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Busy, busy, busy….and Books!

April 19, 2011

Well, I’ve been really busy. I have to say this semester has been the most stressful I’ve probably ever had. My job as center supervisor is so much responsibility and pressure, so that is taking a lot out of me. Then I have a website design class that is just killing me. We have this major final project that will be due in a couple weeks and sometimes it’s all I can think about.

And pretty much all my free time has been spent reading children’s and young adult books for my children’s literature class. But that has actually been the fun part. We had to read 70 books total for the semester and it’s the one thing I’m a little sad to see end. I had a lot of fun finding and reading these books. I thought I would share some of my favorites.

Girls: a History of Growing up Female in America: This book really brought history alive for me. It shares stories and experiences from a variety of very diverse girls growing up through the history of the United States. It did a great job of explaining the way life has changed for girls and women over the years and I really enjoyed hearing the stories of the girls featured in the book, especially in their own words. I recommend this for all girls (and boys!) ages 10 and up.

Across the Universe: I was so hooked on this YA book! It is great because it has a little bit of everything: sci-fi, mystery, romance, dystopian world, everything! It takes place on board a ship that is making its way to a new planet on a 300 year journey. Some of the passengers are cyro-genetically frozen and some are alive and running the ship. Amy is woken up early and she and the future leader of the ship try to figure out who did it as well as many other secrets on the ship. I loved everything about it!

Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution: I have never really been able to read biographies, but this one captivated me enough that I was eager to keep reading it. Maybe that is because it was written for a younger audience, or just because I really admire Abigail Adams. I learned so much about this remarkable woman and had a really good time doing so. By the end I felt that we were dear friends and mostly that I just really want to be like her!

The Taxing Case of the Cows: a True Story About Suffrage: Another story about women in America, this one takes a little known true story about two women who protested their dairy farm being taxed when they had no representation (couldn’t vote). It was fun to read about history in a picture book format and learn a little more about women’s suffrage.

Paper Towns: Another wonderful young adult novel. This one is a little hard to explain and the girl that told me about it gave away way too much of the story in my opinion, so I will just say, it’s about some  teenagers I could easily identify with because they sounded a lot like me and my friends. Margo Roth Speigleman is an unusual girl who likes to go on pretty crazy adventures, but when she disappears, it is up to her next door neighbor (who has a crush on her) to find out where she has gone.

Savvy: This book is for younger readers (4th-8th grade). It is a really fun and unique story about a girl turning 13 years old. On her birthday she is going to find out what her savvy is, or her own magical power. Everyone in her family has one and she can’t wait to find out what her own is. Her birthday goes a little awry though when her dad is in a car accident and she and her friends hitchhike on a crazy pink bible selling school bus to get a ride to the hospital to see him. This story is really funny and a lot of fun.

Sergio Makes a Splash: A really fun picture book about an adorable penguin who is hesitant to swim in the ocean. Really cute illustrations and just a fun story about overcoming our fears.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: I loved this young adult novel! It is about a girl named Frankie who goes to an elite prep school. When she discovers her boyfriend is in a male-only secret society, she becomes a little upset. She wants to show them she is just as able to be a member as the guys are, and starts a series of pranks that have the whole school in an uproar!

Baby Brains: the Smartest Baby in the Whole World: This picture book is hilarious. It had me laughing out loud. It is about the smartest baby in the world, as the title suggests, and how he discovers that maybe having a mommy and daddy who love him is more important than being a genius.

My Mommy: is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill: This is a bitter-sweet graphic novel that I just loved. It is intended for an audience a little older than it looks like, I would say 9 or 10 years old and up. It is the story of a little French boy who wonders where his mommy is and how he deals with his situation. I loved the illustrations and the layout and pretty much everything about this book.

Happy Reading everyone!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    April 19, 2011 7:10 pm

    I will have to try some of these out! Thanks!

  2. Lonita permalink
    April 20, 2011 5:30 am

    Good luck with the rest of the semester! That does sound like a fun class – fun to discover new books you love. I look forward to when Joshua is interested in books that are more than just, say, pictures of trucks and tractors 🙂 – your recommendations will come in handy then!

  3. April 20, 2011 9:38 am

    That part of your semester sounds fun! I’m always looking for books for Clayton. Can you tell me where you got some of your ideas for YA, Fantasy books? That’s what he likes the most.

  4. JoAnn McLean permalink
    April 20, 2011 11:26 am

    You have been reading and reading. The books sound very interesting. The end of the semester is hard, just getting everything done and turned in on time. You’ll be ready for summer vacation.

  5. strawberrygirl88 permalink*
    April 20, 2011 2:26 pm

    Donna, I’m not the best expert on the fantasy genre, but I’ll try to help. The Young Adult Library Services Association (yalsa) puts out lots of booklists on their website every year and though they don’t have one specifically for fantasy, you can find a lot of fantasy titles if you dig around a little. A lot of what I’ve been reading lately is more of the science-fiction/dystopian/futuristic stuff that’s really popular right now, but a few of the fantasy books I’ve heard really great things about are Sabriel, Graceling, The Graveyard Book, Leviathon, the Looking Glass Wars, and the Wizard of Earthsea. I read one called the Ship Breaker that was also more science fiction, but that one was really good. I hope that helps a little. Have fun exploring!

  6. Karen permalink
    April 25, 2011 9:10 pm

    I love children’s literature. You have listed some I have read and some that I haven’t. I love hearing about the books others enjoy! You’ve given more to put on my list!

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