11.27.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

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!


From IndieBound:

Description

A wrenching and revelatory novel. – The New York Times”

Green finds the language to describe the indescribable. . . . A must-read for those struggling with mental illness, or for their friends and family.” –San Francisco Chronicle
It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

It is so difficult to understand what mental illness is like. We can be sympathetic. I can nod my head and listen. I can try to empathize…

But it’s tough to understand the anguish that someone struggling with mental illness is going through.

Turtles All the Way Down gives me a better idea for sure. Living with Aza for the length of this book was challenging. There were times when I cringed at her actions or wanted to yell at her for the thoughts she had in her head. I was pained by the conversations she had with her “dark side” that was trying to convince her to do crazy things.

If it’s tough to read about it, imagine living with it. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) shows itself in many ways. In TATWD, Aza is obsessed with the thought that her body being invaded by microbes carrying diseases that will kill her. One of her habits is to dig her thumbnail into the pad of her middle finger. Over time it has developed a callous and a crack that won’t properly heal. She makes it bleed then sanitizes it then makes herself crazy over whether she remembered to change the bandage recently or not.

Strange stuff for someone who doesn’t deal with it, but books like this give me a window into lives of people who do. What do I do with that information?

My hope is that it makes me a little more sympathetic and understanding when I know someone or hear of someone who has to fight this daily.

OCD is just one mental illness. There are many more.

The good news is that there is hope and help for everyone. It may take a while, but it can be overcome.

I’ll certainly be writing more about this book and the themes that echo across it.

John Green bases much of Aza’s struggles on his own experience wrestling with OCD. If you’re interested in hearing him talk more about it, check out his interview with Terri Gross on Fresh Air.

And yes, he’s got an Instagram account.


PERIOD 1&2 READ 22 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 37 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 23 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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11.13.17 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #PAX by Sara Pennypacker

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!


This week’s soundtrack:

Explosions in the Sky is one of my favorite bands to listen to while working and reading. We’ll see if you agree.

From IndieBound:

Description

National Book Award Longlist * New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be–with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

I need to confess: I didn’t want to read this book.

I’ve had it recommended to me.

I like the cover–why doesn’t love Jon Klassen illustrations?

But a story… told from the point of view of a fox? It sounded too much like a childish Disney tale.

Yet, for some reason, when one of my colleagues delivered it to my desk, I put it in my bag and brought it home… and started reading anyway.

It took about five pages to grip me, and it didn’t let go. This was far more than a cute animal tale. It was deep and serious–I wasn’t ready for that.


Both the fox’s and Peter’s chapters were mesmerizing. Maybe that it was told from third person POV instead of first helped. Peter’s interactions with Vola, a woman he meets on his journey, were my favorite. She had many words of wisdom to share, but not in a preachy way. She was soft spoken and truthful.

After finishing, I did a little more research about the author and the book. It was cool to learn about the research she did to learn about the mannerisms of foxes. Even in a fiction book, it’s important to make sure it’s accurate. You can learn more by listening to the show below.

Check out this radio segment about Pax from NPR. Tap to listen:


PERIOD 1&2 READ 12 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 8 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 11 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
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If my daughter can get it back from a friend she lent it to…

 

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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11.6.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #SOLO

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!


This week’s soundtrack:

 

Description from IndieBound:

 

New York Times bestseller “A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review.. “.a rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll.” Booklist, starred review..”. many readers will identify with Blade’s struggle to find his place in a family where he feels like an outsider.” — PW (Publishers Weekly)”the authentic character development and tone will strike a chord with young adults.” – School Library Journal

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, comes Solo, a YA novel written in poetic verse. 

Solo tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, who knows the life of a rock star isn’t really about the glitz and glamour. All the new cars and money in the world can’t make up for the scathing tabloid covers or the fact that his father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun–including a desperate desire to make a comeback and regain his former fame. Haunted by memories of his mother–who died when Blade was nine–and the ruin his father’s washed-up legacy and life have brought to the family, Blade is left to figure out life on his own.

But, he’s not all alone: He’s got the friendship of a jazz-musician mentor, Robert; the secret love of a girlfriend, Chapel; and his music. All may not be well in the Morrison home, but things are looking up for Blade, until he discovers a deeply protected family secret–one that further threatens his relationship with his family and has him questioning his own identity.

Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He soon sets out on a journey that will change everything he thought to be true. His quest lands him in Ghana, stuck in a village just shy of where answers to the secret can be found. There, Blade discovers a friendship he couldn’t have imagined, a people founded in family and community, and a reconciliation he never expected.

With his signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, Kwame Alexander explores what it means to finally come home.

This was a tragically beautiful story. I enjoy the speed at which a novel in verse moves–the white space and the things left unsaid playing a huge role in the telling of the story.

I went on the roller-coaster ride of Blade’s life and what a ride it was. Carried along by the musical references and the playlist that Alexander and Hess created to go along with the book, I was mesmerized by where his journey took him. I can’t wait to create that playlist on Apple music and listen to it, remembering the different parts in the story.

If you are a Kwame fan—and if you aren’t already, this will likely make you one—you need to add this book to your collection.

And to think–I have a signed copy! (Thanks, Adam!)

And now…. a few words from Master Kwame:


PERIOD 1&2 READ 16 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 24 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 19 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
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audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 3.13.51 PM

11.3.17 {BOOKflix Friday} Infinity Ring Series

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Interested in time travel? Are you fascinated by how things that happen in the past affect the present… and the future?

Maybe you like the show TIMELESS.

This might be the perfect series for YOU!

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This series is a book, but also a game. The trailer is showing off the game, but also gives you a feel for the books.

 

 

There is also this SUPER COOL site that goes along with the books.