It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 3/7/16


On the blog:

  • A curation of the best of my online reading last week
  • A slice about my son’s concussion
  • A metaslice trying–and failing–to take apart the slice about my son’s concussion
  • A slice about what happened at the emergency room
  • A slice using the popular blog meme format, Currently
  • A slice about Mornings
  • Some advice on How to Write More (how I’m writing more this month during the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

In reading:

With all that writing, there wasn’t a lot of time for reading–or at least not for finishing. But I did read two books to my son. (Concussions are good for one thing: reading aloud time!)

to catch a cheat

Varian Johnson’s heist series really does feel like Ocean’s 11 for the middle-grade set–and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. The good: engaging diverse cast of characters; sharp writing; unexpected plot twists. The bad: such a convoluted and difficult-to-follow plot. There’s a lot of tech talk in this one, which went completely over my head and bogged the action of the story down. (Lots of talk about computer files and programs and hacks.) I continue to enjoy the characters, but didn’t love this book as much as I’d hoped to. Still, I think most middle-grade readers who liked The Great Greene Heist will want to read this one too.

how lunchbox jones saved me

I really loved Jennifer Brown’s middle-grade novel, How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel. I think the main draw is the voice of Luke, the main character, whose preferred after-school activity, playing video games, has been interrupted by forced participation on his school’s robotics team. An unlikely group of students has been recruited for the team, including Luke’s old grade-school nemesis, Missy the Cruel, and Lunchbox Jones, an intimidating (and usually silent) boy about whom violent rumors swirl. Luke has plenty to juggle on the team, but there are also some home issues to deal with: his relationship with his beloved older brother is nearly broken by his brother’s decision to “turn traitor,” abandon Luke, and join the Marines. All of the characters are well-drawn and fully rounded (with the exception, perhaps, of two sets of grandparents who are played for laughs). The story has heart and emotional depth. There is the mystery of Lunchbox Jones to figure out. And of course the relationship with Luke’s brother that needs to be repaired. By turns poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, this one’s a winner. (And a terrific read-aloud!) Plus, robotics!





8 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 3/7/16”

  1. Michele Avatar

    I have both of these to read! I loved the Great Green Heist just because it was so fun. Looking forward to the sequel.

  2. Akilah Avatar

    The bad: such a convoluted and difficult-to-follow plot. — I honestly couldn’t tell you what the book was about, but it was definitely fun to read. I try not to think about the heist/con stuff too much because that part is the most unrealistic and least interesting to me. But I am a sucker for characters, so.

  3. Katie Logonauts Avatar

    Love the Robot cover too – appealing! Haven’t read The Great Greene Heist yet, but I believe it is finally waiting for me at the library!

  4. Linda Baie Avatar

    I liked The Great Greene Heist, didn’t know there was a 2nd one. I’ll find the Robot book. You’ve convinced me to take a look!

  5. Jane Whittingham Avatar

    That robot cover looks so enticing, I can see it really appealing to kids! There’s nothing like a fun cover and a crazy title to get kids curious 🙂

  6. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum) Avatar

    I haven’t read The Great Greene Heist yet but I keep meaning to. Sounds like the second book isn’t as good as the first one.

  7. Kellee from Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    I need to read both of these and get them into students’ hands as I own both. They both sound like books that I definitely have readers for.

    Happy reading and healing this week 🙂

  8. crbrunelle Avatar

    Lunchbox sounds like one I’ll have to get for sure. I would like some laugh out loud funny stuff. Thanks!

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