Literacy Milestone: Letters, Letters Everywhere
Cybils Links Shared during the Past Week

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 7

JRBPlogo-smallToday 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 children's and young adult books and raising readers. I currently send the newsletter out every two weeks (three weeks this time, because of the holidays).

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have six book reviews (picture books and early readers), a post about my daughter's latest literacy milestone (noticing letters everywhere), and two posts with literacy and reading links that I shared on Twitter recently. I also shared some thoughts (and the announcement of the Cybils shortlist) for the New Year, including further details on the direction in which I plan to take this blog going forward. 

Reading Update: In the last three weeks I completed one middle grade, two young adult, and two adult titles. I read/listened to:

  • Kate Milford: The Greenglass House. Clarion Books. Middle Grade. Completed January 4, 2015, on Kindle. This book is delightful, but as it has been widely reviewed elsewhere, I'll just say that I enjoyed it very much. A cozy old house (an inn), a locked room mystery, maps, pirates, and adoption all play a role. 
  • J.C. Carleson: The Tyrant's Daughter. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Young Adult. Completed December 26, 2014, Kindle library copy. This was a fast, interesting read about an unusual character (the daughter of a dictator from an unspecified apparently Middle Eastern nation). I didn't love it, but I certainly had to know how it ended.
  • Lamar Giles: Fake ID. Amistad. Young Adult. Completed December 27, 2014, Kindle library copy. I liked this fast-paced novel about a teen whose family is in the witness protection program, and the violence that ends up surrounding him. Bonus points for him being African American, but the book not being about that (though he uses his skin color to his advantage in one clever scene). 
  • Tana French: Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4). Viking. Adult Mystery. Completed December 31, 2014, on MP3). Intriguing but depressing. I think I'm done with this series for a while. 
  • Rhys Bowen: Her Royal Spyness: The Twelve Clues of Christmas. Berkley. Adult Mystery. Completed January 5, 2015, on MP3. Cozy Christmas fun if utterly implausible. I am enjoying the slow but steady pace with which Bowen advances the main character's romance. 

Even though a lot of people liked it (it was even shortlisted for the Cybils), and it seemed right up my alley, I abandoned Noggin by John Corey Whaley halfway through. I found I just didn't care about the characters. I'm currently reading the first book in the new Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series: The Case of the Missing Moonstore, by Jordan Stratford. I'm listening to the second book in Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series: The Whispering Skull.

I'm also, following a December in which my introverted nature was stretched to pretty near the breaking point, giving Susan Cain's Quiet another look. I don't really need to know how to use my introversion in business (I have a handle on that), but I would love to know how to get through the holidays without feeling like I was run over by a truck. 

We didn't read to my daughter as much as I would have liked over the holidays (a combination of travel and generalized busy-ness). But we closed out the year having read a pretty good selection of books. I'm anticipating that this year our reading list will include a higher percentage of chapter books. But there's no rush. She is certainly still loving picture books. 

Yesterday she wasn't feeling well (just a cold). She came home from school asking for soup. Not actual soup, mind you. She NEEDED the book Soup Day by Melissa Iwai. All of the bookshelves had to be scoured to find it. I also spent quite a bit of time the other night looking for Bob Staake's The Donut Chef. I believe that some organization of our picture book shelves may be in order this year. 

What are you and your family reading these days? Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook