Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

This week started with finishing The Kill Order, the prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy, by James Dashner.  I was a bit disappointed.  There's not really any new information here and the characters I was interested in getting the backstory on weren't featured.

Next I started on books for the Fierce Reads Tour.  I know I said my first book would be Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, but they changed the whole tour up on me and she's no longer on it.  So instead I read Enclave, the first book in a series by Ann Aguirre.  I really loved it, although I'm having trouble fully articulating why.  What I can say is that this is one of the best cases of narrative tone defining the character of a narrator I can think of.  Deuce's style is very spartan and matter of fact in the best way possible.  This also allows Aguirre to cover a lot more ground in terms of plot and development of characters and themes.  She leaves a lot for the reader to fill in, which feels very intelligent rather than frustrating.  I highly recommend picking it up.

I currently have 86 pages left in the next book in the series, Outpost.  I have the same complimentary things to say about book two (which is rare enough), but with the added thought that this book feels like it's moved on completely from the first in terms of the actual events of the plot while still maintaining the consistency of the characters.  It feels like we are following them through their lives rather than just one dramatic episode.  This series is definitely one to watch.
*My copy of Outpost is an Advance Readers Copy provided by the publisher.*

I also tackled some picture books from the upcoming Penguin catalog, all BLADs from the publisher:

The Apple and the Butterfly by Iela and Enzo Mari
A cool, modern wordless picture book about lifecycles.  This could be a great curriculum book.

See a Heart Share a Heart by Eric Telchin
This photography book shows us how to see wonder in the world around us.  The author shares the stories behind some of the photos at the end.

Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Paul Schmid
This book illustrates how much fun can be had when we all share our resources instead of being selfish with what's ours.  The illustration are cool too.

The Eagles Are Back by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Wendell Minor
The companion to The Wolves Are Back and The Buffalo Are Back, this may be George's last book.  It's an inspirational environmental tale, great for libraries and schools.

How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mark Fearing
A quirky book about vegetables fighting back.  It could be fun for little ones who refuse to eat their greens (but it could also give them ammunition).

The Deep, Deep Puddle by Mary Jessie Parker, illustrated by Deborah Zemke
A silly book that teaches counting forward and backward.

The Loopy Coop Hens: Letting Go by Janet Morgan Stoeke
A cute story broken into super-short chapters in which the Loopy Coop Hens learn about ripening fruit and gravity.

Wilfred by Ryan Higgins
How does a monster come to have a zipper?  It's an odd story, but you'll want to read it to find out.  Full disclosure:  I love Wilfred.

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems: Companion to Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse
How does she write these?  If you liked Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, you'll like this.  If you haven't read Mirror Mirror, what are you waiting for?  These are must-haves for any poetry collection.

Ol' Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
A tribute to a mother's dedication to protecting her babies.  Also, a lesson in why you shouldn't make squirrels mad.

Betty Bunny Didn't Do It by Michael B. Kaplan, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
Betty Bunny is back and wonderful as ever in a book about taking responsibility for your actions and telling the truth.  Also, more picture books should have teenage siblings.

Robomop by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez
Oh, do I love this book.  How could you not love a story about finding your place in life narrated by an introspective Robomop trapped in a basement bathroom?

Spike and Ike Take a Hike by S.D. Schindler
A cute rhyming adjective book with a sweet sense of humor.

Ten Things I Love About You by Daniel Kirk
A sweet story about appreciating your friends.

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Tim Bowers
So cute and funny!  A story about not needing to fit in in order to contribute.

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
This book explores expressing your feelings with colors in a very cool way.

Dream Friends by You Byun
A cute enough story about making friends, but the gorgeous dreamscape illustrations really make this one.

Tea Rex by Molly Idle
Your tea party may not go according to plan when your guest is a dinosaur.

Froggy's Worst Playdate by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
A solid entry in the Froggy series, although it doesn't work as well as a standalone.

Rat and Roach Rock On! by David Covell
I don't like this one as much as the original, but it's definitely fun.

Time-Out for Sophie by Rosemary Wells
Classic Wells in the best way.  The time-out illustrations are particularly nice.

Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea
A really touching little story about the need to share your life with others.  This could also work as a story about adoption.

Monkey Ono by J.C. Phillipps
Lots of funny silliness.

This week I'll be finishing Outpost and starting on the next Fierce Reads book, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody.

What are you reading?


  1. I've just added The Maze Runner to be to-read list. I've heard great things about it!


    1. The first book is great, well worth the read. The other two/three books are good, just not as good as the first. But if you're anything like me, you'll need to read at least the trilogy, just to get all your questions answered.

  2. I want to read Enclave, sounds interesting.
    Here is My It’s Monday!

    1. I highly recommend it. It's a very different feel for dystopia.

  3. You've read The Kill Order!!! Jealous...

    You read a lot of picture books. Wilfred, Not Your Typical Dragon, and Tea Rex looks especially good.

    I just did my first one of these posts so I hope you can check it out:

    1. Those three are pretty great and should have universal appeal (not too gendered, traditional narrative with a modern twist).

  4. SO many great picture books! I love Betty Bunny and especially the Loopy Coop Hens. The Follow Follow book looks wonderful! Mirror Mirror is so creative.

    1. Betty Bunny is a favorite around here, and I think it's safe to say if you like Mirror Mirror, you'll like Follow Follow.

  5. I think Enclave and Outpost were two of my favorite reads this summer. There's something about Outpost that I loved even more than the first book. It was something about how Deuce tries to blend her Huntress self with the gentler side she is discovering..

    I'll be hosting a Q&A with Ann Aguirre on my blog Sept 10th - I'm so excited!

    1. I'm not sure which I liked better, but I agree that one of the strengths of the series is continually introducing not only new physical situations, but new internal debates that hadn't even occurred to the characters before.

      I'll definitely check out that Q & A.

  6. I am bummed that the Kill Order was not better... I have yet to read Maze Runner but it is on my shelf... well currently in a pile while I wait for my new shelves.

    1. Others may like The Kill Order better than I did. I made the mistake of thinking ahead too much and deciding what I wanted to be in it.

      And I totally feel you on the book piles issue.

  7. I keep seeing people reading Enclave, time for me to look for it at my library. I wonder if it's on audio? Also...holy moly, you read a ton of picture books! Will have to come back when I get ready to order books from my library. :)

    1. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's an audio version of Enclave (yet). I found it to be a very quick read, though.

      It helps to have some time at work dedicated to reviewing upcoming picture books. Otherwise, I would not read nearly as many.