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Summertime means extra time for reading, and joining in on Donalyn Miller's #bookaday challenge, in which I attempt to read a book a day throughout the summer. I know, you never would have gathered that from the hashtag title. I've been doing this since 2010, when I first read Miller's transformational book, The Book Whisperer. The best part is inviting my students to join in; we would make reading goals and book lists for each holiday break and then at the end of the year -- and there was something magical in the community we built around a common love of reading.
This year I didn't have my own class, and the multi-faced responsibilities of my job made it difficult to build a reading community. Next year, I aspire to be better about this. I have plans, my friends, solid plans. I'm hoping that next year at this time I'll be able to share what both my campus reading communities are eager to read over the summer.
For now, here's what I've read so far this summer:
|All photos snagged from |
This magical story is told from the perspectives of John and Marta, a couple that find a small boy curled up on their porch one morning. Their entire lives are transformed by his appearance, even though he never says a word. It's a touching portrayal of how life changes once you find yourself responsible for a child. Best as a read aloud, I think, as young readers may struggle to connect with the story through the eyes of two adults, but a wondrous read for both the subject and Creech's as-always gorgeous writing style. So many of these sentences I wish I could claim as my own!
The Miniature World of Marvin & James, Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
A fast, fun read for young readers ready for chapter books. I haven't read their original book, Masterpiece, but am adding it to my to-read list. In this book, James leaves for a vacation at the beach and Marvin is left behind and must find a way to pass the time. He ends up in a wacky little misadventure, worries that James may not miss him very much while he's gone, and learns a thing or two about friendship along the way.
Salt, Helen Frost
In Salt, Frost has created a story of friendship and the struggle that happens when cultural shifts threaten to tear those friendships apart. But more than that, she gives us a secret door into the world of pre-war 1812 in Indiana Territory, letting us glimpse a little of what life might have been like between Native Americans and the settlers that arrived there as traders and soldiers. An important book to add to any school or classroom library.
The Real Boy, Anne Ursu (currently reading)
This book was able to draw me in on the first few pages, something I've struggled with lately when reading fantasy. In The Real Boy, we find a world that is shifting, an orphan that seems destined for adventure, and magic running like a river through it all.
I'm eager to see where this story takes me.