Book Chat

November 2010

November is over!  I was so happy to rip this month off my desk calendar at school.  Bring on December!  Not that November hasn’t been lovely, but it’s one of those transition months that seems to drag a bit.  I did have some time to do some reading though, which has been great.  Didn’t read as much as I thought I would during Thanksgiving break, but last week was just packed full.  Looking forward to lots of great holiday reading next month!

And now, my Reading Log for November 2010:

Title Start Finish Thoughts Grade/
Format
The Best School Year Ever,
by Barbara Robinson
11/1/10 11/1/10 Couldn’t resist this at the Book Fair.  Really cute sequel to Best Christmas Pageant Ever, though not quite as good.  Class assignment to compliment classmates—feel-good message but not quite as heartfelt as first book.  Really funny stories about those horrible Herdmans and school life.  Pretty funny in all. B+

PB
BL=5.4
Pts=3

100%

Uncommon Traveler,
by Don Brown
11/2/10 11/2/10 Story of Mary Kingsley, 19th century woman who traveled to Africa—really loved this story!  Great illustrations, great details of her adventures… made me wonder, is she obscure?  Must investigate! A

HB
BL=4.6
Pts=0.5

100%

Yeh-Shen,
by Ai-Ling Louie
11/2/10 11/2/10 Chinese Cinderella.  I love Cinderella stories from around the world.  Rough-Faced Girl or maybe Princess Furball are my favorites.  Illustrations very pretty, traditional Chinese woodcuts. B+

HB
BL=5.1
Pts=0.5

100%

Never Smile at a Monkey,
by Steve Jenkins
11/2/10 11/2/10 Facts about unusual defense mechanisms of animals.  Fun.  Steve Jenkins books are always cool nonfiction—might collect for my future children. A
HB
BL=6.3
pts=0.5

100%

Eight Hands Round,
by Ann Whitfield Paul
11/2/10 11/2/10 Quilt blocks from A to Z—found this on the library shelves and had to read immediately!  Very cool historical facts, reminds me of A Gathering of Days (3rd grade favorite)—would be a great accompaniment in a literature unit. A
PB
BL=5.6
pts=0.5
100%
Talkin’ About Bessie,
by Nikki Grimes
11/2/10 11/2/10 Biography about the first female black aviator—written very well, each page portrays a different point of view.  Very cool!  Watercolor illustrations so realistic, I loved how the likenesses felt so familiar.  Would be a great lesson to tie in to famous women, African American history, or aviation history. A+

HB
BL=6.1
pts=1
100%

Cinderella,
by K.Y. Craft
11/3/10 11/3/10 Beautiful, beautiful illustrations.  Might frame a few for a girl’s bedroom—much more sophisticated than Disney.  Beautiful version.  Missed a question of some detail I overlooked.  Shame on me! A
HB
BL=5.9
pts=0.5
90%
Wilma Unlimited,
by Kathleen Krull
11/3/10 11/3/10 Biography of African American woman Olympic track gold medalist (whew, what a sentence!).  Neat ethnic illustrations and inspiring story.  Quick read-through, but stays with you. A
BL=5.1
pts=0.5
100%
Autobiography of a Yogi,
by Paramahansa Yogananda
11/10/10   Still listening  
Magic Island,
by Elizabeth Waterston
11/13/10 11/16/10 Love it!  Details each book by LMM chronologically and how her life relates to the work as she wrote it.  Companion piece to Gift of Wings that I read in January.  Really enjoyed author’s point of view and analysis.  Exactly the kind of behind-the-scenes mixed with scholarly literary interpretation I enjoy. A+

HB

Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella,
by Susan Lowell
11/16/10 11/16/10 Cute picture book about a Western Cinderella—Library book for AR.  I’ve started looking for Cinderella adaptations in the library, just for fun.  Cute and not so damsel-in-distress. A
BL=5.0
pts=0.5
100%
Q’s Legacy,
by Helen Hanff
11/17/10 11/17/10 Charming and friendly and swift and funny.  The how’s and why’s and when’s of 84 and its aftermath.  Must read more Hanff!  Very fun read. A
PB
The Anne of Green Gables Treasury,
by Carolyn Collins and Christina Eriksson
11/22/10 11/22/10 Charming collection of Anne activities and explanations—from dress styles and one-room schoolhouses to Tea menus and the language of flowers.  Perfect holiday indulgence for my admitted Anne obsession.  Lovely. A
HB
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew,
by Daniel Pool
11/24/10 11/30/10 Liked this—his first—much better than his 2nd.  Very interesting and explains so many tiny details that I have to gloss over in Victorian novels.  Also, neat format—first long entries, then short definitions.  A keeper! A+
HB
A Christmas Memory,
by Truman Capote
11/28/10 11/28/10 Read aloud with Sam and I couldn’t keep the tears back on the last page.  I’ve loved this story for so long without knowing anything about it.  Happy to have it now forever in my Christmas book box! A+
HB
BL=5.7
pts=1.0
90%

What have you been reading?

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