It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/9/15

 

I have finished a bunch of books this week; I love that feeling! It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog meme. Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers hosts the kidlit version.

monday

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

The 9/11 Report

911

My boyfriend Ethan is reading American Sniper and he always wants to talk about the book with me. Through these discussions, I’ve realized my lack of knowledge about the war in Iraq. In American Sniper, Chris Kyle serves several tours of duty in Iraq as a Navy SEAL. Ethan and I have talked about the war and I needed to educate myself about the beginning of the war to form informed opinions.

A few years ago, I read The 9/11 Report, and to be honest most of the information went above my head. I decided to reread it because it gives the history of Al Qaeda and a play-by-play of what happened on 9/11 and events leading up to it. Reading it a second time allowed me to digest more of the information. I love this book because it is a graphic adaptation of an informational report. The graphics bring a new layer of understanding that I wouldn’t have had without this book.

Black is for Beginnings

black

They initially started as nightmares, but when Stacey realizes her nightmares are actually premonitions, she knows she has to save the people in her dreams. Jacob also has premonitions. Premonitions about Stacey dying, a girl he doesn’t even know. When Jacob and Stacey meet, they try to prevent their premonitions about each other dying from happening.

Normally I’m not into magical elements in books, but this was an exception. This graphic novel was young adult to the core. The teenage characters were intriguing, although stereotypical. The storyline kept me reading, and it helped that it was a quick read. I would love to read other books in this series.

The List

list

It happens every year before homecoming: one girl from each class is chosen as the ugliest and one girl from each class is chosen as the prettiest. This story follows the eight girls named to the list as they each confront the repercussions being named to the list brings.

Eating disorders, self-discovery, relationship complications, and sibling rivalry are all topics the book explores. Although following eight characters was a bit overwhelming as a reader, I liked the book. I liked the concept and I think this is a book that teenagers would enjoy reading.

My junior high students picked this book for our first book club book. However, it was brought to my attention that the book was flagged for sexual content and language. In the beginning, there is a paragraph that describes two characters having sexual intercourse (although it is not a graphic scene), but other than that scene, sex is not mentioned again. Also, the book follows eight girls and one girl favors the f-word. It is not excessive, but it is used. If the high schoolers wanted to read this book, I would have no qualms. But is this book appropriate for junior highers? I’m not sure.

Watch the Sky

watch the sky

Jory is from a different kind of family – a family that always looks for signs. Signs can be everywhere: a shooting star, a dead bird, a rainstorm. The signs let them know how close the danger is. But after his mysterious sister arrives, the officials begin getting suspicious about his family. As an attempt to blend in, Jory is sent to attend public school. Although his step-dad Caleb warns him not to believe what his teachers tell him, Jory wants to fit in which is extremely difficult to do in his heavy boots and cargo pants (you never know when the danger will arrive – it is best to be prepared). Caleb knows the danger is near so he develops a new family schedule: each family member must dig during the nighttime. Why? Only Caleb knows. What is the danger? Only Caleb knows. What are the signs? Only Caleb knows.

This book is a type of coming-of-age novel as Jory begins to question the “family over everything” slogan that he has been taught. It was the most bizarre middle grades novel I’ve ever read and I’m not sure most young teenagers would like this book because of its ending.

 

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