up being cuter than I thought and the reactions of the animals in the book was comical. It was worth reading one time. 

The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex

I have never read The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, but I loved this parody. With its creepy monsters, this one just seems fitting for my tastes. My daughter loved it, exclaiming that she was the little mummy and I was the mom. Sounds good to me.

 An After Bedtime Story written by Shoham Smith illustrated by Einat Tsarfari

This was a fun little book. I like how the illustrations really fill out the story and add a layer that adults would find entertaining. My daughter liked this enough that we read it twice in a row.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

This was a cute book. But I do think it was designed as a book to be given to high school seniors as a graduation gift. Nothing wrong with that.

 Still a Gorilla written by Kim Norman illustrated by Chad Geron

Cute book and pictures with a cute message about accepting yourself. It's worth checking out at the library. 

Chapter Books

 Furry and Flo: The Big Hairy Secret written Thomas Kinsley Troupe illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

This was an enjoyable read. The illustrations are fun and I would recommend this to a child that enjoys a monsters and mystery. It's not really creepy, even for a younger child. It does feel like an intro book for the rest of the series, so the subsequent books may have a stronger story. 

 Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive  

This is another book that I have been interested in reading and hoped that my daughter would like. I enjoy books like Goosebumps and I was hoping that this series would be in that vein, just for a younger audience. I was disappointed. I understand that early chapter books need to be easier to read, but this does not mean that the story needs to suffer. I felt like it was overly simplistic. I have yet to find a spooky series that is for younger kids. 

Middle Grade

 The Demon Notebook by Erika McGann
**In a previous post, I listed this book as a YA novel. Although it was shelved at the library as such, it is, in my opinion, a middle grade book.**

I have been wanting to read this book for ages. I went into it thinking it was YA so I expected it to be creepier and a bit more mature. In that regard, I was disappointed. But once I realized that this was actually middle grade, I started to enjoy it more. I will say that the ending wraps up entirely too quickly and abruptly. 

 Miss Popularity by Francesco Sedita

One of the challenges for BookTube-A-Thon was to read a book about a main character that was different than yourself. This book is totally not in my wheelhouse. Fashion? Style? Popularity? Not me at all. And I really enjoyed the book. Sedita writes the story in such a way that the main character's bubbly-ness is contagious. I found myself wishing that I knew how to do makeup better and wishing that my style was cuter. If you knew me, that is a real feat! This is a great book for 10 to 11yos. 

Tom Swift Young Inventor: Into the Abyss by Victor Appleton
I didn't realize that the Tom Swift novels go all the way back to 1910. Overall, this was a fun book. There was one line that grated on me throughout the entire novel though. One of the characters mentions that the whale shark is the largest creature on the planet. It's not. The whale shark isn't even close to being the biggest creature on the planet (the blue whale is). Given that this book takes place primarily on/in the ocean and the characters are supposed to be smart and knowledgeable, that fact was all but unforgivable. 

Graphic Novels

 Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez

My biggest issue with this book is that it is too short! It was so wonderful that I just wanted more. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is well crafted. I especially enjoy how the antagonist is bested. My 7yo daughter is currently reading it, so it is appropriate for younger kids as well.

Earthling by Mark Fearing
I loved this premise! A boy moves to a new house and accidentally gets on the wrong school bus. But it's a school bus to an intergalactic school. The illustrations were great and the story moves quickly. There was even a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. 

Young Adult  

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
**The Cemetery Boys is solidly a YA novel. It has a fair amount of language, violence and YA level sexual content.** 

Last week, I finished another book by Brewer that I thought was just ok. I wasn't expecting much from this one, but it surprised me. It is a story about the power of belief. And how the belief in something scary and destructive can be more terrifying and harmful than the actual monster. The ending was satisfying, but not your typical neatly wrapped up package. Glad I picked it up. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

It's Poetry Friday - Read-A-Thon

It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out A Word Edgewise to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 

Hello poetry aficionados! Welcome to Poetry Friday! Linda, over at A Word Edgewise, decided to do a 1st line swap this week. We could take one line from her long list of 1st lines and turn it into a poem. In return, we leave a new line for someone else. How fun is that!

I'm going to do this from the seat of my pants as I want to get this posted before heading to bed. The line I grabbed was "I'm obsessed with". It turned out pretty silly, but fun to write all the same.

Revered and Repulsed

I'm obsessed with:
But never EVER:

This week I have been busy with BookTube-A-Thon, a reading marathon where you try to read as much as possible. I've never participated in one before, but it has been fun. So far, I have read 7 books. Not too shabby. Here's my poem about reading. I hope you enjoy.

Monday, July 24, 2017

IMWAYR + BookTube-A-Thon + August Giveaway Reveal

The weekly post where I recap all the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Occasionally, I’ll also review some adult fiction books as well.

Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR pile.

Before we get into the books that I have read, I want to take a second and mention BookTube-A-Thon. It's a great not-so-little event where people around the world collectively read books this week. There's challenges and all sorts of fun. To learn more, check out this YouTube video

I announced that I was participating last week, and you can see my ambitious TBR for this week right here. Yeah. It's a bit crazy. But totally doable, right?

Also, I'd like to announce August's Book Giveaway! On August 14th, I'll be giving away a signed copy of Rodzilla by Rob Sanders! Read below for my review of this amazing picture book.

Picture Books

ðAugust's Book Giveawayð
  Rodzilla written by Rob Sanders illustrated by Dan Santat

We read this one as a whole family and loved it. Maybe it's because we have an almost toddler in the house, but we just rolled while reading this one. Sander's eye-witness news perspective made for a fresh take on the terror that is toddler-hood. And Santat's illustrations are fantastic as well. Lots of bathroom humor, which always seems to be a hit in our house. You'll definitely want to check this one out.

 Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey

We love pugs in our family. And the cover of this book so so darn cute. The rhyme is playful and the illustrations are comical. Both my daughter and I had the same reaction to the end though: "Wait. Is that all?" The climax and falling action happen quickly and I wished there would have been maybe one more stanza. 

 The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell

My daughter has another book by Patrick McDonnell, so she specifically asked if we could read some more of his books. We loved this one. I especially enjoy McDonnell's selective color palate. If you've read by blog, you know that I'm also a fan of most anything with monsters. The Monsters' Monster has a great twist, which actually plays homage to the original Frankenstein's monster. 

Chapter Books

  Princess in Black written by Shannon and Dean Hale illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Funny and clever, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a princess book with a princess with some gumption. My 7yo daughter loved it and wants to continue with the series. My favorite part of the book was when the Princess in Black was fighting a monster and there were big batman-like zingers like "twinkle twinkle little SMASH!" and  "Princess POW!" 

 Goosebumps: Welcome to Dead House by R.L. Stine

This month marks 25 years since Goosebumps hit the shelves. I happened to be 7 at the time so it was absolutely magical when I discovered this beloved series. I think Goosebumps were integral in shaping my own love of horror and comedy. I had never actually read Welcome to Dead House so I decided to pick it up to celebrate.

This one was legitimately creepy. My 7yo self would be been thoroughly scared and entertained. Heck, my 32yo self was creeped out and entertained. I used to own a ton of these books, but I don't know what happened to all of them. I have a goal to slowly acquire as many of them as I possibly can. Have any lying around that you don't want anymore? Send them my way!

Young Adult

 This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I picked this book up after reading some favorable remarks on a horror blog. So I actually thought that it would be creepier than it actually was, but it was still great. A few chapters in, I thought I had the whole plot figured out, but Schwab surprised me and didn't take the conventional line that I anticipated. The writing was solid, the characters were developed, and the story was interesting. The sequel, Our Dark Duet  just came out last month, and I plan on working it into my TBR.

 The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: 8th Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

I audiobooked this one and it was enjoyable. The story started out stronger than it ended though. I know that there is a whole series, but I don't know if I'll pick up the others. I will say that it was well written, the plot was just a little weak. I didn't realize it, but I actually picked up another audiobook (The Cemetery Boys) by Heather Brewer the last time I was at the library. It is narrated by the wonderful Kirby Heyborne, so I'm pretty stoked about that.

Weekly TBR

BookTube-A-Thon starts today and I have a lofty goal to read 15 books. Instead of listing them all here, you can click on this link to see my post with the breakdown. I hope you have a wonderful, book-filled week!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

BookTube-A-Thon 2017 TBR

This past week, I discovered this awesome thing called BookTube-A-Thon. Here's a quick video about what it is specifically:

Basically it is a week-long reading marathon where everyone tries to read as much as possible. There are daily challenges and reading challenges and it just seems like it will be so much fun.

I decided that I wanted to do a KidLit spin on the challenge, so all of my books come from the various children's and YA categories. In the spirit of the event, here is my very ambitious reading goal for the coming week.

Here are the 2017 Reading Challenges:
  1. Read a book with a person on the cover. (Earthling)
  2. Read a hyped book. (The Wonderful Things You Will Be)
  3. Finish a book in one day. (Eerie Elementary)
  4. Read about a character that is very different from you. (Miss Popularity)
  5. Finish a book completely outdoors. (Nightlights)
  6. Read a book you bought because of the cover. (Tom Swift)
  7. Read seven books. (If I manage to finish, I'll have read 15 books!)

Young Adult Books: 

Middle Grade Books:

 Chapter Books:

Graphic Novels:

Picture Books: