Today, I will be sending out a 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 growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.
Newsletter Update: In this issue I have one literacy milestone post (recognizing publishers) as well as a two-part series about encouraging summer reading. I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. These include tons of booklists, as well as suggestions from others about encouraging summer reading. I still don't have the motivation for writing full book reviews but I have included a bit more detail than usual here about the books that I've been reading. I'm also dabbling in quick recommendations on Twitter, to help get the word out about books that I like.
Reading Update: In the last three weeks I finished one middle grade, three young adult, and eight adult titles. (Well, I did skim parts of a couple of the adult titles.) I read/listened to:
- Stacy McAnulty: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. Random House Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 27, 2018, print review copy. This book is about a girl who was struck by lightning when she was in second grade. This left her a math genius with more than a touch of OCD. As the book begins she is sent to middle school after being homeschooled since third grade. The book chronicles her troubles fitting in and eventual personal growth. It's very well done, and I recommend it. I would have loved it when I was about 11.
- Anna Sheehan: No Life But This. Candlewick Press. Young Adult Dystopia. Completed May 20, 2018, on Kindle. This was the sequel/conclusion to A Long, Long Sleep, but it featured a different narrator and was less suspenseful than the first book. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much.
- Mike Mullin: Surface Tension. Tanglewood Press. Young Adult Thriller. Completed May 25, 2018, on Kindle. This YA novel about a book who accidentally witnesses a terrorist attack and ends up pursued by the terrorists was fun and timely. I personally had a bit of trouble suspending belief, but I think that teens will enjoy it.
- Sheryl Scarborough: To Catch A Killer (Erin Blake #1). Tor Teen. Young Adult Mystery. Completed May 26, 2018, on Kindle. This YA mystery about a teen applying forensic techniques to solve her mother's long-ago murder also stretched the bounds of credibility a bit, but I enjoyed it enough to download the sequel. I did skim over some of the details about forensic analysis, though I think that there will be teens who will love that aspect of the book.
- William Stixrud and Ned Johnson: The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. Viking. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 16, 2018, on Kindle. Control is something that we are working on in regards to my daughter, and I did find this book useful.
- Elly Griffiths: The Dark Angel (Ruth Galloway). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Adult Mystery. Completed May 23, 2018, on Kindle. Love, love, love this series, and did not see the personal twist at the end coming.
- William Kent Krueger: Thunder Bay (Cork O'Connor). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 24, 2018, on MP3. This was a solid installment to this series - I will be ready for the next book soon, though I am spacing them out a bit so that the series will last.
- Ken Langone: I Love Capitalism: An American Story. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction/Memoir. Completed May 25, 2018, on Kindle. I didn't actually read this entire book, but I read the first few chapters, skimmed the middle, and then read the last chapter. I thought that Ken, a now-wealthy co-founder of Home Depot who came from working class beginnings, had a lot of smart things to say. I liked him very much.
- Sarah Mackenzie: The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids. Zondervan. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 25, 2018, on Kindle. This book is excellent and I would recommend it to any parent looking to rekindle the motivation to read with kids. I can't say that I picked up a lot of concrete new suggestions, given how much I've already read on this topic, but it did make me more determined not to let reading TO my daughter slip this summer.
- Melissa A. Schilling: Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World. PublicAffairs. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 28, 2018, on Kindle. This is another book in which I skimmed portions of the text (details about the backgrounds and accomplishments of the quirky innovators profiled). My interest was more in their commonalities and the conclusions drawn by the author about how and why certain traits are conducive to serial innovation.
- S. J. Scott, Barrie Davenport: 10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment. CreateSpace. Adult Nonfiction. Completed June 2, 2018, on Kindle. This was a free selection that I checked out. I'm not completely on board with the mindfulness concept, but I've seen enough recommendations that I wanted to know a bit more about it. This quick read gave me a few ideas.
- Eric Bernt: The Speed of Sound. Thomas & Mercer. Adult SF/Thriller. Completed May 27, 2018, on MP3. This book features a doctor who works with a genius patient on the Asperger's spectrum. The patient's world-changing invention is the target of multiple powerful factions, making it a strong blend of both thriller and science fiction. I look forward to the publication of the sequel.
I'm currently listening to 11/22/63 by Stephen King, a recommendation from my sister (and a great value for one of my audio credits, because it is quite lengthy). I'm reading Enough As She Is by Rachel Simmons on my Kindle, and reading Spy School by Stuart Gibbs in paperback. I'm still reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my daughter. We just read he part where the Weasley brothers set off crazily inventive fireworks all over Hogwarts, as a protest of Umbridge. My daughter adored that part.
I haven't been doing a great job of keeping up my daughter's list of books read, because she usually doesn't tell me when she finishes something, and she does power re-reads of her favorite graphic novels back to back at a pace with which I can't hope to keep up. But I have tried to update the list with books that I do know about. Her current obsession is the Diary of a Wimpy Kids books. It's rather surprising that she left them for so long, but she is whipping through them now.
We also just checked a bunch of the Amulet books out of the library - she had read them previously from library copies a few months ago, and is ready to read them again. She's been really reading up a storm lately - to the point that we have to force her to stop reading to do things like eat family dinner, get dressed, and go to sleep. I am, of course, hoping for this avid reading behavior to continue over the summer.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! I wish lots of lazy days of summer reading for you and your children in the coming months.