Spring break has now come to an end. This year, I challenged myself to participate in #BookaDay. The plan was to read a book per day over break. I was well prepared with a bag full of books that I brought home from school. Things went pretty well, despite a small snag in the plans. Here are the books I read over break.
1. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
This book was actually recommended to me by a student. He described it to me as a cross between Harry Potter and Hunger Games. He let me borrow his copy. I had started to read it before break started and finished it up on Saturday. Overall, I can say I enjoyed the book. I was not crazy about it, but I felt fairly entertained throughout. I can definitely see the appeal for younger audiences.
2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This book…this book…wrecked me. However, it wrecked me in a good way. I was commenting not to long ago how it has been awhile since I really cried in a book. I have had emotional attachments to books and have been a little teary eyed, but lately nothing has really brought the sobs out. All that changed when I read A Monster Calls. This story is just beautiful. There is no way to fully put into the words how this book made me feel. Everyone should read this book.
3. Paper Towns by John Green
I will start this by saying I have loved John Green’s work before. The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska are two of my favorite books I have ever read. I was really pulled into Paper Towns at the beginning but as the story went on, I found my attention and interest falling a bit. I just wanted Q to find Margo and figure it all out. I felt a bit lost with the ending. I feel as though I have missed something here. I enjoyed the book but I was not as crazy over it as I have been with Green’s other work.
4. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
I must borrow the words of Colby Sharp to describe this masterpiece: “This book fills my heart.” I loved Applegate’s work in Home of the Brave when I read in my Diversity in Lit class. She is an amazing writer, even when using only a few words. The story of Ivan is heartfelt and moving. I hope students will give this book a try to just enjoy this beautiful piece of literature.
Now at this point in my break, something very uncommon happened. I traveled out of town. The first bag a packed was a bag of books. I planned on doing a lot of reading. Well, I arrived at my destination to find I left said bag at home in my kitchen. So, that changed things. Thank goodness for the Nook app on my I-Phone I was able to still do some reading, though not what I had anticipated.
5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
This book has been sitting on my Nook since last summer. It was recommended by a friend but I just never got to it. I am quite sorry I waited so long to get back to it. This is a touching story about the friendship and bond between Henry, who is Chinese, and Keiko, who is Japanese, during World War II. I am very interested in stories that center around the Japanese Internment Camps of the 1940s. (For a great novel on this for younger readers, check out Thin Wood Walls by David Patneaude.) I know a great complaint about this book are the anachronisms associated with the part of the story taking place in the 1980s, but if you can look beyond that, it is a lovely story.
During said road trip, I did have the foresight to check out audio books from the library before I left. I finished on of them on the trip.
6. Shattering Glass by Gail Giles
I have been wanting to read this book for awhile. It was suggested by Sarah Anderson to me when I planned my first Donors Choose project. I was blown away by this story. It was absolutely nothing like I anticipated. It was a little confusing at first with the audio to have the statements from witnesses after the fact but I soon caught on. I loved that Young was far from perfect, yet believable. I also loved the characters of Ronna and Coop. I wanted the CD to read faster at times so I can see how everything came to the end that was teased from the beginning and how other characters were involved from what was learned in the flash forwards. I can see why so many of my students go to this book.
7. Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
Put this book on the top of your to-read list and get your hands on it as soon as possible. Easily this book now holds a place on my favorite books ever list. Lucky is just an amazing character you can’t help but cheer for. Parts had me laughing out loud while other parts, especially page 205, just ripped my heart out. And I truly believe that everybody does see the ants. At least, I know I do. Perfect book to wrap up #bookaday with!