This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.
It feel so strange to be blogging again. I have really let this slide, but something had to give and this was it. I have been feeling terribly guilty about not blogging and have avoid reading most blogs that I do follow so I didn't add to the guilt. There is also a lot of changes coming to my job this next year, which we were told at the end of the school year. So I'm trying to plan for a new normal. I took a great vacation with my parents to celebrate their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. On this vacation I took time to do a lot of quiet reflection on life, school, and everything in between (without doing any actual "work"). Sometimes I think that I have placed too much pressure on myself to do everything and I find myself doing nothing. So I taking this time as redo on my "New Year". I have been actually doing some reading, which I had stopped doing and I'm starting to blog again with this post. My goal is to work up to twice a week, but for now I will be happy posting every Monday!
I have read two really great historical fiction books. The first was Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. There is so much to like about this book that is written in verse. This book was set in the late 1960's when there was a lot going on that our students have never experienced. For example, when girls could only take home economics and boys could only take shop. The main character, Mimi, is a African American Japanese girl, who moves from a progressive California to a not as progressive Vermont. The racial experiences that Mimi deals with are written appropriately for the middle grade audience. I loved how Mimi is very enthusiastic about science, especially space. It is great to see a female character interested in science. I will admit, that going into this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But the more I read, the more I couldn't stop reading. This book is a MD Black-Eyed Susan (state book award) nominated book for the 2017-18 school year. I can't wait to book talk this book for my students next year.
The second historical fiction book I have read was Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. From the first chapter, this book drew me in and didn't let me go. I started reading this book the night before I left on my 16 day vacation. I got to page 146 before I had to leave for the airport. Since I was already packed, I couldn't bring it along with me. And I had received my copy from Penguin Young Readers, so that meant that it wasn't published yet and I couldn't even buy an electronic copy! I thought about this book every day while I was on vacation. It had a hold on me and wasn't going to let go until I finished it. My first night back, after I unpacked and started on my laundry, I had to finish it. I wish we could all have a Miss Millie in our lives to offer those little nuggets of advice when we truly need it. This book tackles a lot in it pages: moving, absentee father, deaf brother, Alzheimer's, racism, and death. But even with all these heavy issues to deal with there is a lightness about this book. There is one quote from Miss Millie that stuck with me, especially given the beginning of this post, "I learned it's okay to get mad. It's okay to get sad, but after all that gettin' mad and sad, ya gotta get smart. Ya gotta take a step back, away from all your hurtin', and figure out what ya can change and what ya can't." I've typed this up to put on my desk at school, so that I can remember this wonderful piece of advice. This book made a very big impact on me and it is one that I won't ever forget!
What great books have I missed since March?