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Growing Bookworms Newsletter: June 1: Book Reviews, Reading Logs, and Books about Soup

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 three book reviews (one picture book, one middle grade, and one young adult) and one post about my daughter's latest literacy milestone (dictating inflection when someone else is reading aloud). I also have one post about why kids should be able to pursue the activities that bring them joy, and another about the power of spending your own money. I also have two posts with links that I shared on Twitter, and one more with quotes from and responses to articles about to the joy of learning

Reading Update: In the past two weeks I read/listened to three middle grade, two young adult, and five adult titles. I was fortunate to have a reading weekend over Memorial Day, while my husband and daughter were camping. (Why yes, I would rather stay home and read than go camping. Wouldn't some of you?) I read:

  • Nanci Turner Steveson: Swing Sideways. HarperCollins Children's Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 21, 2016. Review to come.
  • Eve Titus: Basil of Baker Street (The Great Mouse Detective). Aladdin Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 28, 2016. I don't plan a review, but I did put this one on my daughter's "to read" shelf for when she's a bit older. This is a reissue edition that was recommended by Ms. Yingling
  • Robert Beatty: Serafina and the Twisted Staff. Disney-Hyperion. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 28, 2016, print ARC. Review to come.
  • Eileen Cook: With Malice. HMH Books for Young Readers. Young Adult Fiction/Suspense. Completed May 20, 2016. My review.
  • Rick Yancey: The Last Star. Putnam. Young Adult. Completed May 28, 2016. I enjoyed this conclusion to the Fifth Wave series, but I read this one totally for my own long weekend enjoyment, and don't plan a formal review. But I did think that this one was better than the second book in the series (though not quite as surprise-filled as the first). 
  • Victoria Thompson: Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (A Gaslight Mystery). Berkley. Adult Mystery. Completed May 25, 2016, on MP3. This was a fun and unusual installment to this long-running series. The two main characters are off (finally) on their honeymoon, and the entire mystery is solved by their team of supporting characters. 
  • Elly Griffiths: The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway #1). Mariner Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 29, 2016, on Kindle. I had this book on my radar (and on my Kindle, actually) but was encouraged to read it by a recommendation from Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray. Colleen listed this series along with two of my favorites, and that was enough for me. I became obsessed with this series, reading the first 3 back to back over my long weekend. 
  • Elly Griffiths: The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2). Mariner Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 29, 2016, on Kindle.
  • Victoria Thompson: Murder In Morningside heights (A Gaslight Mystery). Berkley. Adult Mystery. Completed May 30, 2016, on MP3. I found the conclusion to the mystery a bit obvious in this one, but still enjoyed spending time with all of the characters. I hope to see this series continue for a long time. 
  • Elly Griffiths: The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway #3). Mariner Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 30, 2016, on Kindle.

I'm currently listening to Massacre Pond (Mike Bowditch #4) by Paul Doiron and reading A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway #4) by Elly Griffiths. I'm also still reading, in small segments, The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christakis. I'm taking my time with this one, and thinking about the things that Christakis has to say about how young children learn (vs. how schools often attempt to have them learn). 

The books my husband and I (and our babysitter) have been reading to our daughter in 2016 can be found here. My daughter is currently on a kick where she is interested in reading books about preparing food, especially soup. Soup Day by Melissa Iwai is a long-time favorite (we had to buy it after checking it out multiple times from the library). She more recently started to appreciate Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth and Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles by Shan-Shan Chen and Heidi Goodman. She has also asked multiple times for Tyler Makes Spaghetti by Tyler Florence and Craig Frazier.

What these books have in common is a detailed representation of how to cook something (well, Stone Soup is a little different), with the characters in the book going through the required steps, and then eventually enjoying the result. I believe that some form of home-made soup will be in my daughter's future. In general, we did a lot of reading in May, logging 176 titles on her reading log for school, despite logging no titles over Memorial Day Weekend. I plan to continue the reading log format over the summer, because it helps me with tracking the titles here on my blog. And I think that one day my daughter will find the reading logs (just lists of titles) fun to look through. 

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