Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What are You Reading weekly on their blogs. To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd with Cecily, my youngest daughter. We read this one out loud and it took a lot of self-restraint on my part to not read ahead! What a wonderful collection of characters in that story, and what a positive feeling this book left with us. One of favorite aspects of A Snicker of Magic was the anonymous gestures of kindness that Jonah, one of the main characters, made sure occurred throughout the story. He paid attention to people's needs and then left them what could help them. Cecily has been inspired to be a bit of a "Biddle" (read the book), and that has been joyful to watch!
One of the teachers had left a copy of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell on my desk, with a post it on it, saying just that she had loved it. I had seen this title on some of the blogs that I fillow, but I really had not paid attention to it, so I was surprised when I started it and realized that it is very much a book for teenagers; I don’t think my sixth-grader would understand or enjoy most of this book. However, I am looking forward to talking about it with my high school daughters. Eleanor arrives at a new school, moving back with her mother, abusive husband, and siblings after sleeping on the couch of a family friend for several months. Her living situation is dismal and the she faces cruelty on all fronts, but Park befriends her and their relationship grows. As readers, I sometimes felt like we were just ahead of Park in getting to know the secrets and complexities of Eleanor, and I admired that craft. At several times, I wanted to jump into that text and tell her to just trust him, to just tell him of all that is going on, because I wanted them to make it, despite the incredible odds their relationship faced. Through telling the story from both characters' perspectives, Rainbow Rowell brought us into the worlds and the minds and the hearts of Eleanor and Park. I loved both of them. I miss both of them. And I am still cheering for them.
I have some professional books in my bag and I have to see what books my girls packed, as I was not expecting to finish Eleanor and Park on the plane. No vacation is complete without a trip to the book store!