Slice of Life Tuesdays: It’s been a YEAR! #sol19

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Lean…Dream/Do…Progress…Venture…Grow. This is my 5th anniversary writing “One Little Word.” Time flies!

After leaning towards my dreams, doing what it took to jump-start my new career and lifestyle, progressing/moving towards my goals, venturing out and taking action…I’m ready to grow.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The traditional interview question. I’d have to say that 5 years ago, I did see myself here — a reader, writer, lifelong learner, school librarian, mom, wife, grandma…Now I’m ready to grow.

(That was my post on January 1, 2019 — Almost a year ago!)

Did you forget about me? I never forgot, but I didn’t write on Tuesdays for Slice of Life this whole year. I’m guilty —  put it on the backburner. How could I forget where I came from?

The team at Two Writing Teachers (http://www.twowritingteachers.org) are my friends and teammates; they have been since 2014. I’m going back. I miss them!

As I revisit my ONE LITTLE WORD for 2019, Grow, I realize that to grow you need to know where you came from. The “Slicers” have been my family as I’ve grown over the years, and even when I flew from the nest (this year), they asked about me (at #NCTE19) and now I’m flying home for the winter.

The dictionary defines “grow” as a verb — to increase by natural development, as any living organism or part by assimilation of nutriment; increase in size or substance (dictionary.com). I have definitely grown this year in my experience as a librarian, lead reader, writer, and professional development presenter. I love where my career is taking me; I love what I do. I will make sure I share more here with my “Slicer” friends — this exciting adventure of growth and development.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

IMWAYR: Various Titles Until Winter Break

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This is a busy week at school with concerts, doctor’s appointments, and programs leading up to winter break. I’m trying to read as much as I can of the titles on my TBR list (To Be Read) so I can get through until vacation. This week I read…

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell

I love this progressive tale of a family who waits for a loved one to come back from war. Based on true accounts of WWII pilot Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexroat and other female Cherokee pilots who risked their lives far from home. Fabulous read!

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes (due March, 2020. Cover not revealed.)

Donte is Trey’s black brother. Confused. Multiracial. Bullied. Arrested. When Donte is arrested at his mostly white prep school, he tries to tell his story (he didn’t do anything!), but no one is listening. Even Trey, his lighter-skinned older brother asked, “What did you do?” Donte knows who the real culprit is…and needs to find a way to get revenge.

But revenge isn’t the easiest thing for Donte. He’ll have to train, become an athlete, and keep his cool. Good thing there’s someone in town who can help – a former Olympian fencer who works at the Boys and Girls Club. Learning to fence could be the way Donte gets back at everyone…and finds himself.

This is a perfect middle grade novel and a needed voice for all of us.

Up Next…

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead (due April, 2020)

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme 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 PREview: All of a Sudden and Forever by Chris Barton

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I was reading some new Net Galley titles tonight, and I came across Chris Barton’s upcoming, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing (due February 2020). I felt compelled to write, since the Oklahoma City bombing happened while I was in labor with my second daughter. I remember watching the news story unfold between ice chips and contractions almost 25 years ago; now this book captures the day to be remembered in a creative picture book.

This book is a lovely way to honor those affected by the events of April 19,1995. These words by Barton are perfect (especially repeating “not all at once,” to reinforce that healing takes time) and Nicole Xu’s faceless-and-yet-totally-descriptive characters add so much to the story of the Survivor Tree. I hope every child gets a chance to read this book and learn more about how to take care of each other in this world, especially after tragedy.

Add this book to your preorder list now. Share the story. Feel the love.

 

IMWAYR: Post-NCTE Reading

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I’ve been reading articles and posts from the attendees of #NCTE19 and my mind is full of thoughts, reflections, and joy. I’ve also read…

Clean Getaway, by Nic Stone (due to publish January 7, 2020).

I just love Scoob and his G’ma! This duo take off in G’ma’s Winnebago (she sold her house!) and travel to places in G’Pop’s old Green Book that G’ma was never allowed to go to. Scoob’s on punishment for a school “issue” and left his phone on the table when he left home (on purpose?) so Dad won’t be able to ask questions, and G’ma’s got some secrets of her own. You’re going to want to read this adventure story with a purpose. Preorder it now.

I’m currently reading…

Jackpot, by Nic Stone.

I haven’t actually started this one yet, but I love Nic Stone’s books, and I’m sure this one will be fabulous, too. I was going to start it tonight, but I got sidetracked by…

the loss of Andrew Clements. RIP, Mr. Clements. Thank you for keeping me reading as a child and as an adult teacher. Frindle and Lunch Money were read-aloud favorites in 5th grade. I’m so sad. I’ll be rereading these two titles this week to remember a great writer.

 

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme 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.

#NCTE19: A Collection and Reflection

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NCTE’s Annual Conference was in Baltimore this year, which meant that I added a state to “My States I Visited” list. There were so many positive pieces of learning and a few wishes left at the end of the conference. I’m sitting at the airport now, reminiscing. Take a look…

IMWAYR: Gifts

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I’m spending this week with books I received as gifts and giveaways. Thank you to Kathy at The Brain Lair Bookstore and Jennifer LaGarde, librarian extraordinarie. I appreciate your generosity!

I finished Stargazing by Jen Wang (see my review from yesterday) and Thirteen Doorways: Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby (audio on Libro.fm).

This week I have The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King and Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill by Heather L. Montgomery. The title is the best, don’t you think? It’s my nonfiction fix — I haven’t read nonfiction for a while.

 

Next week I travel to NCTE’s Annual Conference, so I’m not sure what I’ll read next. I look forward to seeing many of my literacy friends again.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

 

Book Review: Stargazing by Jen Wang

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“Moon is everything Christine isn’t.” The back cover describes this new middle grade graphic novel to a tee. When you’re young, you naturally compare yourself to the people around you, and that’s exactly what happens in this book. Christine is reluctant to meet Moon, the new girl across the street. Their parents get along and want the kids to be friends, but Moon is sort of…different…okay, weird. At school, Moon is known as “the girl who fights” – a rumor started after people ask where she came from, what is she doing here?

Soon enough, though, Christine becomes friends with Moon. As neighbors, they start with the convenience of being the same age and sharing Chinese food and culture. Moon’s interesting and fun; she loves dancing to K-Pop music and is a talented artist. The girls spend lots of time together and Christine feels like a new person around Moon – not the stuffy “do-your-homework-and-get-all-As” student of the past. But hanging around with Moon also leads to other observations, starting with stargazing. Moon says she belongs among the stars, and sees celestial beings telling her that she isn’t from Earth. (Well, that’s…interesting.)

Christine also notices that Moon sometimes “spaces out,” and this leads to events at school and at a birthday party that may be dangerous for the friendship, and for Moon’s well-being. When Moon gets into another fight, her world changes drastically. Now the fun-loving, dancing, happy Moon is not. Can Christine be the friend that Moon needs, or will the friendship end in disaster?

Why I Loved This Book: I loved Stargazing because this story is parallel to any young person’s life in school and with friends. Feeling (and being) weird, insecure, and out of this world are issues everyone faces at one point or another, and Christine and Moon’s stories are not unlike our own.

Why You Should Read Stargazing: This is an important book about friendships, families, and life issues. It’s also an easy-to-share graphic novel that friends and families can read together. Christine and Moon will help you to understand life better and hope for more dancing days to come.

My rating: ****

Recommended for ages 8 and up. Published by First Second, 2019.

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