48 Hour Book Challenge Update #8

A Map Of The Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell- 273 pages

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- 276 pages

Moon Science, History, And Mystery by Stewart Ross- 121 pages

Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis- 195 pages

Girls Acting Catty by Lesle Margolis- 158 pages

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb- 47 pages

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson- 353 pages

The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries Series) by Meg Cabot- 86 pages (audiobook while driving 1 hr roundtrip for cupcakes!)

Hate That Cat: A Novel by Sharon Creech- 148 pages

Biology: Life as We Know It! by Dan Green- 128 pages

 

Total pages read: 1784
Total Time: 14 hours reading, 2 hours tweeting/cheering on, 31 hours since starting

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

Hate That Cat: A Novel continues the story of Jack. His awesome teacher, Miss Stretchberry, has moved up to the next grade with him and they are still working on becoming poets. As an aside, let me just say I love Miss Stretchberry! She is teaching her students that they are poets, whether they choose to rhyme or not. Whether they choose to use alliteration, assonance, or anything else. YAY!

Jack is still recovering from the death of his beloved dog, Skye. He also hates the big, mean black cat that has taken up residence in his neighborhood. But when he gets his own kitten, he starts to change his mind. Until his new kitten also disappears, leaving him.

I enjoyed this just as much as I enjoyed LOVE THAT DOG. It’s a great duo of books to help introduce kids to poets and poetry. I have a soft spot for William Carlos WIlliams, so I loved the constant references to his poetry. I will be sure to recommend Hate That Cat: A Novel to the teachers in my building who already share LOVE THAT DOG with their students.

48 Hour Book Challenge- Update #7

A Map Of The Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell- 273 pages

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- 276 pages

Moon Science, History, And Mystery by Stewart Ross- 121 pages

Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis- 195 pages

Girls Acting Catty by Lesle Margolis- 158 pages

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb- 47 pages

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson- 353 pages

The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries Series) by Meg Cabot- 86 pages (audiobook while driving 1 hr roundtrip for cupcakes!)

Hate That Cat: A Novel by Sharon Creech- 148 pages

Total pages read: 1656
Total Time: 13.5 hours reading, 2 hours tweeting/cheering on, 30.5 hours since starting

48 Hour Book Challenge Update #6

A Map Of The Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell- 273 pages

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- 276 pages

Moon Science, History, And Mystery by Stewart Ross- 121 pages

Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis- 195 pages

Girls Acting Catty by Lesle Margolis- 158 pages

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb- 47 pages

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson- 353 pages

The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries Series) by Meg Cabot- 86 pages (audiobook while driving 1 hr roundtrip for cupcakes!)

Total pages read: 1508
Total Time: 13 hours reading, 2 hours tweeting/cheering on,  30 hours since starting

A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell

I went into this book expecting a nice story about an artist who is into maps.  Because my fiance is a cartographer, I am drawn to anything that involves cartography.  As you can imagine, that’s not very often.  So when I heard that Lis Ann Sandell’s A Map Of The Known World had a plot that included cartography, I added it to my TBR pile.

This is a book that’s about a lot more than cartography.

I had no idea how intense it would be when I sat down on my couch and opened to the first page.

Cora’s brother Nate was a jerk. He wasn’t always a jerk; in fact, he used to be her best friend. But for the last four years, since he entered 8th grade, Nate was a jerk. He rebelled against their parents and was unusually cruel to the entire family.

But now Nate is dead. And on the night he crashed his car, he and Cora had a huge fight. Now she has to start school at the same high school Nate went to. She is struggling to survive with her parents, who have completely shut down. Her mother has become insanely overprotective, requiring that Cora be home by her 4pm curfew and never go anywhere without a parent. Dad has shut down completely, locking himself in his study, drinking gin and tonics and ignoring his wife and daughter.

The only bright spot in Cora’s life is her advanced art class in school. And the brightest spot in the class? Damian. Her brother’s best friend. The guy who was in the car with him the night he died. The guy her parents despise and blame for Nate’s death. And the guy that Cora is slowly by surely falling for.

I cried no less than three times while reading this book. The last time I cried was for the entirety of the final 50 pages. I’m talking tears-streaming-down-my-face crying. Sandell has crafted an exquisite and touching novel- it’s a love story, a coming of age story, and an artists’s story all in one. What a powerful combination! Highly, highly recommended.

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

A few months ago, one of my former students emailed me and told me I absolutely had “to read Suite Scarlett immediately because it’s amazing!” I picked up a copy and it went on my TBR pile. Today seemed like a great day to finally dive in.

Scarlett Martin lives in Manhattan, in the fabulous art deco Hopewell Hotel. Sounds glamorous, right? For Scarlett and her family, it’s anything but. The hotel is falling apart, the staff has been let go, and the money is drying up. It’s Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday- the day each Martin child is given a suite in the hotel to care for on their own. When a guest actually shows up to stay in Scarlett’s suite, everyone is shocked. And when that guest, Mrs. Amberson, turns out to be a C-list starlet intent on spending most of her time with Scarlett, she doesn’t really know how to react. Throw in a cute new boy in her brother’s acting troupe, an older sister who seems to be hiding something, and a younger sister who totally hates her and Scarlett has the makings of an interesting summer. She’s not quite sure if it will be the best summer ever or the worst.

I loved Suite Scarlett! Despite being told in third person, I felt like I knew Scarlett. Like she was a good friend. In fact, I felt like a part of the Martin family. Scarlett is easy to relate to and her relationship with her family is realistic.

This is a book that I think will appeal to a lot of my readers. It’s a funny book. Those who love New York will be thrilled with all of the tidbits about growing up in the city. For the fashionistas and aspiring stars, Scarlett and Mrs. Amberson couldn’t be more perfect. Realistic fiction fans will really dig the story. And then there are the theater lovers….so many great theater references!

I plan to booktalk Suite Scarlett on Monday and I expect a lot of hands to go up for this one!

48 Hour Book Challenge Update #5

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- 276 pages

Moon Science, History, And Mystery by Stewart Ross- 121 pages

Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis- 195 pages

Girls Acting Catty by Lesle Margolis- 158 pages

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb- 47 pages

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson- 353 pages

The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries Series) by Meg Cabot- 86 pages (audiobook while driving 1 hr roundtrip for cupcakes!)

Total pages read: 1235
Total Time: 10 hours reading, 28 hours since starting

48 Hour Book Challenge Interruption!

With 6 books completed, 9 hours of reading, and 1150 pages read, I am off to take a break.

Where am I going? For sustenance, of course. CUPCAKES!

48 Hour Book Challenge Update #4

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- 276 pages

Moon Science, History, And Mystery by Stewart Ross- 121 pages

Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis- 195 pages

Girls Acting Catty by Lesle Margolis- 158 pages

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb- 47 pages

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson- 353 pages

Total pages read: 1150
Total Time: 9 hours reading, 25 hours since starting

My Season With Penguins: An Antarctic Journal by Sophie Webb

Next year, one of my goals is to infuse more non-fiction reading into my curriculum. I did a fantastic unit this year on non-fiction and want to expand it. That means I need to infuse more non-fiction into my own reading life. I decided to read at least 3 non-fiction books during the 48 Hour Book Challenge this year to help me achieve my goal.

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb is the second informational book I read during the Challenge. A Sibert Honor book, I highly recommend it. Sophie Webb shares her experience spending two months studying Adelie Penguins in the Antarctic using a journal format and her own paintings as illustrations. The tone is conversational, which makes the information accessible to kids. And this isn’t a boring science book- it’s actually gross at times! Webb doesn’t shy away from the gory details of nature, which I know my students will appreciate. There are paintings of mummified penguins (adults and chicks) and a leopard seal killing and eating an Adelie. And I even learned that human waste is flown out of the Antarctic because of the cold, dryness, and lack of bacteria. Nothing decays in the Antarctic. I actually yelped, “Eww!” out loud while reading. I know my kids will revel in that information.

I also liked that while I learned a lot about Adelie Penguins, I also learned even more about scientific expeditions in Antarctica. Webb shares “insider information” on how camps are set up, the type of clothing and supplies available, and past exploration of the area. Information like this will engage readers who love animals and readers who love survival stories.

Highly recommended for classroom libraries and science teachers!

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