Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers pose my favorite question on Mondays — what are you reading? For Monday, July 28th I would like to recap some of the books I loved reading this past week. Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday challenge has helped fill my summer with wonderful books so I have some terrific titles to share.
Picture book: Beach
Elisha Cooper’s lovely ode to the summer beach is a perfect book for late July. The reader arrives at the shore before the crowds to enjoy the morning peace and quiet. But as the day goes on, Cooper uses vivid language and soft watercolor sketches to share the hum of activity on a summer beach. Beautifully drawn, this book is great to throw in the beach bag or put on the classroom shelf.
Middle Grade Novel: Half a Chance
Lucy is used to moving. Her father, a famous nature photographer, loves to travel and moves his family often. Home this time is a lakeside cottage. Will she make friends? Will this spot truly become home? As Lucy finds her way in a new town, she views the people and places through the lens of her own camera. I love this story and Cynthia Lord has a magical way with words. It is a pleasure to read each of her sentences.
Young Reader/Middle Grade Novel: Absolutely Almost
Oh how I love this book! Albie is a charming, good-hearted fifth grader but life is not easy for him. He must start over in a new school after his private school forces him out because he struggles as a student. His best friend is starring in a new reality show and his parents search for the perfect nanny. Albie’s voice is clear and strong throughout this masterful book. What’s more, Albie’s story is poignant, funny and hopeful. I cannot wait to recommend this book to students.
YA Novel: We Were Liars
E. Lockhart’s new novel is hard to forget. The Sinclairs enjoy a kind of privilege most people never see. On a windswept island off the coast of Cape Cod this monied New England family enjoys sun, sand and endless meals prepared by the help. Cadence vividly remembers the start of her fifteenth summer but the thread of memory is cut when she suffers a head injury during the summer. Lockhart moves the story fluidly from one teenage summer to another and back again. This is a book to devour in one long sitting if possible. The perfect summer read.
I am excited to be a few chapters into Gae Polisner’s new book, The Summer of Letting Go. I will say more about this book next week but I can’t wait to follow Frankie through this story. I feel as if I know her personally. In fact, Frankie drew me in from the first page.