At the moment, my reading life seems to be a bit fragmented.
My son and I made a point of visiting a local bookshop Saturday for Independent Book Store Day. I was hoping to find Alex & Eliza to quench my Hamilton affliction at the Hickory Stick. Alas, they didn’t have it. We settled on the second book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. For a while, our whole house was Rick Riordan obsessed. We read (and reread) all the Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles we could get our hands on. When neither of my boys started reading it by Sunday morning, I claimed it. It’s a new experience to have been away from the initial book so long that many of the references are drawing blanks in my mind. Still, I look forward to a good romping story. Like in The Sword of Summer, someone has already been killed in the first chapter. But unlike that one, I was ready for it.
I’ve also managed to get a hold of a number of new books for school in single copies for the purpose of previewing. Those that prove themselves wonderful will be added in multiples to the summer book order for our school book room. The others will find homes in classroom libraries. So at this time of year I’m frantically previewing books. Books to order. Books to recommend to readers before the summer. Books for our family summer reading challenge. Books for next year’s One School One Book celebration.
At present I’ve begun Cilla Lee-Jenkins Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan. From what I’ve read so far, it reminds me of The Year of Billy Miller or Ramona. The protagonist is young, at 8, and not at all looking forward to the new baby on its way. It might turn out to be a nice option for our stronger second grade readers. At over 200 pages it packs a satisfying heft for those precocious chapter book readers, but with age-friendly content. It may be an answer to those voices in our community calling to reinstate ceilings in our reading level assessments. My usual answer has been, “As teachers we need to be familiar with our readers and with our libraries so we can match our readers to books that work for them.”
I haven’t found our summer books* or our One School One Book contender, yet. So what are you reading? Maybe I’ll try that next!
*The Summer Family Book Battle is completely optional. All our students can choose to read wild over the summer, but in an effort to increase family engagement in reading we’ve been issuing a challenge for the past two summers. Any family who opts in can read the books from our recommended list and compete in a book battle at the back to school picnic…for honor and glory (and a gift certificate to the book fair). I try to add award nominees, as well as a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and formats to the list. I like to think of it as creating a tasting menu for their summer pleasure.