One thing I was reminded of, over and over, is that reader choice matters far more than levels. Choose what you WANT to read. Choose what makes you laugh, or helps you figure out how to make something, or satisfies your need to know about something, or lets you get lost in the story. Tell somebody about it - they may like it too! Or ask what a friend is reading - they may tell you about something you've never heard of, but is awesome.
I had a lot of time to read in the airport, on the bus, and on the plane for this trip (yay!). I finally read The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. It's subtle, intense, and strong. If I were going to try a six- word-summary, I might say: "Escapes Blitz; horses/love nurture recovery." I also read the charming graphic novel awkward by Svetlana Chmakova. Six word summary? "Art/Science clubs' rivalry challenges newbie." That doesn't even begin to cover the beautifully drawn expressions - there are some realistic looks and some manga exaggerations - both are so great, and helped me see how the friendships unfolded.
The other graphic novel I devoured (seriously - there was a LOT of time to read. It was awesome.) was Cece Bell's El Deafo. This childhood memoir gave me a look at the challenges hard of hearing and deaf people face. Speaking of face - lip reading is next to impossible when the speaker's face is not clear to the listener/watcher, and there are so many ways a person's face can be blocked. I know that now! If I had stopped to think about it logically, I could have figured out most of it, but I never did until I read El Deafo. The other thing I loved about it is the way Bell shows what sound is like through pictures, not just words. Come check it out from the library when we get back and see for yourself. I also loved the way her friendships felt so real, full of ordinary complications and misunderstandings and joys I remember from my own childhood. If you like this, you may also enjoy Real Friends by Shannon Hale, another childhood memoir in graphic novel format.
I'm so much looking forward to hearing about what kinds of things you have been reading, and how you have challenged yourself for #ReadingWithoutWalls and how you have found things you love to #feedtheread.