It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYRThis week I did not read as much as I thought I might. I did finish Turn Left at the Cow by Lisa Bullard. What a great read! She writes with a light voice and a great sense of humor but underneath there are deeper issues of children who are struggling to handle the problems of their family. Children who are seeking to find answers for themselves, their brothers or sisters or looking to the larger family members like Grandmothers and Aunts and Uncles who can help them make sense of the world around them.

Lisa Bullard is a master of making comparisons that are hysterical. imgres-1She seems to understand the guy way of thinking – a perfect example is the trip to the local store to get a bike for Trav, our main character. He  reflects about the owner after having been in the store for a few moments – ” I wasn’t sure why His Majesty had it in for me, but he was giving me the kind of look the substitute teacher gives the class when she’s had her back turned and somebody rips a big one.”  These statements run wild through the book and keep the story light and fun.

What a great mystery read with just a bit of serious thinking. I would love to share this as a read aloud to a class. It is a wonderful look into small town way of living as well.


Rebecca Stead has me caught in First Light. This book came out in 2007 but I missed it some how.

She alternates between two characters until they find each other in the Greenland tundra.  I did not think I would stay with this book and was quickly caught by the world she creates under the ice. She sets up a whole community of people living for generations below the ice surface. She raises questions about telling the truth in ones family and what are the politics of protecting a community of people by not telling the truth.

This is a fun read with lots of places to include some science research about globe warming, persecution of people for their life style and the need to flee your home country, or just the half truths we tell each other in hopes of protecting the people we love.  Lots of rich discussion can be develop from this little book.

What am I hoping to read:

I am working part time this year and so the next two weeks are free. I am super excited about spending a few days just reading. I know that lots of things will get in the way but here are few books I am hoping to spend time reading with a cup of tea on a late fall day.

  • Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always (I have been trying to read this for weeks)
  • The Good Braider by Terry Farish
  • Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro
  • Penny from Heaven (which was on last weeks list and never got to)
  • Mr. Terupt Falls Again by Rob Buyea

Watch for book reviews next week as I have more time to read! Yeah for cool fall days and reading!

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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