Children's Literacy and Reading News Roundup: Mid-May
Zoe Gets Ready: Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: May 21

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 1537 subscribers. Currently I am sending the newsletter out once every three weeks.

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have four book reviews (three middle grade books and one young adult title), two children's literacy roundups (one here and one published in more detail at Carol Rasco's new blog, and one post about the announcement of the 2012 Children's Choice Book Award winners.

Reading Update: Since the last newsletter, I read 1 middle grade, 2 young adult and 1 adult novels. I haven't had as much time for reading as I would like lately, but I am looking forward to MotherReader's upcoming 48 Hour Book Challenge (June 8-10), an excuse to prioritize reading for a couple of days.

  • Marianne Malone (ill. Greg Call): The Sixty-Eight Rooms. Random House. Completed May 5, 2012. My review.
  • Kristin Cashore: Bitterblue. Dial. Completed May 10, 2012. My review.
  • Veronica Roth: Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2). Katherine Tegen Books. Completed May 17, 2012. I didn't write a formal review of this one, so I'll include a mini-review here: Insurgent accomplishes the primary purpose of the middle book in a trilogy: it leaves the reader desperately wanting to read the third book. It also suffers from the challenges common to middle books. The premise is no longer so new and fascinating, and the conflict in the primary romance feels a trifle forced. I also found it a bit disturbing that Tris, the strong heroine from Divergent, is borderline suidical throughout much of Insurgent. Still, the new plot reveals and cliffhanger ending left me determined to read book 3 as soon as it is available.
  • D.E. Stevenson: Miss Buncle's Book. ISIS Audiobooks. Completed May 16, 2012, on MP3. Note sourcebooks is releasing a new paperback edition in September 2012. This is one of my favorite comfort reads, a novel published in 1934 about a woman who writes a thinly veiled novel about the residents of her small English town (much to the neighbors' chagrin).

ImagesI also, of course, continue to read picture books and board books aloud to Baby Bookworm. We're currently about 1550 books read aloud for 2012. Current favorites include Olivia by Ian Falconer, Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett, and Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord. She also loves all Leslie Patricelli's toddler books (especially Tubby and Potty), and Sandra Boynton's Pookie books. She is starting to "read" some of her favorites aloud to herself, which is both rewarding and fun to watch (particularly Yummy Yucky, which comes with facial expressions, like the pretend spitting out of sand). If anyone has particular recommendations for picture books that work well with 2-year-olds, I would love to have them to add to our list.

I'm currently listening to Miss Buncle Married by D. E. Stevenson on MP3 and reading Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I also have a whole stack of picture books to (hopefully) start reading and reviewing soon, as well as a stack of middle grade books set aside for the 48-hour book challenge.

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.