This summer I am taking part in a fun competition known as #summerthrowdown between teachers and librarians to see who can read the most books. Over the last week, I have read 6 books that count toward my numbers, plus one I was over half way done with come Monday. Here are some of my thoughts on what I have read so far.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I was actually rereading this book in preparation for the movie coming out this fall. I remember just loving it the first time I read it in my early college years. While I still enjoyed the story, I was not as crazy about it as I remember. It may be an age thing. I think I connected more with the characters when I was 18 and setting out into the world and figuring out who I was. I still love the story and Charlie, Sam, and Patrick as characters but not as much as I remembered. I am still excited to see the movie this fall, especially since Emma Watson is starring in it!
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Thank goodness for Twitter and Goodreads or else I would miss out on so many amazing elementary and middle grade novels that I would not have heard of otherwise. This book made me laugh and I found it to be incredibly entertaining. I love the Star Wars draw in and the many different voices of the students brought into the narrative. I think that some reluctant readers in my classroom would still enjoy this. I can’t wait to get my hands on Darth Paper Strikes Back.
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M Martin
I had no idea Martin wrote other books besides BSC books, which I grew up on. I found this book as well as Everything for a Dog at the Scholastic Book Fair. I was looking for a light read one night and got through this in one sitting. I don’t mind books from an animal’s POV and found Squirrel to be a lovable dog. Some parts were sad and made me angry to see how people will treat animals, though I know it is true. Overall, it was a sweet story I read in one sitting.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
I have been following Johnson on Twitter for some time before reading any of her books. I find her to be an absolute riot! I loved this book! I love that the setting is London. It made me want to travel back to London the entire time I was reading it. I love the pull in of Jack the Ripper, one of the most terrifying murderers of all time. I love the supernatural aspect in this. And the cliffhanger ending makes me wait in anticipation for the next book in this series. I cannot wait to read more of Johnson’s work.
Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville
I came across this book thanks to my coteacher. She added her vase YA collection to our classroom library this year. She recommended Armageddon Summer and I was intrigued so I packed it up with my other summer reading books. I found this to be very intriguing. First of all, there is something to be said about the whole cult following and mind set of people in that. The alternating point of views between Marina and Jed showed two different approaches to Revered Beelson and his followers. And despite the extreme conditions of being in this camp awaiting the end of the world, they go through typical questions and discoveries many people of all ages do. I liked the suspense I felt as I wondered what would happen on July 27.
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
This one was recommended by my good teaching friend Sarah over at YALove when I was planning my first Donors Choose Project. It was very hard for me to read this school year because so many students checked it out. I knew it was coming home with me this summer. I found Knowles’ writing to be honest and heartfelt. Again, I love alternating points-of-view and the idea of four in this one was amazing. There is a string message of how teen pregnancy affects many people around the mother and father. I found Ellie’s struggles to be very strong. I really felt for Corrine as the friend trying to be there for Ellie while also coming to terms with everything herself. This will be another one I will promote hard next school year.
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
On the recommendation of a Twitter friend and fellow #nerdybookclub member, I listened to this on audio. This is one of the best books I have ever listened to and it is making it hard to listen to something else. Rex’s writing is hilarious and I love J-Lo and Gratuity both. There are also some strong messages that really make you think about our actions in the past. I have the paper copy of this in my room as well and will talk it up. The idea that this will be a Dreamworks movie starring Jim Parsons in 2014 makes it that much better.
Didn’t read as much this weekend as it was my birthday and I was visiting Shawn. Going to enjoy this beautiful day in the patio with my next #summerthrowdown book and I will share some more titles and thoughts next week!