5.30.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #OrphanIsland

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week


the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

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Overview From B&N

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Certainly gripping. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened in their friendship to drive a wedge between Charlie and Vera. I also knew that Charlie was dead—but how? King’s slow reveal kept me hitting play on this audio book.

One thing bothered me, though: It was clear that Vera and Charlie were friends from a young age, and they were supposed to be close. But I never felt that King showed them getting along all that well. I wonder why.

My middle schoolers will enjoy reading this when they’re older.


Overview from B&N

“A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true.” —Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

For readers who loved Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Lois Lowry’s The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

I’ll admit I had a tough time getting going on this one, but once I gave myself longer stretches for reading, I was captivated by the island life and the premise of the book.

If you’ve seen or read Maze Runner, you know that every so often a new teenager is brought to the glade with some more supplies. He has no idea who he is, how he got there, or what came before. Everyone has to bring the new guy or girl up to speed so she can be a contributing member. In Orphan Island, the newcomer to the island is a child brought by a green boat. That same green boat takes away the oldest kid—a young teen— to who-knows-where. It is the now-oldest’s turn to raise the newcomer.

Jinny, the main character, is kindasortabarely ready for this new role as elder. She’s selfish. She’s independent. She’s lonely. Watching the somewhat unlikeable main character struggle through this is often tough. I could see what she was doing wrong and how others were put off by it.

But aren’t we all fallible? Don’t we make wrong decisions? Aren’t we often slow to admit our mistakes? In that way, Jinny is very believable.

I read recently in a Nerdy Book Club post written by the author, Laurel Snyder, that she knows people—especially adults— will struggle with the ending because everything isn’t fully resolved. In the post she writes:

But this is what I know for sure—when I was twelve, nothing in my life had a bow on it. I hadn’t even found the ribbon, or thought about how I might knot it.  And in trying to write a book for my twelve-year old self, I wanted, more than anything, to say, “It’s okay that you don’t know things. It’s okay that you haven’t even figured out all the questions yet.  It’s okay to feel crazy and yet still move forward. In fact, you have to.”

Go for it. Read to wonder, to guess, to form possibilities, to explore. To move forward. You won’t be sorry.
While you’re at it, read Snyder’s 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what YOU’RE reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Did you catch my
this past week?
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…



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