Children's Literacy and Reading News Roundup: New Year's Edition
Rapunzel: Sarah Gibb

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 9

JRBPlogo-smallTonight I will be sending out the new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. There are 1471 subscribers. Currently I am sending the newsletter out once every two weeks (though I'm a week late with this issue, because of the holidays).

Newsletter Update: In this brief issue I have three book reviews (one middle grade, one middle school, and one young adult), and one children's literacy roundup (with full details at Rasco from RIF). 

Cybils2011I also posted eleven reviews of Cybils-nominated picture books in the past three weeks (I was a round 1 judge). I have NOT included the full reviews in the newsletter, because I thought that they would collectively make the newsletter too long. However, here are the links to the Cybils reviews (with about 20 more to come over the next month):

*A Cybils shortlist title.
**Not a Cybils shorlist title, but one of my personal favorites.

Reading Update: Since the last newsletter, I read 2 middle grade, four young adult, and two adult novels. (I flew to Boston via connecting flights, so there was a fair bit of reading time. Baby Bookworm is a champion airplane sleeper.)

  • Michael Rex: Fangbone: Third Grade Barbarian. Putnam Juvenile. Completed December 21, 2011. My review.
  • Michael D. Bell: The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour. Yearling. Completed December 28, 2011, Kindle eBook from the library. I really WANTED to like this book, about a group of smart high school girls solving an old puzzle. But I found that it strayed too often into didactic territory (with one girl explaining geometry to another, for example, in painful detail).
  • Lauren Baratz-Logsted: Little Women and Me. Bloomsbury. Completed December 20, 2011. My review.
  • Peter Abrahams: Bullet Point. HarperTeen. Completed December 22, 2011, Kindle eBook from the library. I found this novel fast-paced and quite hard-edged. Definitely a boy-friendly action story. It was a perfect airplane book, though not particularly memorable.
  • Jennifer E. Smith: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Poppy. Completed January 1, 2012, ARC on iPad. This one I loved. Review to come.
  • Stephenie Perkins: Anna and the French Kiss. Speak. Completed January 7, 2012, purchased on iPad after it was shortlisted for the Cybils in Young Adult Fiction. I enjoyed it, but I liked The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (which wasn't eligible for the Cybils, since it's just published) better.
  • Stephen Hunter: Soft Target. Simon & Schuster. Completed January 1, 2012, on iPad. This adult thriller was another good airplane book, full of action, if a little predictable.
  • Ada Madison: The Square Root of Murder (Sophia Knowles mystery). Berkley. Completed January 7, 2012. This is the first of a new mystery series (paperback originals) about a female math professor at a small New England college who sets out to solve the mystery of fellow professor's murder. I liked seeing a woman who is lives and breathes math and puzzles as a protagonist, though I found the mystery itself a bit flat.

I also, of course, continue to read picture books and board books aloud to Baby Bookworm (though we didn't have as much reading time as I would have liked while we were in Boston). You can find the links to all of our 2011 reads together (1526 total): here, here, here, and here. I've started her list of 2012 reads in my blog sidebar (upper left-hand side), and will create a web page for them by the next issue.

I'm still listening to Rick Riordan's Son of Neptune on my MP3 player, and to Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright in the car with Baby Bookworm. The latter I love so much that I don't want it to end, so I'm stretching it out. I'm currently reading The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, and finding it quite compelling.

ImagesBaby Bookworm's current favorite is Nina Laden's Peek-a Who?, which we read several times a day. She likes to say "Boo!" when we get to the page with the ghost (though it sounds more like "Bah!"). She doesn't tend to sit still for too many picture books these days (unless she's eating), but she does make an exception for books about Curious George.

How about you? What have you and your kids been reading and enjoying? Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms. Wishing you all a book-filled 2012!

© 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.