Mother Reader's 48 hour book challenge (#48hbc) is just what I needed to kick off the summer. It is a great reminder of how perfectly wonderful it is to pull up a chair on my back patio, read books, and ignore the millions of other things I should be doing. Best of all, I'm catching up on reading books that I should know more about. Here are the next three I finished:
Wonder by R. J. Palacio: For months Twitter has been abuzz about this book. All my #nerbybookclub friends have recommended it. Every one that reads it raves about it. I finished Wonder this morning. To say it is "Wonder"- ful is likely a bit cliche. I'm sure it's been said before. This story about August, "Auggie," who is coming to school for the first time since being home schooled. What makes this an even bigger deal is that Auggie has basically been home schooled because of a birth defect. I'm not sure he'd want it called a defect, but his face has abnormalities that have required surgeries to help make living easier for him. These surgeries were not able to cosmetically improve his face. You can imagine the challenges for a child and his family in these circumstances.
R. J. Palatio divided the book into parts told in first-person by a variety of characters. I fell in love with all of the characters. Auggie captures your heart immediately, but I have to say Via was my favorite character. Her love for her brother, and her conflict over some of the challenges of being his sibling, were heartfelt. When I finished the book I just didn't want to start a new book as I wanted to sit with these characters for awhile. I know most of you reading this have already read Wonder, but if you haven't you really should. It will make you see life a little differently.
Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight. This book was an enjoyable read. I hadn't really expected the graphic breakaways. I think young readers would enjoy the way the author has shown Frankie's little side trips into the world of make-believe as he transforms from Frankie to superhero ready to save the day.
Frankie is another one of those characters you can't help but like. When Frankie's mom tells him he no longer has to clean his room - as long as he is willing to live with consequences - he is thrilled. It's every kids' dream! Things aren't always what we think they'll be. Frankie learns a valuable lesson. I can't wait to share this series with my students. I think they'll be able to relate to this character.
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows: My Twitter friends never steer me wrong, and Ivy and Bean is no exception. In this story, Bean has been watching her neighbor Ivy from afar. Despite her mom's requests, Bean just can't see herself playing with Ivy. She just doesn't seem exciting to Bean. One day, Bean gets in a bit of an argument with her big sister, Nancy. As she races away from Nancy, she finds her herself in Ivy's yard. Ivy is happy to help Bean hide from her sister. Bean finds she and Ivy have more in common than she first imaged as they make a secret plan of revenge for her sister, Nancy.
This book is going on my chapter read aloud list. This book is full of descriptive language the kids will just love. In one part, Nancy catches up to Ivy and Bean who throw worms at her in their fury. These worms get caught in Nancy's shirt, her hair, and even her mouth. Kids will love that! The great thing is they can enjoy Ivy and Bean in several different books.
Well, back to my books. Only 6 hours left in my 48 hour window. What to read? What to read?