I recently received Rodkey’s new book, We’re Not From Here…
What I Read March 2018
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
Katherine Applegate is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is unique and she always has a strong, positive message for her readers. I enjoyed this book in verse and gave it FIVE HEARTS. I fell in love with the characters and I was rooting for them the entire time. I wanted everyone to find happiness.
Here are my book notes which includes my favorite quotes. Definitely recommended for those that enjoy historical fiction and books in verse.
Dog Man #1 by Dav Pilkey
I chose this book for two reasons, one is that my students were reading it and another is to have a blast from the past. I used to be obsessed with Captain Underpants when I was in Junior High, so naturally I had to pick it back up. I am not sure I really enjoyed it this time, as an adult, but can definitely see why my students, and myself at that age, love them. It is funny, there are cute characters, and the flip pages are very entertaining. I would recommend to readers who enjoy funny comic books.
Unbound by Ann E Burg
One of my students read this book and told me I had to read it, so naturally I had to add it to my TBR! It was right up my alley, a historical fiction novel in verse. Does it get any better? This was also a book written about something from history I was unfamiliar with. I do not want to say because I think it would take away from the story, but it is set during slavery times in American History. There are a lot of books written about slavery, but this one stands apart as being very unique and adding to the history that must not go away. I enjoyed the research Burg put into this book and my students would enjoy the verse style of writing.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Book One by Jessica Townsend
I had seen this book on Instagram and was instantly drawn to the cover and to the title. Morrigan Crow. I instantly thought of Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel and Morrigan the Crow Goddess. I knew the mythology behind that name and that helped me get hooked into it. A girl who is unlucky and cursed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. Mythological creatures. Mystery. Danger. Strong female lead. Mysterious characters. Magic. It does not get better! I think this will definitely be around for a long time and although is a little lengthy, it is well worth it. I will definitely be reading this series.
Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes (Frazzled #2) by Booki Vivat
Goodness this series is so hilarious. The main character makes me laugh so much and reminds me so much of myself as well as some of my students. The title of this series, Frazzled, is so fitting for the middle school experience that many face. The characters are very relatable and you will find yourself rolling on the floor laughing.
Moo by Sharon Creech
I have a very strong love for books in verse. I think it is because I am amazed how an author can tell an entire story through poetry. They use such precise and descriptive language that you find yourself lost in their world, just as in a regular novel. Moo was also recommended by a student and I was not disappointed. The ending was somewhat predictable, but it was still a wonderful story with a strong positive message. I recommend to those that love books in verse and books that will cause a little heartbreak, but you end on a happy note!
Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel
Another genre I have really latched onto is the graphic novel. I am blown away by an author who can write through dialogue and illustrations. The stories that unfold from your imagination combined with the illustrations is incredible. I thought the story line was entertaining and had many unexpected events and twists. I would recommend this to those that enjoy darker graphic novels.
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
Where do I begin? I suppose I should start by saying that if you haven’t read Crossover yet, you need to first. This is the prequel. Kwame Alexander combines comics and verse style to make this novel stand out from the rest. Adult readers would enjoy the 80s throwback references and my students would love the basketball, family, love, and rhythm and rhyme that is Kwame.
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds has written many great novels including one of my favorites, the Track series. So, I decided to read this middle grade novel to see how it compared. I struggled getting into it and wanted to quit, but I knew Reynolds was a good author, so I kept going. I am glad I did. Once I got about halfway through the book, I found myself hooked and wanting to keep going. It was a good book about the power of brothers and family.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
I wrote a review you can read here, but let me tell you that this was one amazing book. What makes it even more amazing is the author. Karina Yan Glaser responded to a post I wrote on Instagram offering bookmarks for my students. The students were so excited and it was amazing to be able to share that experience with them and show them how wonderful authors are! I am so appreciative and would love everyone to go out and buy her books and support her!
Harry Potter: A Journey Through the History of Magic
This was a very unique Harry Potter book. This would be perfect for those that have read the series and watched the movies. This book gives inside information about how JK Rowling developed her ideas and it gives the more “factual” side to some of the series. There are many spoilers, so I think it would be best to have read all of the books first. One of my favorite parts of this book was Rowling’s handwritten drafts and her sketches. Absolutely amazing.
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
I chose this book after a student recommended it. I thought it was a very unique story about imagination and family. I liked the illustrations and just the fact that TenNapel could write such a captivating story about magical cardboard. If you love graphic novels and suspense, read this book.
Sea of Monsters: Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan
Most of my students absolutely love Rick Riordan, but I struggle with getting through his books. I am not sure what it is. I found the graphic novel editions of his books and am now going to try reading them so I can have better discussions with my students. I do enjoy the mythology as well. I really enjoyed Sea of Monsters. The illustrations are vivid and detailed and the choice of dialogue is perfect. I would recommend the graphic novels to those that may be like me and struggle with reading the novels, or for Rick Riordan fans who want to relive their favorite scenes.