In January, February, and March, I virtually visited some wonderful schools and students both with #KidsNeedMentors and during World-Read-Aloud-Day and Read-Across-America!
It takes work (and sometimes a bit of stress) for the teachers and librarians who arrange author visits so I need to give a shout out to Ms. Fletcher at Franklin Elementary, Ms Gray at Pleasant Grove Elementary, and Ms. Maldonado and Ms. Barcelona at Wilburn Elementary for working with me to set these visits up.
It’s so exciting to chat books and writing with kids. I honestly think if someone had told me I could write a book when I was in fourth or fifth grade, if we’d had authors visit my elementary school, I would’ve started writing a lot sooner. I hope some of these students our already writing their stories.
My goal this year is to read 100 books. Currently, I’m at seventeen. I actually think I’m a little over that since I’ve read some unpublished works and there are a few books I did not finish (DNF). But there is nothing wrong with lofty goal and I’ll just continue it on to 2019 if I don’t conquer it this year.
Here are the last two books I’ve finished reading thus far. I’m putting these up in no particular order. Just counting up to one hundred!!! At my current pace, I should hit my goal roughly 2021…
1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
“Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye” – Goodreads description
Howl’s Moving Castle was also made into an anime by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie is a bit different from to book, but both had moving castles…and were cool.
2. Front Desk by Kelly Yang
“Front Desk tells the story of 10-year-old Mia Tang. Every day, Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel while her parents clean the rooms. She’s proud of her job. She loves the guests and treats them like family. When one of the guests gets into trouble with the police, it shakes Mia to her core. Her parents, meanwhile, hide immigrants in the empty rooms at night. If the mean motel owner Mr. Yao finds out, they’ll be doomed!”
– Goodreads description
This was another great book! The author immigrated from China as a child and her family managed hotels while she was growing up. The author’s note explains how many parts of the story were inspired by parts of her life.
Runt’s world is so interesting. I want to know more about it and about being a minion. He’s also a sincerely nice character, he’s brave, and he helps anyone who needs him. I wasn’t sure who was the one responsible for the goings on at the school until the end!
SPOILER/POSSIBLE SPOILER below cover pic…
Oh but do I like stories with hidden princes! I’m fairly certain Runt is actually a prince. (The bird said so!) This makes me really excited to read the next installments! That and the girl explorers are about to attack 😉
DR. CRITCHLORE’S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS by Sheila Grau
This book just hits every ice-skating dream I’ve ever had! Kaitlin is a great main character! She’s interesting and determined to become the best skater she can. (She also makes some great friends and develops a bit of a crush on a cute bad boy.) As a kid, I would have loved it. And I loved it as an adult, too!
I found the main character Stan endearing and funny. (FYI Stan is the man!) He entertainingly blurts out whatever he’s thinking. It’s interesting, too, to read a book set in an 1895 lumber camp. And there are 1895 real pics all though the pages!!! All and all, a great book. I also like a stories with tough old ladies in them, and this one delivers. Evil-ish grannies for-the-win.
This book starts with Jinx – Satan’s youngest son – hanging from a tree. You can’t go wrong with that type of beginning! I liked Jinx. I enjoyed his accidental ‘good’ disasters and the friendship that develops between him and Tommy – a girl who really shouldn’t be in Hell. There’s a mix of underworld/hell/Hades mythology that I really enjoyed, too. And who doesn’t love a son trying to save his home and father! It’s such a quick, fun, funny, interesting read!
I want to read the next book! While this story is nice and complete, there’s more I want to know about the characters and about the world of sprites and wisps. I want to know what happens to Lottie, Fife, Oliver, Ada, and Eliot next. This is a great book with a magical and dangerous world and with likable characters. I want to spend more time with them and their enchanted land. And I want to root shoot.
The book hooked me immediately because, hello, super chickens. I loved that the main character, Sophie, wrote letters to her abuela and great uncle and Agnes to tell the story. And it was really interesting to see which things she choose to share with each. Also, I grew up in the country and the descriptions of the farm really made me feel like I was outside on a summer day. A great read!
UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER by Kelly Jones.