#MustReadin2019 Update

Each year, I crowdsource the titles on my #MustReadin2019 list from the other #MustRead lists. It’s my favorite way to put together my own list, and it keeps me reading much more happily and willingly than I would if I consulted only myself. I find plenty of books that would have made it onto my own list anyway; I get the nudge I need to move other titles higher on the TBR list; and I always discover a few new-to-me titles that end up being well worth reading.

So far, I’ve finished 6 titles on my list, abandoned one (probably permanently), and am currently reading two more.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga is an excellent picture book written by a Cherokee author that shows how members of the Cherokee Nation practice gratitude and celebrate throughout the year. Colorful illustrations and interesting back matter add to the appeal.

Meet Yasmin is the first in a new early reader series. I enjoyed the bright illustrations and Yasmin’s zest for life.

Tahereh Mafi’s National Book Award nominee, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, is a YA novel that has stuck with me. I loved the main character, Shirin, who is observant and fierce. Her breakdancing hobby and the post 9/11 setting were interesting. I could have done with less romance, but I imagine the target reading audience will enjoy that part of the book too.

New Kid will definitely be on my list of favorite graphic novels of the year. I especially loved how funny and thoughtful Craft was in depicting the racial microaggressions that many students faced daily, especially from their teachers.

Even if you think you know everything about book access for all kids, you should read Game Changer! Short chapters incorporate all the important research teachers need know if they’re going to build and support powerful independent reading programs in their classrooms. This is one I would consider requiring of my preservice teachers.

My son and I just finished Tight for our latest read-aloud. I loved the strong voice, close connections with parents, and exploration of friendships.

I abandoned A Man Called Ove and doubt I go back to it. The writing style is not for me. I balked just a few pages into the novel when a character “nods pedagogically.” What does that mean? I kept going for another thirty pages or so but couldn’t get past the feeling that these characters were more caricature than character.

I am in the middle of Aida Salazar’s The Moon Within, which keeps surprising me, and very slowly listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming on audio.

9 thoughts on “#MustReadin2019 Update

  1. I really want to read the first book you mentioned! I looked for it in the library and couldn’t find it. I told my Dad to order a copy for my nephew. I am Cherokee and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I really want to teach Native American literature at some point and want to have a diverse background!

  2. I’ve also abandoned Frederik Backman novels! (two of them actually…) I found the same issue, and I love the way you worded it: “caricatures, not characters.” Oh well. There are so many other good books out there!

  3. Loved A Very Large Expanse of Sea! Tight is on my list. Just haven’t got to it yet. Sometimes we just have to abandon books even if others rave about them. When it’s not a fit, it’s not a fit. So glad you are making great progress with your list.

  4. I also abandoned A Man Called Ove. I didn’t want to read it, but it got so many rave reviews that I decided in a weak moment that maybe it would be good and I always love a good book. You gave it much more of a chance than I did!

  5. That’s too bad about A Man Called Ove. I’ve heard a lot of buzz, but never picked it up myself. I’ve enjoyed 4 books on your “finished” list, but still hope to get to the others. I have a hardcover copy of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, but I heard such good things about the audio version (in her own voice) that I got on the wait list for that, through our library. I’ve been on the list for months (started up in the hundreds) and am just now down to #79. So we’ll see if I get to have it before the end of the year. LOL Still looking forward to We Are Grateful and New Kid, as well. Great progress!

  6. I have New Kid, just haven’t read it yet, know it will be good. And Tight is on the ‘long’ list, hoping to get to it, too. I liked We Are Grateful very much.

  7. Good to read your comments about A Man Called Ove, but sad too. I ended up loving My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. We are Grateful is such a beautiful book. I’m looking forward to Meet Yasmin! which is on my list and New Kid, which is not.

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