Monday, February 29, 2016

#YesWeCrab Wrap-Up

Whew! It's been a whirlwind of a month, but our February motivational challenge has come to a close. I have to send a HUGE shout out to my ILOA friends and everyone else who participated or followed along with #YesWeCrab because I really did get a ton done this month!

I had two goals this month:

  • read 20 books 
  • and write up the four storytimes that I did this past fall and never had a chance to blog about
The four storytimes are written up and scheduled to post over the next several weeks. You can look for storytimes about fall, monsters, paint, and clothes coming up!

As for my reading, I read 23 books this month (mostly because I got an assignment to read and write up chapter books!). You can see the first half of my reading month here on my Yes We Crab check-in. The other books I read this month (excluding the 13 chapter books, which I'll be writing up for School Library Journal next month) were:

Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam by Sumbul Ali-Karamali (Delacorte, 2012). 

I picked this one up because I was looking for a religion book for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and this one also fits my goal to read more teen books this year. I think this is a great book for kids wanting to know more about Islam, particularly those who may be more familiar with other Western religions like Christianity or Judaism. I definitely learned some things, too, so not just for kids, although it's definitely written with a teen's sensibilities and experiences in mind. 

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar (Knopf, 2015). 

This was another book for the Read Harder Challenge, a book by an author from Southeast Asia (The Philippines). This book started out strong for me, with stories that reminded me of one of my favorite story collections, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, but reflecting Filipino experiences. Ultimately, I didn't enjoy the stories with historical settings as much, although I did still learn a lot. 

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan (Scholastic, April 2016). 

I LOVED this book and devoured it in one sitting (which does not happen very often with me). This contemporary story is told by two authors from two points of view: Ravi (rah-VEE, not RAH-vee) is a new immigrant to America from India and he's starting the fifth grade in his new school. Joe is a kid in Ravi's class who gets bullied because he has learning differences that the other kids can't be bothered to understand. Through a week in their class, Ravi and Joe just might discover that they can be friends even though they are very different. Short chapters and the alternating point of view keep the pages turning. This one is definitely getting added to the booktalking roster for all those kids who love Wonder. 

The Thickety: Well of Witches by J.A. White (Katherine Tegan Books, February 2016). This one is also awesome!!! I am not a big series reader - I usually read the first book and then figure I am familiar enough with it for general work knowledge - so the fact that I have stuck with this series tells you how much I am loving it! This is a fantasy adventure series rich with dark atmosphere, magic, and moral dilemmas. Even though the books are quite long, the small trim size makes the pages go quickly and it's one of those series where I just have to find out what happens next! I have been booktalking the first book in this series to 5th and 6th graders this month, which got me really excited to start this latest installment. 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House, 2010). I did not finish this one yet, so it's not counting in my book total, but I've read about half of it, which was another unofficial goal I had for this month. We're reading this one for my Family Book Club in March and it's a long one (but SO GOOD!), so I wanted to make sure to start it with plenty of time!

All in all, it has been a GREAT month for reading!! Read more books! Yes we crab!