It’s Monday! Here’s what I read last week…
I am excited to say that I still love my reading time that I have set aside for myself every day. This week I completed four more books. Over the course of the summer, I have been amazed that I have really enjoyed all of the books that I chose. However, this week was the first time that I was “hooked” with one of the books. I kept at it and completed the book, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite pick. My first read of the week (and the one that I just pushed through) was….
“The View from Saturday” by E.L. Konigsburg
The characters in the books alternated being the narrators of the story. Konisburg said, “I thought children would enjoy meeting one character, and then two characters, and that they would enjoy seeing parts of the story repeated but in a different way. I thought that they would enjoy having the second character interact with the first character, with each story moving the general story along. And I had hoped that readers would feel very satisfied with themselves when they had it all worked out.”
The story itself was okay; however I really had to pay attention to who was “speaking” within each chapter. Students that I have worked with would have had a difficult time following the storyline.
Next I read….
“Period 8” by Chris Crutcher
I chose this book as I really enjoyed “Deadline” by Chris Crutcher, and the YA collection development manager at the library where I am interning said that this is one of her favorites by Crutcher. The storyline and characters hooked me immediately. It was a fast read that kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next. I love to “piece information together,” and Crutcher definitely wrote in a way that I was constantly assessing what was really happening. My students at school would really enjoy this one.
The next book I chose was one that I couldn’t remember whether or not I had read it as a child. It has won many awards, and I wanted to see if it would be a good read for my students. The book is….
“Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt
At the completion of the book, I realized that it is definitely one that I had never read before. I really don’t know how that is possible… but I am sure that I didn’t know the storyline. It was another book that I was able to piece together information as the story progressed, and it read extremely quickly. As I continued to read, I saw great places that I could stop students to complete activities for higher-level thinking. After completing it, I actually went online to see what kinds of activities are available for teachers. I found a wealth of information, and I feel that this book would be a wonderful read for students that could generate great discussions. I will for sure keep this one in mind for future classes. TeachersPayTeachers is one site that I have found extremely useful when finding unique ideas for lesson planning. I have added the link for a “Tuck Everlasting” lesson here:
My final read of the week was a New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction award winner that I had heard great things about. Interestingly, the author used to work at the library where I am currently interning, and it was another book recommended to me from the manager in charge of YA collection development. The book??????
“13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher
I had planned on not reading any sad books this week, but since I have heard so many good things about this one, I decided to tackle it anyways. One of my daughter’s best friends commit suicide two years ago, so I was hesitant to read it. However, I feel that everyone needs to be aware of the warning signs of possible suicide to assist anyone that is feeling so lost in this world.
Asher’s approach of having the girl record cassette tapes of her feelings before she took her life was very interesting. I could literally feel the emotions of the main character Clay Jensen as he anticipated what she would say next. I hope and pray that anyone that reads this book or any other regarding suicide are willing to approach those showing signs and get them the help they need before it is too late as it was for Hannah Baker.
This is definitely an emotional read, but one worth completing.
Looking ahead to next week…. I am hoping to find some more upbeat reading material. However, I am seeing repeating themes in many of the YA books that I am reading. Being a young adult comes with many challenges to overcome, and the books definitely highlight teen struggles. With that said… I am hoping to find some of the amazing and exciting parts of being a teen in upcoming reads.