Thursday, June 29, 2017
Post 999 What I am reading
I excited to report that I have almost reached my goal of 1000 blog reviews. In late 2008 when I started this blog I set a target of four reviews each month and thought I might reach 1000 by the end of 2018 - so you can see I am ahead of my target.
I am so glad I started this blog as a way to record my thoughts about the books I read, as a way to focus my reading, and as a way to gather associated resources to support teachers and students who might read a post and then want to explore a title a little further through audio samples, reviews or teaching ideas. It is also a great memory jogger when I forget a title.
One exciting part of this blog (for me) has been the occasional comment from a real author - Sharon Creech, Barbara O'Connor, Elizabeth Winthrop, Kate Wilkinson, Uma Krishnaswami, Susan White, Raewyn Caisley, John Light, Frances Watts, Hazel Hutchins, Adam Selzer, Lian Tanner, Melissa Thomson and Pamela Freeman.
It is also very special when I meet a colleague or acquaintance and they tell me they enjoy reading this blog. One special friend has greatly helped when she tells me I seem to have been a little quiet. This spurs me on to get writing.
My reading pile is always huge as I work in a well resourced school library here in Australia. The students and teachers in my school are also lucky to have access to an extensive and very rich library collection. I was listening to Leigh Hobbs (Mr Chicken etc) today and he talked again about the vital importance of school libraries.
"I'm appalled at the continuing disappearance from schools of Libraries and Librarians as well the diminishing presence of art and music from the primary (in particular) school curriculum. As Australian Children's Laureate 2016-2017 I am passionate about, and convinced of, the value of School Libraries and fully trained Librarians, and art and music as being an invaluable part of a child's life at school." Leigh Hobbs
Here are a few of the titles on my current reading pile :
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
I was so completely absorbed in the first installment The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. I have been waiting to open this sequel because I was a little worried it might not be quite as good but now I have read the first two chapters and I am once again immersed in the world of Callie Vee.
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
Kirkus say this is a page turning adventure. It is a long book with small print so I will need a long stretch of time to tackle this one but luckily our school winter holiday is about to begin.
Here is a quote from the blurb "Twelve-year-old Katherine Bateson believes in a logical explanation for everything. But even she can't make sense of the strange goings-on at Rookskill Castle, the draft old Scottish castle-turned-school where she and her siblings have been sent to escape the London Blitz."
Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr
I will confess this has been on my reading pile several times and then I feel guilty and take it back to school. Now that it has been shortlisted for our CBCA awards for 2017 I do need to settled down and read this one. I have started this book a few times but others tell me it is a gripping read.
Here is a quote from the blurb : "The firstborn daughter of a priestess is cast out as a baby, and after raiders kill her adopted family, she is abandoned at the gates of the Great Hall, anonymous and mute. Called No-Name, the cursed child, she is raised a slave, and not until she is twelve does she learn her name is Aissa: the dragonfly."
When Friendship followed me home by Paul Griffin
Kirkus says magical and uplifting. The covers of this book are covered in endorsements and it was featured on a number of prestigious reading lists in 2016.
Here is a quote from the blurb : "Ben Coffin has never felt like he fits in. ... All that changes when he finds a scruffy abandoned dog named Flip."
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L Holm
When I read Turtle in Paradise I wanted to stand at the top of a mountain and tell everyone about this wonderful story so I am looking forward to another book by Jennifer L Holm.
Here is a quote from the blurb : "Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He's bossy. He's cranky. And weirdly enough ... he looks a lot like Ellie;s grandfather, a scientist, who's always been slightly obsessed with immortality."
My 1000th post will feature a beautiful and heartwarming book by Patricia McLachlan - The truth of me.