It’s Monday! What are you Reading? 4/13/15

What a great week of reading I’ve had. I mixed it up and read a classic, graphic novel, and picture book. Check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to join the conversation.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

old man

With all of the young adult and middle grade novels I’ve been reading recently, I desperately needed a break…in the form of a classic novel. I wanted a book I could read in a day, so I chose Hemingway’s novella. Having missed last week’s episode of Wicked Tuna, I was pumped to read a fishing book.

The book centers on an old man, Santiago, who hasn’t caught a fish in quite some time. Heading to sea once again, Santiago finally hooks a huge marlin. Unfortunately, the marlin takes days to reel and catch.

I love Hemingway’s abbreviated style and before reading this book I had only read his short stories. Honestly, I felt that the book was actually quite boring. The majority of the novella details Santiago’s conversations with himself on the boat. But the book made me feel like I was fishing, too. You have to wait 100 pages for any sort of action to happen – just like fishing. I’ll go out to the lake and fish for 5 hours just to get one bite.

The real reward for me was after I finished the book. I looked up symbolism, theme, and motifs on Sparknotes which really made me think.

Why would Hemingway write this book?

Why choose the particular symbols he did?

What can I take away from the novella?

I would recommend the book to English majors and Hemingway fanatics. If you don’t fall into either category, proceed with caution and remember it’s a fishing story.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman


I love zombies and graphic novels. So of course I enjoyed The Walking Dead.

Before I began the book, I read the author’s note which said that the focus of the book was not zombies but character. He encouraged readers to read as if the book is a character study.

So I did.

And I loved it. I want to read more in the series now.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat


In the land of imaginary friends, Beekle awaits his human with no luck. So Beekle sets out, turning the tables, to choose his human instead of waiting to be chosen.

Beekle! I can’t get over this picture book. The pages are vibrant and stunning. The characters are charming.

No wonder it won the Caldecott.

My seventh grade book club wanted to read the book and when I went to order it several weeks ago (after the Caldecott was announced) it was backordered! Urgh. I finally got my hands on a copy and we all read the book very quickly.

I like that we read a picture book because I read it to everyone during our book club meeting – not everyone had read it. Although some students were disappointed it wasn’t a chapter book, we all agreed that we love Beekle. With a face like that, how could you not?