The Leaving: Tara Altebrando
What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Rae Pica

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: April 20: #KidLit Reviews, #JoyOfLearning Links, Milestones + more

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 has refocused recently, and now contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, including bookworms, mathematicians, and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks. 

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have two book reviews (one early chapter book, one young adult book) and two posts about my daughter's latest literacy milestones (using books to feel closer to someone far away and sending text messages). I also have one post about learning math via the Scholastic Reading Club flyer. I also have two posts with links that I shared on Twitter, and two more with quotes from and responses to links about to the joy of learning

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

  • Donna Gephart: Lily and Dunkin. Delacorte Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade/Middle School. Completed April 15, 2016. Review scheduled for next week. 
  • Robison Wells: Dark Energy. HarperTeen. Young Adult Science Fiction. Completed April 14, 2016, on Kindle. This one had an interesting premise (aliens land on earth, two of them are sent to private school attended by NASA leader) and a fast-paced plot. However, I disliked the main character (braggy about her money and her BMW), and opted not to write a full review. Still, this is the first YA title I've read to completion in quite a while, so that was good.
  • Victoria Thompson: Murder on Amsterdam Avenue: A Gaslight Mystery. Berkley. Adult Mystery. Completed April 6, 2016, on MP3. I continue to love this series, and was happy to see Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy finally marry. 
  • C. J. Box: Below Zero (Joe Pickett, Book 9). Berkley. Adult Mystery. Completed April 14, 2016, on MP3. I found this installment of the Pickett series a little bit didactic (artificial-sounding conversations between characters about environmentalism and global warming), and I thought that the primary twist was predictable (almost unavoidable). But I was moved by the ending, and will continue to be unable to resist the series. 
  • Rae Pica: What If Everyone Understood Child Development? Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children's Lives. Corwin. Adult Nonfiction. Completed April 19, 2016, on Kindle. Review to come.  

I'm currently listening to Trespasser (Mike Bowditch, Book 2) by Paul Doiron and reading Skinnybones by Barbara Park (reissue edition). I have a bunch of other audiobooks queued up, with the newest Maisie Dobbs book at the top of the list. I'm hoping to get some reading time this weekend - I've been in another stop/start phase with books lately, and I would like to really find myself immersed in something. 

The books my husband and I (and our babysitter) have been reading to our daughter in 2016 can be found here. We are currently re-reading our way through the Princess Pink and the Land of Fake Believe series by Noah Z. Jones (a Branches series of early graphic novels from Scholastic). My daughter adores these books about a pink-loathing, karate-loving girl whose parents named her Princess (last name Pink). Things are topsy-turvy in the Land of Fake Believe, to frequently hilarious effect (like a "Turncorn" with a smelly attached tuna instead of a horn). 

My daughter will occasionally take over and read a page of two, but usually she likes for one of us to read. There's no question that she can read, but she has to work hard to decode, and finds it more enjoyable to listen and look at the illustrations. Sometimes I think I should encourage her to practice reading on her own more, but then I remind myself that she's still in kindergarten. I firmly believe that my job at this point is to make sure that she enjoys books. And I think we're continuing to do quite well in that regard. 

Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2016 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