I really enjoyed The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge this week – a mystery story with a fantastical element set in 19th century Victorian England. It’s an interesting look at gender roles at a time when women were not expected or encouraged to be educated. I also, finally, got my hand on The Hate U Give by debut author, Angie Thomas. It’s a story with its roots in the Black Lives Matter movement and was such a real story that I finished in a day and haven’t stopped thinking about yet. There’s talk about books being mirrors and windows and this story is both – a mirror for so many teens growing up in a low-income neighborhood, while it is very much a window for make teens who have never experienced what Starr, the main character, experiences on a daily basis. Angie Thomas writes very much like teens speak and although the language, sexual content, and violence may be too much for more conservative people, this story directly reflects what has been happening across this country and was truly eye-opening and educational for me. This is a must-read!
I have finally started The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi and am already enjoying this high adventure, historical fiction story about a boy in search of his family and on the run from a crime he couldn’t help, but commit. I’m not sure what else I plan on reading this week, but I’ve got a bunch of ARCs I still want to finish before summer starts, so most likely I’ll pick up one of those!
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
I feel like this is all I say, but it was a crazy week – we’re making some policy changes (to make our library more accessible) and there’s always a little confusion among staff and opinions from patrons. Hopefully everything has sorted itself out, we’ll see what tomorrow morning brings!
This week I read The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis and boy was it interesting… the book is told from three perspectives and it’s one of those stories that you know things are going to happen, you just don’t know when… And honestly, at the end of the story, I feel as though it ended the only way it could have, even though I was sorry to see it happen. I know this is very vague, but if you like YA thriller/almost realistic fiction, check this one out! I also started The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, after it was recommended to me again and I ‘m already loving this weird historical fiction story. I’m only in the beginning half of the book and I can’t wait to pick it back up tonight to see what happens next.
I’m hoping to finish The Lie Tree early this week so I can crack open The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi, which , yes, is still sitting on my TBR list. Plus, I just got sent a YA ARC of a summer read that looks awesome, so I might try and pick that one up as well!
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
Where do I even begin? This somehow got past me this year, so we’re in the think of round 1 matches right now. A little background behind this fun event – The School Library’s Battle of the Kids’ Books is a competition among 16 of the very best titles published in children’s literature of the year. For more FAQs check the SLJ website. The books are then judged by some of the biggest names in kid lit. Don’t believe me? Check out the judges this year:
- Duncan Tonatiuh
- Lulu Delacre
- James Dashner
- Varian Johnson
- Tanya Lee Stone
- Jane Yolen
- Nova Ren Suma
- Brendan Kiely
- Javaka Steptoe
- Eliot Schrefer
- Cynthia Kadohata
- Sara Farizan
- Ellen Oh
- Sabaa Tahir
- Kwame Alexander
And the titles they’ll be judging:
- Freedom in Congo Square
- Freedom Over Me
- Thunder Boy Jr.
- When Green Becomes Tomatoes
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon
- March: Book Three
- Samurai Rising
- Some Writer!
- Wet Cement
- When the Sea Turned to Silver
- Anna and the Swallow Man
- The Lie Tree
- The Passion of Dolssa
- The Sun is Also a Star
Each day a battle is judged and a book is declared the winner of that round. The hardest part, for me, would be that the judges are judging some amazing books against each other. For example, how do you compare Ghost by Jason Reynolds with The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Two books that were written beautifully and completely differently, where do you begin? But the judges, do just that, they judge. So, each day there’s a judge’s post with their reason behind their decision.
We’re moving into the second round today, so have no fear if you missed round one like I did! It’s fun to see authors in this different light as they try and judge two amazing books against each other… follow along for the ride!