Weekly Wrap-Up #20

Since I have been gone for more than a month, I am going to share with you the titles we have read during the time. There aren’t too many, but they all have been enjoyable…except for the zombie one. Why did I attempt to read this during my FIRST TRIMESTER?!

This is embarrassing to admit, but during this past month I only finished 2 Audiobooks and 2 Books, both Juvenile Fiction. I’m currently listening to another Audiobook and finishing up another Juvenile Fiction book. I’ll give a brief response to each title.

Audio

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Having loved this book like a decade ago, I decided to revisit it and see if it would be something more conservative families would enjoy. I’m still not sure, but I loved it all the more a decade older. Although Darwin is discussed and his teachings are basically shown through Calpurnia and her family, I don’t find those reasons to ignore this book. It’s easy to discuss science, theory, and evolution and to even apply it to our lives. Kelly brings up, especially at the end, that sometimes things just happen when it doesn’t make sense. That is life.

It’s also a story of Calpurnia and her grandfather’s relationship and of her learning to deal with societal expectations of a young lady. While her grandfather believes in her pursuing science, she has to face the fact it will be difficult as a girl.

I recommend this coming of age story of a girl turning 13 in the last quarter of 1899. Oh, and she lives around the Hill Country in Texas. Another reason to try it out, Texans!

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

After about a week of spending my commute to just mentally process what happened to my library and to handle my all-day “morning sickness,” I decided it was time to download an eAudiobook since our audios were all boxed up. This title was in my to-read pile and after watching the 2009 Hulk movie I thought Mr. Hyde would be Hulk-ish. Quite the opposite. This book is a perfect introduction to the duality within man. It discusses in a less didactic way than other novels a major problem we have: should we keep giving in to that oh-so-bad part or try to keep self in-check? The question can then be asked: how can we keep ourselves in check if the “Mr. Hyde” can reappear willy-nilly?

LaRose by Louise Erdrich

My current listen. Louise Erdrich is Native American (enrolled Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and tells the story of an Ojibwe community in North Dakota after a terrible accident. Landreaux thought he was shooting a deer, but after the deer runs away he discovers he actually shot the 5 year old son of his friend, Peter. Peter and Landreaux’s wives are half-sisters and after this incident things just aren’t the same. Landreaux and his wife decide to give LaRose, their 5 year old son, to Peter and his wife to make up. At first it appears to make things okay, but it takes years and sharing LaRose for things to settle down and for real healing to take place. Or so I think. I still have 2 discs to go and as we all know, that last disc could change everything. I secretly think LaRose will some how die. Read next week to see!

A good pick for more mature teen readers, or those teens that “fake” it and just want to read adult books. This one is worth its weight.

Books

All three of these books were chosen because they are on the 2017-2018 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. Read more about this list here.

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen

I loved this story so much. It was written by a lady from Sugar Land, Texas (my old stomping grounds!). The protagonist, Mya, loves country culture and isn’t ashamed. But Mya is black, a race you don’t often associate with cowboys and cowgirls. I was to the moon because of it–nothing is wrong with a black cowgirl. They actually exist and I’m glad this book normalizes it.

Mya is “friends” with a beauty queen, but their friendship goes awry because Mya doesn’t try enough to switch Spirit Week partners to be with her. Mya learns slowly what everyone else knows: their friendship was never a friendship. Luckily Mya comes to realize the truth and gets a good taste for what true friendship is. A lovely story on all levels.

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

Wrong book to read while in your first trimester. Gross gross gross. It made me want to puke. Let me just say why with one word: zombie-ball. Is that graphic enough? Well imagine that DRAWN as this is a hybrid graphic novel and chapter book. Yuck!

It’s all about a zombie/monster take over. It is perfect for kids who like scary things and being grossed out. But not for me. Yuck again.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

This new Newbery winner is my current read. The basic premise is a witch has been taking babies left out for her by one town and delivers the happily accepted babies to another town. However the witch doesn’t know why there is always a baby left out the same day of the year. The town that leaves the baby out does so to appease the “evil” witch. But this is just a ruse for the town’s elders to keep power. The elders assume the babies just get eaten by a beast; they do not actually believe in the witch.

But she exists and is loving, helpful and maternal.

There is one baby the witch falls in love with and ends up feeding the magical power of the moon to; she names this child Luna. Luna eventually discovers her magical powers and she is a force endure. What will the witch do? Will the elders ever discover that there is really a witch? Will they get put in their place? I can’t wait to find out.

Theo’s

So I introduced Theo to Little Critter this week. I told him the truth: Little Critter used to creep me out when I was a kid. Well, Theo has started calling Little Critter, Creepy Critter. I corrected him a few times and then decided to just go with it. Haha. He enjoys Little Critters and even wants to reenact the book Just a Little to Little, the one book we have read to him about Little Critter. It may be the only one…ever….

Clean Enough by Kevin Henkes

I love this book. It was Henkes’ first book. Indeed, it was drawn by him as a 19 year old student and published when he was 21-22. It’s about a boy taking a bath. It shows him in the nude so while I wouldn’t read it during story time, it was perfect to read one-on-one with Theo. The boy and Theo have a lot in common when it comes to baths: playtime takes first place and, if time permits, soaping up. But really, they think, if I spend that much time in water surely I’m “clean enough.”

We’ve read more but it’s been a few long weeks so I didn’t keep track of them.


What have you been reading?

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