This posting presents a record of the books I’ve listed in my reading diary. There is a pattern to this list: Non-fiction/ Fiction/ Non-fiction…
December 24 WRITING RADAR Jack Gantos
Gantos has been a favourite author since I first read the Joey Pigza series. This book is Gantos’s how-to recipe book and practical guide inviting writers to use everyday happenings to inspire their writing. Wish I had this book when teaching my students about notebook writing.
December 27: PATINA Jason Reynolds
This book is the second in Reynold’s Track series celebrating he lives of young adolescent students determined to beat the odds, to show others (and themselves) that they ‘ain’t no junk’. Patina (Patty) Jones has a mother whose legs had been amputated and a will that lets her own legs outrun everyone on the track. Jason Reynolds is at the top of the heap of children’s literature authors for the 21st century and Patina was one of my top five children’s literature reads of 2017.
December 28: THE ROBIN: A Biography Stephen Moss
Everything you wanted to know (and things you might not have wanted to know) about the robin. Yes, a ‘biography’ of red-breasted feather friend presented in 12 calendar months (about 10 pages each of text with splendid colour plates and lovely poem excerpts).
December 31 A MODEL WORLD Michael Chabon
Short stories by Pulitzer Prize winning author. Hit and miss, which for me is usual for short stories collections. Part Two of this book (The Lost World) revolves on the life of a single character, Nathan who struggles to cope and make sense of the world after his parents divorce.
January 2 WILD THINGS: The Joys of Reading Children’s Literature as An Adult Bruce Handy
With a title such as this book offers, I felt a need to read this book which takes us on a journey of Children’s Literature classics (Goodnight Moon, The Cat in the Hat, The Ramona Series, The Narnia Series, Charlotte’s Web) providing background information on the creators of great children’s books and insights into their significance.) A great read for those of us who treasure children’s literature treasures.
January 4 A BOY CALLED BAT Elana K. Arnold
Bixby Alexander Tam (BAT) has a mother who is a veterinarian who one days brings home a baby skunk for her son to take care of. Do skunks make good pets? Will Bat get to keep the skunk beyond the first four weeksof Thor’s life (skunk’s name)? Humour is filtered throughout this novel which is noteworthy for it’s endearing portrayal of an austic young boy.
January 6 HOW TO SEE by David Salle
A collection of criticisms helping us to consider the what’s and how’s of contemporary artists.and their creations.
January 9 SNOW & ROSE Emily Winfield Martin
Emily Winfield Martin deserves kudos as a storyteller and illustrator in this re-imagining of the fairy tale, Snow White and Rose Red. Strong potential for a Read Aloud in the classroom.
January 11 BETWEEN YOU & ME: Confessions of a Comma Queen Mary Norris
Lessons (and stories) about the idiosyncratic, complex, and confusions of grammar and spelling – and comma – usage from a person who’s worked in the copy department for The New Yorker magazine.
January 16 AFTER TOMORROW Gillian Cross
A family of refugees from Britain encounters many survival challenges when they settle into the countryside of France. Though set in the future, the issues and problems of being a refugee resonates with the plight of hundreds of thousands of people forced to leave their homes in recent years.
Speaking of children’s literature, go and see PADDINGTON 2 (with or without kids). This one is as good and clever and funny the first PADDINGTON movie. And perhaps read the Michael Bond books.)
I LOVE NEW YORK: 3 books
NEW YORK CITY HAIKU: from the readers of the New York times
GOING INTO TOWN: A love letter to New York by Roz Chast
An absolute gem of a graphic memoir that leads readers to discover and/ or re-discover the joys of New York City by genius cartoon artist, Roz Chast. I wanna be a part of it!!!
I NEVER KNEW THAT ABOUT NEW YORK Christopher Winn
A superb, succinct guide taking readers on a trivia and historic tour of The Big Apple.