It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. For more information and to find out what other bloggers are reading check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.
What I've Been Reading This Week...
This week I've been reading some books that are soon-to-be published. Look for these in September.
The Book of Gold by Bob Staake
This is a wonderful book about the power of reading. A young boy is transformed from a nonreader into a reader who realizes that reading is about discovery and wonder. As a teacher of reading and a book lover, I am looking forward to sharing this book with my students. Read my review here.
The Daybreak Bond by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Mori and her friends have left Old Harmonie, the utopian community where they live, to keep their friend Ilana, who is more machine than human, safe. Never having left Old Harmonie, the world outside the fence is not like anything the friends could have imagined and there are challenges to their mission that they did not expect. The friends' adventure in a world new to them was interesting, but the bond between them and their loyalty to each other also drew me into the story. In the utopian world of Old Harmonie, traits of humans can be technologically altered so each person can meet their full potential. Mori questions this practice, as will readers. This sequel to The Firefly Code is as engaging as the first. If you are not already a utopian fiction fan, you just may be after reading Blakemore's books.
The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner
Zig hasn't seen his dad in over a year and his mother won't give him any explanation as to why. Zig thinks geocaching will help him find his dad so he follows the clues around his town. Finding his dad is not Zig's only problem as his mother is unable to afford the bills and they must leave their apartment. Zig and the other characters in this book are facing realistic challenges in their lives. This book deals with a serious issue in a way that will give readers insight without being too sad. The book shows that the lives of others may be different than they appear on the surface. There is also a message of hope as friends, family, and strangers support one another.
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Fred, Con, Lily, and Max are traveling by plane to England when their plane crashes. The pilot has died and they are left alone to survive in the jungle and find their way home. There is lots of adventure as the children problem solve and figure out ways to eat and stay safe. In order to survive the children must also work together and, even though they are very different from each other, they become friends. This book about four brave children is for those readers who like adventure and stories of survival.
One Mixed-Up Night by Catherine Newman
Two best friends each tell their parents they are sleeping at the other's house, but really they have a plan, inspired by From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, to spend the night at Ikea. This is a book about adventure, friendship, and healing. I think middle grade readers will be intrigued by the idea of spending a night alone at Ikea. Read my review of the book here.
Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella
This is a unique story that starts with a boy finding a bone, poking out of the dirt, in his garden. He knows that after this day nothing will be the same. This boy, Stanly, has some difficult issues to deal with - his dad is not around, his mother can barely pay the bills, and his sister Miren is getting sicker and sicker. The bone grows into a skeleton which seems to be connected to Miren's sickness. The book is eerie, magical, and heart-breaking.
The Wonderling by Mira Bartok
Arthur is a groundling, part human, part animal. Only at the beginning of the story he is not known as Arthur, but simply as a number, the number 13. The only home he has ever known is The Home for Wayword and Misbegotten Creatures run by the very evil Miss Carbunkle. Arthur meets a creature, smaller than him, who convinces him to escape from "the Home." Arthur's adventure is a search for the place where he was born, but it leads him to a world he never expected. This book will capture imaginations with its fantasy and magic. Readers will care for Arthur who is kind-hearted and courageous. This book, which will be published in September, is also being made into a movie.