Sunday, August 23, 2015

Checking in with books we've been loving

It's been much too long since I've sat down to write a post. After an incredibly hectic winter and spring, I really needed a break. I was burnt out on serving, on working, on parenting, and on blogging. I just wanted to read for pure enjoyment for awhile and I've spent this summer jumping from book to book - finishing some, not finishing others - and I've loved the peace and calm. Our summer has been busy, but filled with all good things and with the start of fall, I think I'm reading to start sharing about books again on a more regular basis. 

Elliott and I are still reading at least a dozen books a day and we've even jumped into pre-reading activities for him.  It's amazing how fast he is learning an wanting to know more about words and how they work. We're doing preschool at home this year and I'm excited to get started with that! 

Here are a few we've loved over the last few months:

Emergency Vehicles by Rod Green and Stephen Biesty

E is definitely a lover of cars/trucks/trains and we've spent tons of time looking at the first book in this series: Giant Vehicles. He recently decided, after a trip to a city event with emergency vehicles, that he wants to be an EMT when he grows up, so this new one was an instant hit. 

Full page spreads of a police car, fire truck, fireboat, air ambulance and more, with tons of flaps to open, It's perfect to just browse through or actually pick a vehicle to focus on and learn all the parts and tidbits of information. 

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Adorable. The perfect read aloud for a 3-year-old who is just really learning to pick up on cues in the story. We read it once through, both laughing over who really ate the sandwich, and each subsequent read has brought shouts on each page of "it's not the bear!" 

If you do storytimes at the library or a bookstore, or just with your own kids, you'll want to check this one out, for sure. 

I spent a lot of the summer catching up on adult backlist titles that I had missed, but I also have a handful of younger titles that I loved:

Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio

I loved Wonder and the phenomenon it created with readers and teachers, so when I saw this in my mailbox, I was thrilled.  Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte each get a chapter to tell how their lives interacted with Auggie and how they were impacted by him and his differences. It's a companion to Wonder, with some of this new story taking place before the action of the original and some during, and it's really a lovely addition. 

Empathy and kindness were huge themes in Wonder and they definitely continue here. 

Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes by Rock Riordon and John Rocco

Yes, I'm still on the Percy Jackson train. I love the original series, but even more so, I love this collaboration Riordan did with John Rocco. Rocco is one of my favorite illustrators and I just can't get enough of his stuff! Combined with Percy telling us the story of a dozen awesome Greek heroes and I'm completely sold. 

This and Percy Jackson's Greek Gods would make fabulous gift books for readers interested in mythology, even without having read any of the Percy Jackson series. They're huge, heavy, and beautiful. 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Ahhh! Loved this one! Contemporary, with a realistic voice in Madeline, and a modern method of storytelling. Charts, emails, texts, etc. help to share Madeline's story of living with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency and how that basically affects her entire life. And when Olly becomes part of the picture, life just gets more and more complicated. 

I've been telling everyone about this one and how excited I am for them to read it. Out on 9/1! 

Switch by Ingrid Law

With the amount of ready I do both for pleasure and for work, I don't often read an entire series. I'll read the first book, just enough to know how to sell it, but unless I really love the books I won't continue on. Ingrid Law's books? I read all of those. I absolutely loved Savvy and was thrilled to read Scumble when it came out a year after, but I've been itching for a new book by Law and 4 years later, I'm getting one!

The Beaumont family is back in Switch and it's just as utterly charming as the other 2 stories. An excellent balance of magic, adventure, and family story. Gypsy's story is filled with fun, but also with relatable experiences and I just love that combination. 

Also out on 9/1, keep your eyes out for Switch. And if you and your kids haven't yet read Savvy, GO NOW. Even the Newbery panel says so. 

If you have a suggestion for a book I might have missed out on this summer, leave me a comment! 

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion, Penguin, Random House, and Candlewick for the lovely review copies. 


Ami said...

I just got online thinking, "I wonder if Amanda has posted anything lately?", and here you are! Looks like I'll be making a few more order cards at work tomorrow...

Susan said...

How wonderful that you and Elliott read so much together! I'm glad you've found some great books, too. My 6 yo has been really into Skippyjohn Jones lately, so that's pretty much all we've been reading for bedtime stories. At least they're fun books!