It’s been a productive month reading across a wide genre spectrum, book ending with children’s fiction & non-fiction, and in between featuring chick lit, inspirational fiction, paranormal, and academic. Here we go!
Over the past few years Brian Selznick has done a spectacular job captivating readers of all ages with his stories told through visual art and words. His pencil/charcoal sketches are filled with drama, emotion, and movement, inviting the reader to linger over each page, but also making it compellingly easy to turn 665 pages to see what comes next.
The Marvels is his most recent picture/story book and is just as enthralling as the Caldecott award-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007) and Wonderstruck (2011). A ship at sea, generations of British actors, shared understanding among family members, and the power and preservation of story create a memorable tale.
Note: for parents & teachers, some explanation might need to be given about male-male relationships and what an HIV diagnosis means, so preview or journey along if you feel younger readers need guidance with these themes.
Thanks to a pre-publication copy from Edelweiss I started reading this in February for my community book club. When I didn’t make the meeting, I didn’t finish the book. Yet, as March progressed I had made enough of a connection with the main character, I wanted to see it through.
I feel the title is a bit misleading, since the bookshop is on a boat, and the majority of the story takes place along waterways outside of Paris. There were true reminders, I felt, of how reading books help us identify with emotions and often carry us through dark times. It was an inviting story that addressed the themes of love, loss, grief, healing, and learning to live & love again.
Also thanks to Edelweiss I was granted access to the third and final book in Kingsbury’s newest series, Angels Walking, which I read during our Spring Break trip to St. Louis.
The second in the Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden returns to wield his magic for good as he tracks down a pack of werewolves tied to a rash of brutal killings in Chicago. More insight is given into his mysterious past and his resolve is tested to remain on the side of good (vs. evil) as he learns who he can and cannot trust. (At the rate I’m going, if I only read one Harry Dresden book a year, I’m going to be reading this series for the next 14 years…)
Our statewide instruction librarian organization decided to add a book club to the mix this year. As the chair for the organization, I felt it behoove of me to read the whole thing, which probably wouldn’t have been done without the timeline of returning the book through InterLibrary Loan and guiding the online book club chat.
Themes addressed in the book are collaboration, diversity, technology, assessment, and professional competencies. Even though there wasn’t a lot of new information presented for me, there were good reminders of ways I can always improve upon my approach to the profession and day-to-day operations.
I heard such lovely things about this middle grade children’s book and it did not disappoint. I chose to listen to this as an audio book, which is narrated by the author. Rather than being written in a typical autobiographical format, Woodson shares the account of her childhood through free verse. This poetic approach creates space for the story of her young self to be told with continuity as she describes her recollections, beloved family members, and remembrances of living in the the south (South Carolina) and later Brooklyn.
On to all that awaits between the pages of books I read in April!