Saturday, April 21, 2018

March Books

Time for another round of what I've been reading.  March was not a super slow month, but I didn't read as much as I did in February.  But, I will say, April is already shaping up to be a big reading month!

Under Wildwood

Wildwood Imperium

I finished up the Wildwood trilogy that I started in February.  Recap: this is the story of a middle school girl and her classmate who leave Portland and discover a magical world just north of the city.  They managed to save the girl's baby brother in the first book, but they head back to Wildwood in the second and third in order to save the magic woods themselves.  

I loved this series.  The illustrations (done by the author's wife, who also did the drawings for The Mysterious Benedict Society) are really amazing.  The series is super engaging.  If you've got a middle school reader who loves fantasies or adventures, I would suggest this series.

Dear Martin

Ah, another great read.  I have really committed over the past year to not only seeking out diverse books, but, more specifically, to seeking out diverse middle grade and YA fiction so that I can share with my students.

This book is about an African American boy, Justyce, who is a senior at a private school.  He is wrestling with a lot--his race, privilege, friendship, and girl relationships.  I don't want to give too much away.  I will add that, as the title hints, throughout this book, Justyce writes journal entries to Martin Luther King, Jr., trying to channel some of MLK's courage and mindset.  

Seriously, every teen should read this book.  It was well written, engaging, and so relevant.  

The Selection

You know what I love?  The Bachelor.  I have a group of friends that come over every night and watch the show with me.  It's our thing.

You know what I also love?  Dystopian novels.  I have since I first read The Giver in elementary school.

So imagine how I might feel about a series that mixes a dystopian world with the Bachelor?  Y'all, this book is every bit as awful and as wonderful as it sounds.  I tore through the first three books in this series.  

America Singer (yes, that is her name) is in a lower caste, but she is picked to be in the selection of future wives for the prince of the country.  

Need I say more?  You are either judging me or rushing to see if your library has this book...

The Elite

But wait, spoiler alert, American makes it to the elite six women...

The One

Will America be the last women left?  Does she really love the prince?  Does she love someone from her past?  What will even happen???

I couldn't put this series down.  It was every bit as cheesy as it sounds.  But, y'all, it was so fun.

The Great Brain

This book was one of my favorites when I was younger.  This is the story of Tom, a super smart kid growing up in Utah in the early 1900's.  It's told from the point of view of his younger brother.  Tom is always outsmarting everyone around him, sometimes even swindling him.  I loved especially reading about what life was like back then.

This would be a great read aloud book for kids.  The chapters are mostly independent of each other, so you could read just a chapter each night.  Plus, there are about three or four other books about the Great Brain.

A Column of Fire

This was where the biggest chunk of my reading energy went this month.  This book is just shy of 1000 pages, as our most of Ken Follet's other books.

This is the third book about Kingsbridge, along with Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.  I loved this book!  It was set during the period of Queen Elizabeth's reign, so it dealt with a lot of Reformation history.

If you've never read any of Follet's books, he always has four or five stories running simultaneously.  The characters will interact throughout the (long) books.  He also weaves in history, so you always end his books feeling like you learned a lot.  

Okay, so that was March, 8 books.  That's actually about the perfect amount for me!

As I said before, April is shaping up to be a big reading month, thanks to April break.  I will be back in a couple of weeks to share more!