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.
Unusual week for me , as I have no picture books on the list...
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff has been on my list all summer, but I had loaned it to my 13 year-old nephew who doesn't love to read. (He loved it. Do I need to write more?) When my blogging partner, Melanie Swider, listed it on her list of favorites, I cut the TBR line and I am glad that I did. Absolutely Almost is a wonderful book to read and talk about empathy and kindness. I wasn't prepared for how sad I would feel for Albie, the main character, in this book, as he grapples with learning difficulties, friendship issues, and parental realationships. This is also a wonderful book to talk about the power of voice in writing, as Albie is funny, honest, and insightful.
I had two long car rides last week, one with my going-to-college daughter and another by myself. Larkin had tried to pick a book that we would both enjoy and had selected The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. Not a book I would normally pick up since it is young adult and I rarely venture from my world of middle grade and picture books, I have to say that I enjoyed the plot. I'm selective with my seventh grade daughter's books, and I would have no problem with her reading this (no swearing, only one mention of sex, a short violent scene) and I think that she would learn a lot, as woven into the plot were strong messages about global warming and our disregard for the warnings in our world. The main character is a "time traveller", and is in our world from a world that is 80 years ahead of us. Her community had to escape blood plagues along the lines of AIDS, as well as deadly and prevalent mosquitos. Overall, the audio kept my attention along long highways, and I listened to the last third without Larkin, who bought the hard copy in Michigan.
Before I let Larkin put in her choice, we listened to several chapters of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, who is the COO of Facebook. I think that her TedTalks and her book are important reading for young women, as she delivers a strong message that women need to be more represented in leadership positions. Larkin (18) and I had some good conversations about the truth of Sheryl Sandberg's points--we found ourselves nodding as we listened, agreeing that she was right about how women behave versus how men behave--and I was glad to have shared this experience during an important time in Larkin's life. I will also have my younger daughters watch her Tedtalks, found here and here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YraU52j3y8s I have read many books about raising strong daughters, but I felt like there were messages in these talks that young women should definitely hear. It's also a book that fathers should read, as well.
Happy reading (and listening!)
Thanks for sharing that your nephew liked Absolutely Almost. I've been debating the kid appeal of this one. I don't think the book is all that unusual in having a "regular" character, though. I think there are a lot of ordinary children in MG lit- it's just that there ordinariness is not the thrust of the story as it is in this.ReplyDelete
I love that final part about your listening to parts of Lean In, & discussed them with Larkin, Melanie. Car conversations are often good ones-few distractions, & this time your journey with her was such a special time, too. Lovely to hear about! I would probably have not looked at the Brashares book, but it sounds interesting, so have put it on my list! I loved Absolutely Almost, & like Karen above, am happy to hear about your nephew enjoyment of it. Thanks, & have a terrific week!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad to hear your nephew liked Absolutely Almost! I knew I enjoyed it and I knew adults would enjoy it but I'm still debating whether it's something kids would be excited to read on their own!ReplyDelete
Enjoyed Absolutely Almost earlier this summer and am excited to hear your nephew's endorsement, as I was curious how kids would take to Albie.ReplyDelete
Absolutely Almost was definitely a favorite from the summer. I love Mondays because after reading all of the blogs I know just what to read and know I'll love it!ReplyDelete
So glad you are home and hope Larkin is settling in. I miss the conversations my boys and I used to have in the car, and we all have fond memories of listening to A Walk in the Woods on our way to Maine one summer. Absolutely Almost is on my list, but I wouldn't have thought of the other two books. Thanks for sharing, Melanie!ReplyDelete
I didn't know about Sheryl Sandberg, thank you too for sharing the TED Talks - will definitely ask my 12 year old girl to watch that one. Absolutely Almost has been receiving a lot of great reviews - hope to pick it up at one point. :)ReplyDelete