Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Readin'

Summer's here and I've been a reading fool!  I miss reading so much during the school year.

And since most of what I've read has been kids', I'm linking up with Teach Mentor Texts for the weekly linky:

Coincidentally, the books I read last week are all about immigration.  I didn't plan it; it just happened.  Weird.

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan is written in verse.  In it,  Kasienka and her mother immigrate to London from Poland.  Her mother is convinced that she will be able to find Kasienka's father and reunite their family.  With her mother completely focused on her own problems, Kasienka is left to try to fit in with her new classmates with no one to talk with.  Her escape is the school pool.  When she's in the water, her problems seem to float away - at least for the moment.

The Weight of Water is a coming-of-age story that deftly handles issues of immigration, alienation, and first love.  I love novels-in-verse like this one (and so do my kids) because they are quick and easy to get lost in.  Sarah Crossan writes Kasienka's story concisely but with compassion for a young girl's determination to figure out where she belongs. 

Here I Am by Patty Kim is a picture book about a little boy and his family who moves from his home to a busy American city.  This wordless picture book follows the boy through his first months in his new home - full of new sounds, sights, and a language he doesn't understand.  His isolation is apparent in the pencil and watercolor sketches.  As is his journey into acceptance and love in his new home!  Lovely - and anyone who knows me, knows I love the challenge of a wordless book for my students.  I can't wait to get a copy of Here I Am when it is release later this summer!

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai many people have already read.  I am late to the bandwagon on this one, but it was just as good as I expected!  This 2012 Newbury Honor book follows Ha as she and her family must leave the only home they've ever known - Saigon.  Beautifully written - like The Weight of Water - in verse, I know that I will reread this one time and again.  I can't wait to recommend this to my class next year!  (How's that for positive thinking!)

Ivan's Great Fall: Poetry for Summer and Autumn from Great Poets and Writers of the Past by Vanita Oelschlager I reviewed yesterday here.  Great poetry picture book.

Here's a peek at what I'm reading next:

I'm also reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  I have no idea how I missed it when it came out?!?!  Loving it so far!  I can't wait to get my hands on the new one!

What are you reading?  Have you read any of these great books?


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