Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summertime Reading 2011 – Wrap Up

Well, with university officially back in class this week, summertime reading is over for another year. I can’t say I got to all the books on my list (see April 14th for some of my intentions) but there were many others that I consumed along the way. I did seem to be on a real adult mystery kick this summer, which cut into the number of YA novels I would have otherwise read. Oh, well. I’m not dead yet. I’ll continue to keep reading over this academic school year and then again there’s always next summer…
Here are some highlights from the last days of summer:

Picture books (fiction and nonfiction)
Along a long road by Frank Viva (823 V835A PIC BK)
Highly stylized illustrations depict the journey of a man on a bicycle, up, down, along curves, through town, along country roads, and even hitting an occasional bump along the way. Fun and whimsical. Suggested for preschool to grade 2.

Ballet for Martha: making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg (792.8092 GrB 2010 PIC BK)
Describes the collaborative process that went into the production of Appalachian Spring. Wonderful illustrations and fluid writing made this captivating to read. Suggested for grades 2-6.

Boogie knights by Lisa Wheeler (823 W565B6 PIC BK)
Story told in rhyme that worked for me. All the ghost and ghouls of a castle are looking for a good time and enjoy themselves at a Mad Cap Ball. One-by-one seven sleeping sentries are woken,to investigate the noise, only to end up joining in the fun. Great playful language. Suggested for grades K-3.

Just one bite: 11 animals and their bites at life size by Lola M. Schaefer (591.53 ScJ 2010 PIC BK)
From small to very large, we learn about different animals, the food they eat and how much they consume in a single bite. Very cool. Suggested for grades K-3.

The Loud book! by Deborah Underwood (823 Un1L PIC BK)
Companion book to The Quiet Book. I liked the first one and loved this even more, as with our cast of cute animal characters we encounter,all the loud noises in a day. Suggested for preschool to grade 1.

Planting the wild garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith (581.467 GaP 2011 PIC BK)
Gently tells and illustrates seed dispersal of wild plants by wind, animals, birds and people. Suggested for grades 1-4.

The Bamboo people by Mitali Perkins (823 P4196B FIC)
Two young Burmese men are forced into the army and develop a friendship that overcomes ethnic prejudices. After one of the boys is captured by the minority that the army is fighting, the point-of-view shifts to a protagonist from the minority group who must overcome his own prejudice as he comes to know his captive. Suggested for grades 6-9.

The Best bad luck I ever had by Kristin Levin (823 L57865B CD)
I really enjoyed this audio version read by Kirby Heyborne, about a friendship between a white boy and a black girl in Alabama in 1917. Dit is the protagonist who initially is sorely disappointed to find out that the new postmaster has a daughter. Nevertheless, the two become inseparable friends. Dit does seem a little naïve about how blacks are being treated in this predominately white community. Loved it. Suggested for grades 4-7.

A Long walk to water by Linda Sue Park (823 P218L PIC BK)
Based on a true story of a ‘lost’ boy from Sudan, recounting his years in refugee camps and eventual relocation to America. He returns to the Sudan building wells to enable access to clean water. His story intersects with Nya, a girl who walks miles everyday to bring water to her family. Suggested for grades 5-8.

Slog’s dad by David Almond
David Almond doing what David Almond does best – leaves you wondering… Slog’s father had been a vibrant, upbeat man and promised to visit his son one last time – after he dies. So, when Slog and his friend, Davie, encounter a man who Slog believes is his dad, Davie thinks the man is only pretending. Illustrations are intriguing, enhancing the mood and extending the story. Questions of faith, trust, and deep grief are instilled in this short story. Suggested for grades 5-9.

Creatures of the rainforest: two artists explore Djabugay country by Anna Eqlitis
The illustrations here are the real stars, showing us a myriad of critters that inhabit the tropical forests of Queensland, Australia. Shortlisted for the 2006 Children's Book of the Year Award.

The Good garden: how one family went from hunger to having enough by Katie Smith Milway
A somewhat inspirational story based on real-life farmers in Honduras. They improve their lives by adopting more sustainable food production practices, reducing their reliance on unscrupulous middlemen. Suggested for grades 3 to 7.

Harriet Tubman, secret agent: how daring slaves and free blacks spied for the Union during the Civil War by Thomas B. Allen (973.71 AlH 2009)
Fascinating read about a lesser known facet of Harriet Tubman’s life and the work done by other blacks during the Civil War. Recommended for grades 6 and up.

Sit-in: how four friends stood up by sitting down by Andrea Davis Pinkney (323.1196 PiS 2010 PIC BK)
Well-told recounting of the 1960s peaceful protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in North Carolina by four black college students. Suggested for grades 3-6.

They called themselves the KKK: the birth of an American terriorist group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (322.42 BaT 2010)
How this notorious group came into existence, highlighting American race relations that still resound today. There is a chilling description of the author’s attendance at a KKK rally. Suggested for grades 7-12.


Cathy said...

Congratulations! You're a Versatile Blogger!

(Enjoyed this post....lots of great books!)


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