How was your summer? Did you have a chance to relax and read? Did you read something worth sharing?
My picture book favorite of the summer is Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena. The illustrations remind me a little of Ezra Keats' books - colorful and easy to understand, with fun details. It won't be giving too much away to say that a bus ride can be full of interest!
My middle school favorite of the summer is Booked, by Kwame Alexander. Soccer, family, friendships, and an extremely cool librarian are reasons I'll read this again. It's a novel in verse, so each chapter is a short poem, all in different styles. This genre was new for me but made me feel like a puzzle solver at the beginning. By the end, I was so pulled into the story, I forgot to notice how it was presented.
Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest, by John Lechner is my elementary graphic novel summer favorite. Sticky Burr just wants to play his guitar and hang out, but other burrs chase him into trouble where he find someone else who needs help even more than he does. Will teamwork save the day? The art is full of "Where's Waldo" moments - the longer you look, the more you find.
An elementary non-graphic novel, Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George came out recently. If you loved Tuesdays at the Castle, where the children of the royal family, in their parents' absence, work to hold their kingdom together with the help of the Castle and a few other unlikely allies, you'll love this latest addition to the series.
Picture Book: Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks, Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez
Elementary Graphic Novel: Jellaby: Monster in the City, Kean Soo
Middle School Novel: Flora and Ulysses, Kate DiCamillo
What did you read? What else would you recommend?
Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Tale of Desperaux, Because of Winn Dixie, the Mercy Watson series, and much more, with her most recent book out being Raymie Nightingale.
Here's what she had to say on Facebook about the holiday weekend:
I am a big fan of Getting Things Done.
I have a List.
I make Goals.
I impose Deadlines.
But over the long weekend, I gave myself permission to sit on front porch with my feet up.
And what did I do?
I read. And read and read and read.
I sank, blissfully, into the world of words.
Oh, summer reading.
Fiction is fun, no doubt, but sometimes you just need to know the facts! Whether you want to know more about planets or bugs or volcanoes or flowers or how to make a cake, nonfiction is fascinating.
Seymour Simon is an author who started out as a school teacher - he first wrote an article for Scholastic Magazines in 1963 about what astronauts might find on the moon. Since then he's written more than 250 books - your neighborhood branch of the public library probably has a few copies on their shelves! You can browse his site as well to find interviews, his blog, and more - signing up is free. (Note: he does have some fiction as well, but most of his work is nonfiction with great pictures.)
What would you like to know more about?
You probably already know Mo Willems from Knuffle Bunny or Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Did you know he also has a twenty five-book series with Elephant and Piggie? I first heard these in a public library during toddler read-aloud time: these books are made to be read aloud!
The two friends get into all kinds of interesting situations (I'm looking at you, There Is a Bird On Your Head and I Will Surprise My Friend), and their faces and their speech bubbles (size, font, wiggly shape) help the reader know how they sound. Take a look at the art on the end pages to see a surprisingly familiar face.
I recently read Kwame Alexander's Booked, which is about a middle school soccer player living a fairly ordinary life (for a kid who's pretty good at soccer), who really doesn't love reading. Other characters include mother, father, best friend, rapping librarian, cute girl who's in the book club...complications, of course, follow. It's written in verse - each short chapter is a poem. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but gave it a try. GOOOAL!
The very first poem has a kind of visual joke - just notice what stands out and you'll put it together, hint, hint. Each poem is different. Most are funny. A few will put a hitch in your mental stride. You, too, will wonder what's in the box.
If you aren't in to soccer, here's a further list of ten novels in verse worth checking out. You may discover that poetry can tell a great story.
Mr. Schu's blog, Watch. Connect. Read. has author interviews and book trailers - yes, just like it sounds - instead of movie trailers, there are book trailers! Mr. Schu loves books and shares that love through his blog - you can find out what's new and exciting there! Scroll down to June 23rd to see a trailer for a graphic novel retelling of Snow White, by Matt Phelan, and then further down to June 22nd to see a funny trailer for The Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus, by Edward Hemingway.
What a fun way to look for something new to read! Did you see anything that had to go on your #ToRead list?
7th graders are looking for a variety of books. Ranger's Apprentice series is a swords-and-sorcery epic saga spanning 12 volumes before creating a new spin-off, BrotherBand. Alice in Wonderland is a classic absurdist fairy tale. Ever After High is a fractured fairy tale series with the children of famous characters (Snow White, Prince Charming, etc.) attending a boarding school together. The website TV Tropes has a fascinating collection of patterns in television.
Did you know several of this summer's movies were books first? Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has a whiny protagonist, but very fun supporting characters with fascinating pictures. What will you be reading this summer?
Summer is the chance to read what you've been wanting to read! Trips to the store, waiting in an office, sitting by the pool -- all of these are perfect times to read. The public library is nice and cool - you can go find new books when you finish the ones you've got.
If you'd like some ideas, here are some links of suggested reading. If you read something you like, let us know! What grade would it be good for?
Here is a slide show by Publisher's Weekly with a selection of picture books. If you want books about baseball, a dad wrote a list of books he and his child enjoyed.
More suggested reading coming. What kind of books would you like to see listed?
Always up for book chats, reading, library memes - proud to be Kepler's first librarian