What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR – April 7, 2013

07 Apr
Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

I still haven’t been meeting my blogging goals but I feel like I’ll be able to this week. I changed the format of my reviews just so it’s a little bit more detailed.

I posted my Library Story and I’m inviting everyone to share why libraries are important to them!

Commitment to Literacy= 110 books to be donated

Title: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle
Author: Christopher Healy
Illustrator: Todd Harris
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Rating: **** (My Pick of the Week!)
Review: I was so excited to get an ARC of this book since I was such a fan of the first book in the League of Princes series! I figured I should read this to take advantage of the fact of its Advance Reader’s Copy status. It’s as funny and clever as the first title. Familiar characters from fairy tales set out to prove to the world and to themselves what makes a hero. I was surprised at the complex relationships. Great male and female protagonists. Lots of action and silliness. Makes the almost 500 pages fly by quickly! The only thing I missed out on was I didn’t get to see all of Todd Harris’s artwork.
Category: Middle Reader Fiction

Title: Better Nate than Ever
Author: Tim Federle
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Rating: ***
Review: I stayed up all night reading this book! This was getting a lot of buzz where I work. How can it not? It’s about a boy who runs away to audition for E.T.: The Musical! You can’t help but be taken in by Nate’s wide-eyed wonderment of New York City. As awkward as he was and the sometimes cringeworthy situations he finds himself in, he was definitely relatable. Another great character is his best friend Libby. I’m rooting for Nate and am hoping there’ll be more books to come.
Category: Middle Reader Fiction

Title: A Long Way Away
Author/Illustrator: Frank Viva
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Rating: *
Review: Frank Viva is one of the current writer/illustrators I look forward to reading any new book by. I was disappointed in this though although I liked the concept of a two-way story. I just didn’t think it flowed as well as it should. He definitely has a distinctive style!
Category: Children’s Picture Book

Title: The Dark

Author: Lemony Snicket
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Rating: **
Review: This is definitely one of the big releases this year. While I liked the story (and it’s a great message of overcoming your fears, especially of the dark), it’s the illustrations that really shines!
Category: Children’s Picture Book

Title: We the Animals

Author: Justin Torres
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Rating: *
Review: This was recommended to me. I liked the writing style- very lyrical. But when I finished it I was like, “This is it?” It seemed like nothing really happened despite the gritty nature of the story. The revelation towards the end was sudden and could have been played out more.
Category: Adult Fiction

Title: Lost and Found
Publication Date: December 29, 2005
Rating: **
Title: The Way Back Home
Publication Date: April 10, 2008
Rating: **
Title: The Great Paper Caper
Publication Date: January 22, 2009
Rating: *
Author/Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Review: As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to read Oliver Jeffers to see what all the fuss is about. The more I read him, I can understand why he’s so popular. These three books are wildly imaginative. I like the continuity he creates with the boy in the striped shirt. The first two have a strong message of friendship. The Great Paper Caper is a silly mystery while tackling the issue of taking care of the environment. I like the instructions for making different airplanes at the endpapers. The attention to detail is great in all of his books and I always enjoy reading the author bios for each book.
Category: Children’s Picture Books

Title: Babymouse #2: Our Hero
Publication Date: December 27, 2005
Rating: **
Title: Babymouse #3: Beach Babe
Publication Date: May 23, 2006
Rating: **
Author: Jennifer Holm
Illustrator: Matthew Holm
Review: I thought the first Babymouse was OK. If there were no other books in the series already published, I wouldn’t have continued on. But I’ve trying to read more local writers and I kind of have a completist mindset. I found them to be more enjoyable once I knew what I was getting into. I liked her flights of fancy. I can see how young readers can get hooked into these books. Using silly humor and familiar situations, I appreciate how it teaches them to embrace their imperfections. I’ll definitely read more Babymouse books.
Category: Children’s Graphic Novel

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I’ve finally started reading Jasper Fforde’s “The Last Dragonslayer.” I’m hoping my request for Eric Carle’s “My Apron”comes in soon so I can continue on with that particular reading challenge. I also want to read more Oliver Jeffers and Babymouse books!

Happy Reading!


3 responses to “What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR – April 7, 2013

  1. Myra GB

    April 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hi there Earl, I’m glad to see that you’re reading more Oliver Jeffers books. I have nothing but respect for this artist – I love the subtlety in his narrative – the many layers that can be drawn from something so deceptively simple yet so profound and lyrical. While the illustrations may not initially appear to a child, I have a feeling that one grows into it. I like the fact that he has a distinct style all his own and that even young readers would know a book or an illustration is done by him. Have you read the incredible book eating boy yet? or stuck? those two are only a few of my favorites.

  2. Nicole

    April 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Better Nate than Ever is on my to read list, glad to hear it’s a good one! How awesome is the Hero’s Guide series?! I mean, come on, pure gold.

  3. novalibrarymom

    April 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I feel as if I have been waiting years for Storming the Castle. I’ve been “selling” the first book to everyone I meet for the past year.

    Oliver Jeffers has such a distinctive style. I’ve only come upon him in the last 6 months or so, but I can pick his artwork out from a lineup easily. Enjoy!


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