Pregnant Pause: Han Nolan
How Many Jelly Beans?: Andrea Menotti

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: April 9

JRBPlogo-smallToday 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 1519 subscribers. Currently I am sending the newsletter out once every two to three weeks.

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

Dear-logoI also wanted to point out that this Thursday, April 12, is Drop Everything and Read Day. National D.E.A.R. Day is a special reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority. D.E.A.R. Day spokesperson Ramona Quimby says: "April 12th will be a busy day for me since that is also Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but I always can find time to read. I am going to tell everyone in my family to Drop Everything and Read on April 12th. We can do it right at home or to make the day more special, maybe go to the library or a bookstore." How about you all? Are you going to drop everything and read this Thursday? Do it for Ramona, and for Beverly Cleary. Do it for your kids. Do it for yourself. 

Reading Update: Since the last newsletter, I read 1 middle grade, 3 young adult and 4 adult novels. I'm including some notes on the books in this post, as I'm still finding writing new reviews to be a bit beyond me (pneumonia recovery is a slow process). Hopefully I'll be back up to normal speed by the next newsletter.

  • Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Puffin. Completed March 24, 2012. A wonderful re-read, on MP3 from Audible. This is one of my favorite all-time books, and I'm glad that I listened to it again.
  • Y.S. Lee: The Agency 2: The Body at the Tower. Candlewick. Completed March 25, 2012. Library copy on Kindle.
  • Y.S. Lee: The Agency 3: The Traitor in the Tunnel. Candlewick. Completed April 1, 2012. Purchase on Kindle. I quite enjoyed this series/trilogy, about a reformed young female thief who becomes a spy in Victorian London. I highly recommend the Agency books to anyone who enjoys mysteries or historical novels, particularly those featuring strong female characters.
  • Rachel Ward: Numbers 2: The Chaos. Chicken House. Completed April 8, 2012. Library copy, second book of trilogy. I had loved the first book, Numbers. This one I found compelling, in terms of plot, but the voices of the characters (or one of them, anyway) didn't quite work for me. Still, I'm consumed by the story, and look forward to reading the third book shortly. 
  • Elizabeth George: This Body of Death. Harper. Completed March 20, 2012. Library copy. This was my first return to the Lynley/Havers series after the "what was she thinking" What Came Before He Shot Her? I think that George has become a little too inclined to use her books as a platform to shed a light on social injustices (vs. focusing on the story). But I still enjoyed returning to this fictional universe.
  • Anne Holt: 1222: A Hanne Wilhelmsen novel. Scribner. Completed March 23, 2012. Library copy. This is the first US translation of Holt's work, which is popular in Norway. I enjoyed it, and look forward to reading other books. Hanne Wilhelmsen is a delightfully grouchy protagonist.
  • Victoria Thompson: Murder on Sisters' Row. Berkley. Completed March 24, 2012. Library copy. The latest in Thompson's Gaslight series, which I always enjoy.
  • Orson Scott Card: Shadows in Flight. Tor. Completed March 29, 2012, on MP3 from Audible. This one I found a bit disappointing. I'd seen complaints about it being too short, but I personally found that it dragged on. This is a new spin-off series from the Ender's Game universe, featuring Bean's not quite human children. Which should have been interesting, but alas, wasn't.

ImagesI also, of course, continue to read picture books and board books aloud to Baby Bookworm. We're currently just under 1000 books read aloud for 2012. Current favorites include Julius's Candy Corn by Kevin Henkes, Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems, and Jamberry by Bruce Degan.

I'm currently listening to Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. I'm reading Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner

How about you? What have you and your kids been reading and enjoying? Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms.

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