It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/18/16

IMWAYR-2015-logoOn the blog:

In reading:

dare to disappoint

Ozge Samanci’s graphic novel memoir, Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey, covers Ozge’s life from childhood through finishing college. It’s a long time frame for a short graphic novel, but it does have a fairly tight focus: Ozge’s quest to find herself, to figure out what she loves to do and what she’s best at, and to make peace with disappointing her parents if she chooses a non-academic (even non-engineering) path. It’s a wonderful fit for a diversity study, because so much is shared of Turkish culture and history. Samanci has a wonderful eye for detail, and her drawings are charming and often humorous and the limited color palette is very effective.

very nearly honorable league

Magic Marks the Spot, the first novel in Caroline Carlson’s Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, gets off to a slow start. I will confess: I wanted to abandon it in the first 75 pages or so. It was well written enough, but BORING. I suspect my son was enjoying being contradictory more than anything else, because I KNOW he was bored too, but he pressed us ever onwards and I capitulated. And I was glad I did because around page 125, it suddenly got very good. All the different plot threads that are ever so slowly put in place in the first third to half of the book finally begin moving, and we rushed through to the conclusion. A very satisfying read, in the end. I promptly ordered Book 2.

And I made a discovery about myself as a reader. I try to do accents when I read aloud to my son. They’re hard for me to do consistently. One night I’ll have that British governess voice down pat, and the next night I can’t find my accent to save my life. But I’m a natural with pirate accents! I was even able to do DIFFERENT pirate accents for the different pirate characters. And now all I want to do is read pirate stories so I can channel my inner Captain Jack Sparrow. I was trying on a Guyanese accent for some of the parts in our current read-aloud, Kinda Like Brothers, but had to stop when I realized I sounded more pirate than South American.

dance dance underpants

I read Bob Shea’s Dance! Dance! Underpants! aloud to my Children’s Lit class this week, and it’s SUCH a delight. This is my 4th or 5th time reading this book, and I love it more every time I read it. There are some very funny moments; this is a hard one for me to get through with a straight face. I love Ballet Cat’s single-minded dedication to her craft–and her single-minded belief that everyone else is as single-minded as she is. Butter Bear manages to thwart her at every turn, but never fear: in the end, Ballet Cat gets her way. She always does!

pig fox box

I read Jonathan Fenske’s A Pig, a Fox, and a Box as part of a Geisel Challenge (an award I always think I’m finished with–and then I discover yet another book I’ve somehow missed!). It was also a slow start for me, because there’s RHYME. And we know how I feel about rhyme. But this book is hilarious–huge kid appeal. Fox reminds me a bit of Coyote from the cartoons. A must-have for beginning readers.

written and drawn by henrietta

I adored Liniers’s Written and Drawn by Henrietta. It’s one of the best children’s books I’ve seen about writing and the creative process. A must-have for writing workshop classrooms at every level (I’m planning to read it aloud on the first day in my college writing courses in the fall.) It’s also one of those stories that works equally well for child and adult readers. And that color palette: eye-popping!





14 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/18/16”

  1. Kellee @ Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    I LOVE Carlson’s series! I am so glad you didn’t give up and that you ended up loving it. The audio for it is TERRIFIC, just FYI πŸ™‚
    I still need to read Underpants; can’t wait!

    Happy reading this week πŸ™‚

  2. Linda Baie Avatar

    Love hearing about your trying on different accents, and ending up as a “pirate” more than wanted! I too love Written and Drawn By Henrietta, and will find Dare To Disappoint, know I will like it. I just gave some of the Pig, Fox, Box books to my granddaughter, emerging reader. She loves them. Thanks, Elisabeth!

  3. Michele Avatar

    If you can, see if you can find book 2 of The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates on audio. It is my favorite to listen to. The narrator’s accents (well, I think she is British so already has that accent) and her Pirate accents are FANTASTIC! I can’t find the third one on audio so have to suffer through reading it πŸ˜‰

  4. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    Love the idea of using Written and Drawn by Henrietta with your college students!

  5. Tara Smith Avatar

    So intrigued by Dare to Disappoint – I will have to find a copy of this book somewhere!

  6. Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione) Avatar

    Pirates are a popular topic with some of my students, but I wonder if they would persist through the boring beginning. I just love the illustrations of Ballet Cat and Bear – I’m looking forward to reading this one.

  7. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum) Avatar

    I’ll definitely have to check out Written and Drawn by Henrietta. Sounds like my kind of book!

  8. Ricki Ginsberg Avatar

    Dare to Disappoint looks fabulous. I am going to add it to my list. I hadn’t heard of it, so thank you for sharing!

  9. carriegelson Avatar

    Written and Drawn by Henrietta is such a fantastic title. And always, I am such a Ballet Cat fan! Love that you are sharing both of these with your students!

  10. Jane Whittingham Avatar

    Oh how I love Ballet Cat, such a great series to have on hand for all the funny book requests. πŸ™‚

  11. Cheriee Weichel Avatar

    Doesn’t everyone try on different accents? I admit that I didn’t actually read Magic Marks the Spot with my eyes. I listed to it being narrated by Katherine Kellgren. It is pure delight to listen to her voice. She also narrates The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, and honestly, it is as much about her narration as it is the stories themselves. If she narrates, I will probably listen to it.

  12. Crystal Avatar

    Dare to Disappoint sounds like one I’ll want to read. I have enjoyed all of the early reader books you shared. So fun.

  13. Myra GB Avatar

    I am definitely pinning Dare to Disappoint – looks exactly like my kind of read. We don’t have Written and Drawn yet at the library, will recommend to our librarians.

  14. Akilah Avatar

    Okay, well now I have to read that Henrietta book just to see if I, too, should read it aloud to my creative writing class this fall. GOOD DEAL.

    But I’m a natural with pirate accents! I was even able to do DIFFERENT pirate accents for the different pirate characters. And now all I want to do is read pirate stories so I can channel my inner Captain Jack Sparrow. — This made me laugh. Excellent. I support this choice.

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