Although I missed the official theme reveal last Monday, I still want to take a second and reveal my theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I participated for the first time last year creating 26 blog posts for storytime planning with great stories and rhymes to go with each letter. This year, since my job has shifted somewhat dramatically from offering programming on an almost-daily basis to being behind the scenes focusing on bigger picture projects and putting out fires on an as needed basis. I struggled with deciding on a theme for the challenge. I know some people don’t have a theme, but I’m useless without one, so without further ado, this year’s theme is: 26 Traits for Effective Leadership. Over the course of the next month I’m going to go over 26 traits and how they have made me a better leader – even in the short time I’ve been the library director!
The first annual Anna Dewdney Read Together Award finalists were announced last week and I didn’t get a chance to post this yet, so here goes. Anna Dewdney, children’s book author and illustrator, most well-known for her series Llama Llama passed away last year of brain cancer at the age of 50. Sadly, much too soon for the children’s book world, but Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader created an award in memory of Dewdney that will continue her legacy for years to come.
The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, “will be given to a picture book published in the U.S. during the previous five years that inspires empathy and connection and makes for an exceptional read-aloud.” Dewdney’s own books were about the every day trials and tribulations of a young
child’s llama’s life in which you feel empathetic toward his plight, and they also made amazing read alouds with such a great rhyme and rhythm.
The finalists are:
- Edward Gets Messy by Rita Meade, illustrated by Olga Stern (Simon & Schuster)
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson (Putnam)
- Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)
- Toby by Hazel Mitchell (Candlewick)
- Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Holt)
The winner will be chosen during Children’s Book Week, a week to celebrate children’s literature and the announcement of the Children’s and Teen Choice Book Award at the end of the week. If you haven’t had a chance to read all five of these titles, stop by your local independent book store or local library to grab copies of them all to share with your family!
I finally finished Carmer and Grit: The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horowitz – it took me quite a while to finish and it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy reading it, for whatever reason it just took me some time. It’s the perfect book if you have a middle grade reader who likes fairies and magic but is also interested in adventure and science.
I also sat down over the weekend and read two other books that have been on my radar for awhile – Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate and Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. Home of the Brave is written in verse, making it a quick read, but a powerful one. Kek travels from war-torn Sudan to America by himself to live with his aunt and cousin. He learns about snow, the grocery store and helps a number of friends along the way. It’s the story of growing up and holding on to hope. Amina’s Voice is a newly published novel from Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that, “aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families, and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works.” And what I like most about this story, is that it truly is a diverse story, but at the same time it’s the story of a girl in middle school dealing with family, friends and school – things that absolutely everyone has to deal with. And although her family and her community come in contact with hatred that is all too familiar in this world, the basis of the story is a young girl finding her voice and that’s what makes this diverse read so perfect. Plus, I absolutely love how gorgeous the cover is!
This coming week I plan to read The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi and maybe even jump into some YA books – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge and The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis that I thought about reading last week, but didn’t get a chance to dive into.
Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next
My goal was to get this list out during Black History Month, but in all honesty these are amazing books that can be read any time of the year. Like my chapter book list, this list includes historical fiction, realistic fiction and fantasy novels with characters that are black, biracial from around the world.
- Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
- Fly Girl by
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
- Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
- This Side of Home by Renée Watson
- Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
- Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
- The Boy In the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
- The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
- Hot Girl by Dream Jordan
- If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
- Tyrell by Coe Booth
- After Tupac & Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
- Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
- How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
- Fake ID by Lamar Giles
- Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
- The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake
- Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
- The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon