Children’s Lit Week One

I am taking a children’s lit course this summer for my Master’s in Library Science. I have to read three books each week and review them for the course. I thought I might review them on here as well with my MORE honest opinions because my reviews for my class are all uplifting when in reality most kids I know would not appreciate the books like adults do.

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Okay so for this week I had to read a Classic (list was given), a book by Mo Willems, and a Caldecott Medal Winner or Nominee.

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I already had Kitten’s First Full Moon from an animal unit I did at the beginning of last year in my 3rd grade class. I also had Pigeon Finds a Hotdog but I have no earthly idea why. I had to order Millions of Cats as it was the only book on the Classics list that I don’t remember reading. Knowing my mother though I probably did read this as a kid. I have lots of fond memories of being in the library as a child and looking through the shelves and shelves of picture books. My mom always brought this giant pink beach bag with us to the library and between her and my sister and I we would fill the bag up every week. I wish that when I was a kid I had tracking apps like Goodreads so I could know just how many books I have read in my lifetime.

My favorite of the three was The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog. Mo Willems is a genius. If you are a parent of small children you should go check out his books. All of them. Right now. Go. Run. Seriously.  I can’t imagine better books for reluctant readers. Pigeon is 100% hilarious. The drawings make it that much better. Mo Willems definitely has the facial expressions down.

Kitten’s First Full Moon is a cute book. There are some repetitive phrases for the younger audience. Repetition is essential for beginner readers. The story of the kitten chasing the moon is innocent and sweet. The pictures are all black and white but they are paneled on every other page sort of like a graphic book which makes them more interesting.

Millions of Cats is one of those more ridiculous classic books. I can imagine an older audience found this book hysterical. Classics are classics for a reason and I appreciate the story and the thought behind it but as a kid I would have never picked this book up without an adult making it more enticing. It was originally published in 1928 so the pictures lack any color (hello, it was impossible to mass produce in color in 1928).

What are your favorite picture books?

 

 

 

 

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Week in Review

This is a couple days late and I haven’t updated my Instagram this week. I am failing in my promise to myself to work on this stuff! I think I put this particular  post off because I only finished one book this week.

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Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

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This is the story of Emi and her best friend Charlotte. These two girls are fresh out of high school, and deep into the film making process in Hollywood. Emi designs the sets for movies.  While extremely talented and artistic, Emi is not good at relationships, especially with her on-again, off-again girlfriend. Emi is left the keys to her brothers apartment for the summer to live with Charlotte on the promise that they will use it to do something amazing. Neither girl knows what they are going to do until they find a mysterious letter from an Estate Sale.

While the story was interesting, this wasn’t one of my favorites. I don’t really care about how films are created which is a huge secondary part of this story. I also found the plot overly predictable.

3 out of 5 stars

 

Coming Soon… 

So I am currently reading

Three Dark Crowns and Wuthering Heights 

I am also taking Children’s Literature for my library science class this summer so next week expect a post on Picture Books!

Five on Friday Part 2 (On Saturday)

Okay, I was distracted yesterday because this is my birthday weekend!

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My sister is in town for the weekend so I was cleaning and such.

Once again, in no particular order.

  1. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
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    This book is told from the perspective of Maddy, who is a who is sick with SCID. She watches the world pass before her outside her window which is how she meets Olly, the boy who moves in next door. While she is stuck inside her home at all times Olly gives her a sense of freedom and a friendship, something she has never had outside her mom and her nurse, Carla. This one definitely has a twist ending and is a page turner!
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    20170520_142415Jane Eyre. Another classic and my favorite one. I love the story of Jane and Mr. Rochester. I have read this book a couple times and each time at a different time in my life. Since the book covers a wide span of Jane’s time periods, something new always speaks to me when I read it.
  3. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
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    This is the tragic story of Frank McCourt’s childhood. This is a must. read. in my book for everyone. Frank was born to two Irish immigrants during the depression era. His mother had a hard time feeding him and his father hardly worked because he was an alcoholic. His writing is beautiful and his childhood horrific. Unfortunately his other books Tis’ and Teacher Man do not have the same grabbing storytelling.
  4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
    20170528_131521So, my boyfriend delivers food as some part-time work. Sometimes, when I haven’t seen him in awhile, I will grab a book and travel around town with him when he delivers. This is how I read An Ember in the Ashes. I was actually glad when he would have to stand in line for 30 minutes to get the food or when we pulled up to a confusing apartment complex so I would have more uninterrupted reading time. This fantasy is about a slave named Laia and a soldier named Elias, neither of whom have any freedom – until they meet each other and plot a way out of their current lives.
  5. This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl
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    This is Esther Earl’s memoir. Esther was a teenager who was dying of cancer and she wrote in various journals, on blogs, and in IM chat rooms with her friends. She loved reading and Harry Potter fandom. She loved her family and they are the ones who took the pieces of her life she had written about, filled in the blanks, and put together this book that is also full of photos. I cried, I laughed, but most of all I felt like I knew Esther when I had finished reading this book.Another of my favorites! Happy Reading 🙂

Weekly Review Tuesday

Hello 2nd Mini Series for my blog!

I am new to the whole writing reviews for books thing. So I am going to make it a little simpler on myself. I want to write reviews. I want to be good at writing reviews. I want people to read my reviews. So I  am going to write short reviews for books I have managed to finish each week. So here we go…

From May 24- May 30 I managed to finish 4 books (4.. in a week!)

Go me! So in order from when each book was finished.

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
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    A Court of Thorns and Roses is about a girl named Feyre who lives with her disabled father and 2 spoiled older sisters. After a bad investment her father had lost their family fortune and they fell from grace into poverty. Feyre is the only one who seems interested in helping her family survive the harsh winters of the land they live in. On the other side of “the wall” lives another kingdom of the faeries. These faeries have been known to hunt down and murder humans for sport, and so the humans have grown to fear and hate them. When Feyre is out hunting for her family’s survival she shoots a wolf in the head to protect the deer she is bringing home for supper. The wolf happened to be a faerie in disguise and soon his friends come knocking down Feyre’s door and wisk her away to the kingdom they live in. Here, her entire perspective on her life and theirs changes drastically.

    Sarah J. Maas brings to life this kingdom with rich metaphors and intricate details in her writing. She makes the reader feel as if they are living inside her world. Talk about a book hangover… I am surprised I moved on to other books this week.

    5/5 Stars and would recommend to any Fantasy lovers
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  2. We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
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    We Will Not Be Silent is a short middle grade book stocked full of photographs about the family and their friends who started the White Rose propaganda movement during World War II. Their story starts during the beginning of Hitler’s reign and talks about how even as young children they would not conform to the Nazi groups the way Hitler wanted them to. They resisted all rules put in front of them.

    The research and time that was taken into finding the photos that were included in this book must have been difficult as many of them seem like private family photos. This book made me gain a deeper understanding of some of the Germans during WWII that resisted what was happening in their country.

    3/5 total stars – 4/5 for a children’s book

  3. When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffith
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    I think when Paul was writing this novel he said, “Hmm. What are the 5 worst things that can happen to a 12 year old kid?” and then he made all five of them happen to Ben, the main character in this story.
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    Ben is a middle school student who is a nerd and who is bullied heavily in this book. He loves reading science fiction and finds solace in the library (like most of us readers).  Ben spent a good amount of his childhood bouncing from foster home to foster home until he met his mom who is a widow. One day after leaving the library a small dog follows Ben home. He bonds with this dog instantly and the dog, Flip, helps him meet his best friend Hayley who happens to be the librarian’s daughter and his only source of comfort during the tough times he endures in the rest of the novel such as abuse, death of a parent, and homelessness.

    Disclaimer: I listened to this book on CD in the car on my way to and from work for the majority of the month of May (I live 10 minutes from work). By the end of this novel I had to pull over because I was crying so hard.
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    5/5 because this book is both sad and funny. I enjoyed it and I know middle grade students in my library will enjoy it as well.

  4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling (The Screenplay)
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    Okay, if you have seen the movie then you know this story basically word for word. No surprises or extra side stories that were left out. Or entire plots – like in Harry Potter… The only thing that the book added to the movie for me were some clarifications behind some of the looks exchanged between characters and how they were truly feeling in that moment. JK Rowling creates a world of fantasy for us all to live in and I think the Fantastic Beasts franchise is really just adding to the Harry Potter world. I don’t think anything will ever replace the love I have for Harry Potter in my heart though.

    Props to the fun pictures throughout the book of the creatures made with repeated imagery.

    4/5 because its Rowling, and I love magic. A great movie but not my favorite read. Maybe I just don’t enjoy screenplays…

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