Note: Thanks for Jen and Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts for inspiring many of us to share what we have been reading. I will try to join the fun as regularly as possible.
I kind of unplugged from the web last week to get caught up on a lot of other things so this week's "It's Monday What are You Reading" will cover most of the last 2 weeks of my reading and what I hope to accomplish this week.
The three picture books shown above (Ball for Daisy, Little White Rabbit and Me ... Jane) were all new books for me that were also a part of the class Caldecott Mock Vote we finished last week. I think all three had some very laudable elements to them, but Me ... Jane was by far and away the best book of this bunch. And I really can't put a finger on why I like it so much. I was very happy that it won a Caldecot Honor. And to be honest I was quite surprised that Ball for Daisy won the Caldecott Medal. It was a fun little story but, I don't think it is even Chris Raschka's best work.
Theodore Boone: The Abduction is a middle grade mystery that was somewhat entertanining. I think many of my kids will dive right into it. However, I did not enjoy it as much as the first Theodore Boone book. It seemed like Grisham was trying to do way too much with the plot of this one.
The Whisper is the sequel to The Roar, a book I read about two years ago and have been waiting like crazy to see what happes to Mika and Ellie. The Whisper is a fast paced dystopian novel, which is usually right in my wheelhouse. However, maybe the waiting was better than the actual book. By the second half of the story things got a little too ridiculous for me. However, I know many of my kids who have devoured The Roar will be just like me and want to get their hands on The Whisper. It will be interesting to see if they have similar thoughts as I did.
Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood St is part mystery, part magical realism, part reworking of the Robin Hood story and for me it was all fun. Four middle school students living in NYC discover that a bracelet connects them with a source of magic that only works when injustice abounds. These kids end up secretly helping local tennants battle a development company that is trying to take over property in Brooklyn. At times it might have got a little heavy handed on the moral play that corporate greed is all consuming, but if you don't let that get in the way, you might have some fun with this book.
I had heard a great deal about the concept of "Presentation Zen", so in a weak moment I downloaded Presentation Zen: Design to my Kindle. Definitely not a well written book, but it did share some interesting ideas about how slideshows should or shouldn't be designed. Methinks I need to send this book to the people who are designing professional development PowerPoints for my district. There is denfinitely no Zen in those monstrocities.
I got a slew of new books on Saturday and I am having a hard time deciding what to read first. The four below went right to the top of my TBR stack.