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:
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
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
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 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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"