Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summertime Reading Pile – Last update for 2010

No surprise that I’ve read lots of books.  No surprise that the pile isn’t really any smaller.  Somehow or other, as books come off, others are piled on and those that use to be at the top are slowly filtering towards the bottom. Here are some titles that I found particularly enjoyable.

Absolutely positively not gay by David LaRochelle – grades 9 and up. A humorous and relate-able story about denial and acceptance. Emphasis on humorous.

As easy as falling off the face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins – grades 6-10. Somewhat improbable number of calamities for one family but I loved it nevertheless because of the charming characters.

Bird by Zetta Elliott – grades 2-5. The power of family and art coming together for a young boy as he struggles to understand what’s happening to his older brother as he battles drug addiction.

*Chalk by Bill Thomson – grades K-3. A really wonderful wordless book that features come-to-life, chalk-drawn dinosaurs and clever thinking children who figure how to keep them in check.

*Countdown by Deborah Wiles – grades 5-9.  Loved this one for the way the background information was added into the story, placed during the Cuban Missile Crisis, including pictures (check out the one for living in a bomb shelter, nice to know Mom can continue cooking while Dad looks on, enjoying his pipe), songs, news clippings and broadcasts, and commentary about civil rights, Cold War, and other social issues. First in trilogy. Can't wait for more.

*Drums, girls and dangerous pie by Jordan Sonnenblick – grades 5-8.  Somehow this story of a family dealing with leukemia in the youngest son never gets maudlin or morbid.  Down right funny at times with lots of touching moments.

*Half-minute horrors edited by Susan Rich – grades 5 and up.  Great range of authors contribute to this compilation of really,really, short stories with all sorts of twisted, ghoulish, suspenseful, spine-tingling punches.

The Hallelujah flight by Phil Blidner – grades K-3. Great slice-of-life story of 1932 flight across the continent by two African-American pilots who relied on the kindness of strangers to keep their flying-bucket-of-bolts in the air.

House of many ways by Dianna Wynne Jones – grades 6-9.  DWJ dishing up what she serves best – original, fun fantasy.  Come and get it!

Biblioburro: a true story from Columbia by Jeanette Winter – grades K-2. What one man, who loves to read, does with his collection (growing collection) of books to benefit people living in remote areas of Columbia.

*Cycle of rice, cycle of life: a story of sustainable farming by Jan Reynolds – grades 4-7. Very informative on how Balinese culture embeds good agricultural practices and which are now being recognized for its sustainability.

If stones could speak by Marc Aronson – grades 5-8. A new interpretation and further archaeological investigation gives us an enriched perspective of this intriguing structure. Fantastic photos.

Nuturing walls : animal art by Meena women by Gita Wolf – all ages.  Celebrates the women of Meena in Rajasthan, India and their creative powers as they paint wall murals to mark festivals and the changing seasons.   Lots of illustrations.

The tree of life: the incredible biodiversity of life on Earth by Rochelle Strauss – grades 3-6.  Interesting information book that represents all life as leaves on trees breaking down scientific classifications. Great visual representations.

*Tsunami by Joydeb Chitrakar – all ages.  See my blog about this one. Loved it, in case you're wondering.


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