I'm participating in a meme created by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts. I'm reviewing what I've read over the last several weeks in an attempt to catch up!
I've been negligent recently in posting on my blog. Life has been a little overwhelming! But, it's returning to a normal routine. We're settling in nicely to a new home, figuring out new commute schedules, I'm writing a series of articles with Holly Mueller for Choice Literacy, my daughter is enjoying her first few weeks of preschool, and I'm up to my eyeballs in teaching reading to my 5th graders. It's a great place to be! I'm ready to hop back into blogging. Let's get started with what I've been reading over the last few weeks.
MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS:
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
Oh, wow! This was such a little book with so much to say! A childless couple finds a young boy on their porch. They have no idea where he came from or who he belongs to. There is a note with the boy that states someone will be back to get him someday. John and Marta (the couple) aren't sure if they should seek out the parents of the boy or not. The boy (Jacob) is mute and loves to paint and play music. John and Marta grow to love the boy and face a hard choice when the boy's father shows up. This book is full of meaning: the meaning of one's name, the meaning of family and love, and the meaning of taking care of those that are left uncared for. I can't wait to get it in the hands of my fifth graders to see what they think!
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
I don't know how I haven't before read this book all the way through, but I'm sure glad I listened to the audio! I have a book group reading this at school, as I thought it fitting for our empathy unit. I know they'll love the tales about Joey trying (and often failing) to control himself both in and out of school. The audio version was read by Jack Gantos, which was great. Fun read!
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
I don't know how I haven't read this book until now. It's a wonderful coming-of-age story of Esperanza, a priveledged Mexican girl whose circumstances are changed dramatically upon the death of her father. She and her mother are forced to move to the United States and become migrant workers. Her mother falls sick and it's up to Esperanza to make money for the family. She comes to realize just how important staying together as a family is, even without the luxuries she is used to.
The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
I listened to this novel. It's the story of a young professional woman who discovers she has a family she was unaware of in Sonoma County, CA. Through her discovery of her "new" family, she finds a different lifestyle and a realization there is more to life than work.
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
The Illuminated Adventures of Flora and Ulysses
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner