Book Preview: The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling

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The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling

Nora’s therapist asks, “What do you fear?” (Dying.) and “Are you likely to die in this situation?” (Yes.)

It’s been a year since Nora and her dad lost her mother in a violent, unprovoked event. Dad has been grieving by taking Nora out of school and avoiding people; Nora doesn’t want to deal with the questions, either, and has pushed away her best friend in the process. After a year, it’s time to start healing. Dad and Nora take the Jeep to the canyon, where the family spent their lives climbing and hiking — a favorite bonding activity. To move forward, Nora and Dad must come to understand “why,” avoiding the “what-ifs” of this new life. Nora writes in her notebook to capture what was, what is, and what might be in the future.

As the father/daughter team climb through the canyon, terrible things happen. When a flash flood smashes them against a wall and sweeps her father away, Nora is left alone to face the scorpions, snakes, and The Beast. Can she use what her therapist taught her (breathe, move, hope) to find her father again, or will the canyon take what is left of her family?

Dusti Bowling is a master of words in this gripping and suspenseful new middle-grade Southwest story. Students should study the character development, writing engaging scenes, figurative language, and poetry (I love haiku, too!). Any reader who loves outdoor adventures will love this book. Coming September 2020 from Little, Brown and Company.

Thank you to NetGalley for early access to this must-read for fall.

IMWAYR: It’s Break Time!

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Summer is here! Warm weather, sunny days, and reading whatever I want. (I ALWAYS read whatever I want anyway, but this week I’m changing it up.)

I finished Free Lunch by Rex Ogle — WOW! Another 5-star read — This is Rex’s own story of being a middle school student on the free lunch program. Rex tells about his mom – how she embarrassed him when they went to grocery stores and restaurants – and how he dealt with cleaning, cooking, and taking care of his brother because his mom couldn’t handle life herself. The book also covers school friends who are actually bullies, not being able to play football, and teachers with prejudices against poor kids. It’s sad, funny, heart-wrenching, and hopeful, and it will make you want to be a better person.

I’m taking a break! This week I will read Wow, No Thank You. Essays by Samantha Irby. I’m looking forward to laughing and enjoying myself a little this week while my family is home with me.

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Slowing Down for Summer

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I’m slowing down this week to enjoy some summer weather. This week I finished…

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Wow! This novel-in-verse is about two teenage girls from different places on the globe who share a father. A plane crash brings Camino (from the Dominican Republic) and Yahaira (from New York City) and their families together in a way neither of them expect, or want. Now each family has to deal with Papi/Father’s death and all the fallout that comes from knowing the biggest secret he never told. Elizabeth Acevedo has a way with words — I don’t know how else to explain the beautiful language that reveals such a sad, yet hopeful story. A Five-Star summer read!

Up next…

Free Lunch by Rex Ogle

I’ve had this book for a while, and I kept choosing other titles from my TBR list, but now it’s time for Rex’s story of poverty in America. I’m ready for the heartbreak, I think. I do love true-story titles.

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

 

Book Review: Seven Clues to Home – Happy Book Birthday!

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It’s finally here! Happy Book Birthday to Seven Clues to Home by Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin!

Joy and Lukas had been friends ever since second grade, when Mr. Carter told each student with a summer birthday to stand up and be recognized before the end of the school year. “August…How weird is that? What are the chances?” (p.15) Lukas loved math, so he tried to figure out the chances. Joy played along. As time moved along, the two became closer, literally living in next-door apartment buildings. They studied math together, solved puzzles and riddles, and Lukas set up an elaborate scavenger hunt for Joy to figure out each year on her birthday. Even though Lukas had a troubled older brother, Joy hung out with him while her parents cautiously watched. Her own family was a little difficult, with a sort-of-snobby-but-caring older sister and two younger siblings who needed lots of attention. So Joy and Lukas were the perfect pair — together for all time. Until Lukas died on Joy’s twelfth birthday.

A year later, Joy strums her beautiful red birthday guitar and thinks about Lukas. She thinks about his troubled older brother – how people warned her about “that family.” She knew none of it was true. As she celebrates her birthday, she thinks about her friend who will not celebrate this year. She thinks, “If I don’t tell the stories – of cupcakes and scavenger hunts and holes in the sand – they will be lost forever.” (p.11) She must tell the story of her friend, Lukas, the story that’s true. She decides to open the envelope that held the first clue to the scavenger hunt Lukas set up for her a year earlier. Before his death. Before he could reveal the one thing that he never could during his lifetime. Now, Joy has to keep the birthday tradition alive. She has to find the next clue.

Seven Clues to Home is the story of Joy and Lukas: their friendship, their families, and their last scavenger hunt. Told in alternating chapters, Joy tells the story of the hunt in present time while Lukas tells his story of setting up the hunt the year before, and how the clues would lead to his biggest secret, finally revealed. Although it’s a story about grief and loss, it’s also a friendship story, a family story, and a town’s story of sticking together in the best and worst of times.

I love Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin. Separately, their writing is intriguing, interesting, inspiring. When they collaborate…wow! Make sure you don’t miss Seven Clues to Home, out today from Alfred A Knopf Books. Start your summer with this 5-Star book.

 

IMWAYR: PD Review Day – My Anti-Racist Reading Challenge, Continued

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We Got This. I’m re-reading Cornelius Minor’s book to add to my anti-racist reading challenge. When I read this book the first time, I read through the lens of a teacher. Now I’m reading the book through the lens of learning to be anti-racist. What a powerful book! If you haven’t seen this one yet, pick it up!

Check out my Bookshop. I will be reading these books as I move forward, and I look forward to discussing the titles with others. (Please note: This Bookshop Anti-Racist Reading List starts with MY reading, and is in no way an exhaustive list. It’s where I start. Join me!)

www.bookshop.org/shop/readingteacherwrites

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: My Anti-Racist Reading Challenge

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I spent the afternoon pondering where to start–choosing 50 books to share with friends and colleagues as I move towards anti-racism. Reading, speaking, writing…I must do better for my fellow humans.

Check out my Bookshop. I will be reading these books as I move forward, and I look forward to discussing the titles with others. (Please note: This Bookshop Anti-Racist Reading List starts with MY reading, and is in no way an exhaustive list. It’s where I start. Join me!)

www.bookshop.org/shop/readingteacherwrites

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

 

IMWAYR: Happy Memorial Day!

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To all those who fight and fought to keep us free, THANK YOU! Today I remember grandfathers, my father-in-law, uncles, cousins, and friends who serve and who served.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wrapping up the virtual school year, so I’ll be busy this week, but I have two books pulled aside:

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker: Sabotage by Shelley Johannes

 

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Professional Development Titles

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Thanks to Heinemann Publishing’s fabulous Teacher Appreciation sale, I was able to add some professional development books to my library last week. Now I can share with my school friends AND add to my own learning. Thank you for your generosity, Heinemann!

Read the World: Rethinking Literacy for Empathy and Action in a Digital Age by Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris

Focus Lessons: How Photography Enhances the Teaching of Writing by Ralph Fletcher

Story Matters: Teaching Teens to Use the Tools of Narrative to Argue and Inform by Liz Prather

The Artful Read-Aloud: 10 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and Transform Learning by Rebecca Bellingham

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Birthday Month! Many BOOK Birthdays Today

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It’s my birthday month! What do I want for my birthday? Books!

There are many Book Birthdays today! Celebrate by reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMWAYR: Back on Track – Picture Books are Perfect!

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I’m finally back on track. This week is Picture Book Week on Facebook Live, sponsored by Kwame Alexander and friends. I’m excited to hear all the read alouds from authors this week. Today was a lively reading by Sherri Duskey Rinker. Her new book, How to Put an Octopus to Bed, is due in the fall. It reminds me of putting my wiggly kids to bed when they were young. Cute!

I have a bunch of picture books to read this week. While I was stacking my TBR pile, I noticed that many of the covers are blue and green. I’ll start with the “green cover books” today.

I finished reading Dragon Hoops and Dictionary for a Better World. Perfect books for this quarantine, one graphic novel and one colorful and interesting ABC book, I read them each in one sitting. (That’s saying something for me, the slow reader.)

Have a great week! Stay safe!

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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