It’s Monday! What are you reading? – Think of the Newbery

IMWAYR 2015It is December 21 the longest night of the year. Since I often “save” my reading till night I am more than happy to have a long winters night to get caught up on 2015 release books. There are so many books I have not gotten to this year but wanted to.

The Children’s book awards come early this year -January 11- that is only a few weeks away. There is a lot of reading to do. So here is a book I think will be discussed but wonder if it will fit into the awards line up.

imgresThis week I finished The Marvels by Brian Selznick. Once again he has pushed his creative style with the first half of the book all images – then he moves us in time and place with a section of words and shifts one more time at the end returning to images. I love how he moves us through this story inside a story. He builds questions and puzzles leaving us with a mystery to solve along with Joseph, the main character in part two.

The images gave me the sense of being at the theater which is where the first part of our story takes place. There is so much that builds and weaves through this story that it is hard to write about it. The magic is in the close looking and reading.

Selznick has made links to classic literature through Shakespeare’s plays, Yeat’s poetry, Greek mythology, and current children’s lit. He has woven in issues of family relationships, the building of community and more. The latin phrase Aut Visum Aut Non, which floats through the book is a gentle reminder to look –  as Albert says “either you see it or you don’t.” Seeing is what Selznick helps us do through is masterful story telling.

The next book on my list to get read is The Hired Girl by Laura Amyimgres-1 Schlitz. I am only a few chapters into this book so will wait to write a review next week.

The question now is – what is on your to be read list?

What do you think I should read before the Newbery awards are announced?

On my list to still read:

  • George by Alex Gino
  • Curious Tale of the In Between by Lauren DeStefano
  • Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia



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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5 Responses to It’s Monday! What are you reading? – Think of the Newbery

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I still need to read The Marvels, & now you’ve made me want to move it to the top! I enjoyed The Hired Girl very much, also have Orbiting Jupiter and George on my list. I’m going back, though, and reading Winger right now, really trying to catch up. Happy Holidays, Joanne.

  2. I’ve heard a lot of adults raving about The Marvels, but I’ve had less success getting it into the hands of kids or getting it to stay there long enough for them to finish it, they’re typically far less enthusiastic about i than I am!

    • Joanne Toft says:

      I wondered about that. I was not sure what age group he was reaching towards. I shared it with a 5th grader last night but she did in’ bite. I think reading with an adult would make a difference. There is lots of references that might be hard for children.

  3. I’m looking forward to reading the marbles. I just finished George. I think you will enjoy Going Crazy in Alabama. I adore those sisters. I think Orbiting Jupiter and the Curious Tale of the In Between will be on my must-read list for next year.

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