Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mother Reader's 48Hour Book Challenge

This year I wanted to be a part of Mother Reader's 48Hour Book Challenge.  The theme, diversity is really what inspired me to read this weekend.  So often I find books that I read, purchase for the library, and recommend for my students have mainly white characters.   This was the perfect opportunity to get some multicultural reading in and many of the books I read this weekend were already on my "to-read" list.

Unfortunately, life also happens and recently I've made sure to know what my priorities are.  This weekend my brother, sister-in-law, and 4-year old nephew were in from out of town.  They took top priority.  My health has required extra sleep recently and today I slept until 11am! The third and last thing that kept me from reading, my better half.  We had some yard work to do with this beautiful weather and he wanted to watch Orange is the New Black season 2 released on Netflix this weekend.  I did find a good balance.

In the end I read mostly middle grade books as I teach in a K-4 school.  I read:
7 books
1,555 pages
Since I read sporadically here and there it was hard to keep track of times but I read about 20 hours.

Not what I would have wanted if I read all weekend but family and health comes first.

Inside Out and Back Again
Thanhha Lai

 This was probably my favorite read this weekend.  This book written in verse and told from the heart was so moving.  The chronologically told story was easy to follow and and easy to connect to the character.  While it is a story of the immigration from Thailand it is truly a story of the struggles of immigration of any young student to a new country.

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach
Brenda Woods

This story is about an 11 year old boy, Saint, and the neighborhood dog, Shadow,  who live in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  The story builds a nice relationship with Saint, an all-around good kid and good musician who loves the dog.  When the Hurricane comes Saint makes some bad decisions and story becomes a bit... underwhelming.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie

The hype around this book is well deserved.  Not for the "inappropriate issues" it brings ups but for the way the character is written.  The ability for the reader to understand the tragedy, emotions, and loss that the character is going through alongside the moments of true happiness.
(This is the one of the books I read this weekend that I cannot add to my school library but I've been wanting to read it for awhile and I'm glad I did.)

One Crazy Summer 
Rita Williams Garcia

The main character Delphine is far beyond her years here.  She is strong black female character who is smart, brave, and acts older than her 11 year old self.  The non-traditional/bad mother and not so perfect happy ending are and important part of the book.   While I loved the main character and her relationship with the sisters, I wasn't enthralled with the book overall.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Grace Lin

In the library I'm always recommending Grace Lin to the students.  This books has been on my to-read list since it came out and I can't believe it took me so long to read it.  The Chinese folklore stories within the story of Minli and her Ma and Ba were so enjoyable to read this was my second favorite read of the weekend and easily a competitor for the first.

American Born Chinese
Gene Luen Yang

This graphic novel read like a novel.  It addresses identity issues and racism as well as friendship. The three stories, the Monkey King, Danny, and Jing Wang all flow nicely together in the end to teach a lesson.

When You Reach Me
Rebecca Stead

This was a great read.  The story unravels so well as Miranda ventures through her New York City neighborhood, deals with her best friend, or lack their-of, helps her mom prepare for a game show, and much more.

Along the multicultural theme, Mind/Shift, published yesterday "25 Books That Diversify Kids' Reading Lists This Summer" 


  1. Thanks for the great list of titles from your impressive weekend of reading. I can't imagine doing this with company in the house. Loved WHEN YOU REACH ME when I read it last year.

    1. I started When You Reach Me when I first get it in the library and I'm extremely happy I finished it. It is not a book to leave hanging.

  2. Some good choices, and you got a lot read! Health and sleep should always come first, but with teens, I prefer work to family any day! There are so many emergent reader multicultural books out there. I'm sure yoI'll find plenty for your school.

    1. Thanks! My purchases next year will definitely reflect this weekend.

  3. Great titles and wow...that is a lot read I would say. Just read my first Brenda Woods novel (Violet Diamond) and _loved_ it. and health trumps everything!

    1. Brenda Woods is new to me and I'm excited to get more into her.

  4. 20 hours is more than respectable!

  5. You have an impressive list of books there! I've read them and enjoyed them all. Isn't it great to have a weekend of reading in common?

    1. It is really nice to see everyone else who read alongside with me/us. It was great!

  6. Well done! And what a great list of books. I didn't quite even get to reading "American Born Chinese", though I meant to... but I've loved Grace Lin and "Part-Time Indian".