Growing Bookworms Newsletter: June 28: Summer Reading, Noticing Gender in Books, and Reading via Series
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 sent out every two to three weeks.
Newsletter Update: In this issue I have four book reviews (picture books through young adult) and two posts with my daughter's latest literacy milestone (noticing gender imbalance of protagonists and reading in a treehouse). I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and one post with more in-depth quotes from two recent articles about the joy of reading. Oh, and if you would like something to read offline, I am quoted in an article about summer reading ideas for kids in the July print issue of Real Simple magazine.
Reading Update: In the last two weeks I finished two middle grade, one young adult, and seven adult novels. My husband and daughter were away for a few days, so I got in some extra reading time, but I was more in the mood for grown-up mysteries than for children's / YA (probably because then I wouldn't feel the need to formally review). I read/listened to:
- Robert Beatty: Serafina and the Splintered Heart. Disney Hyperion. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed June 16, 2017, print ARC. Review to come.
- Jennifer L. Holm (ill. Matthew Holm): Lights, Camera, Middle School! (Babymouse: Tales from the Locker, Book 1). Random House. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed June 17, 2017. Review to come.
- Laini Taylor: Strange the Dreamer. Little, Brown. YA Fantasy. Completed June 24, 2017. This book is classic Laini Taylor. It is beautifully written with exceptionally strong world-building and relatable characters. But it is also devastating. I read it in pretty much a single sitting (despite it being quite long) and yet I'm not sure I'll have the heart to read the sequel when it comes out...
- Elly Griffiths: The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway series). Houghton Mifflin. Adult Mystery. Completed June 14, 2017, on MP3. I adore this series more and more all the time. Highly recommended for mystery fans.
- A. G. Riddle: Departure. Harper. Adult Speculative Fiction/Thriller. Completed June 18, 2017, on Kindle. I needed a page-turner one day, and this one fit the bill, with a plane crash and mysterious events that followed.
- Tamni O'Dell: Angels Burning. Gallery Books. Adult Mystery. Completed June 18, 2017, on Kindle. This is a standalone mystery about a small-town police chief, with a highly nuanced portrayal of rural poverty and dysfunctional families. It was a good follow-up to my recent read of Hillbilly Elegy.
- Joy Ellis: Crime on the Fens (Nikki Galena, Book 1). Joffe Books. Adult Mystery. Completed June 20, 2017, on MP3. This is a new series for me featuring a UK detective with some serious personal demons. I didn't like Nikki at first, but she grew on me, such that I had to listen to the second book right away.
- Frances Brody: Dying in the Wool. Minotaur Books. Adult Mystery. Completed June 20, 2017, on Kindle. This is the first of a historical mystery series set in the years following World War I. The heroine sets herself up as a finder of missing people, after her husband goes missing (presumably permanently) in the war.
- Joy Ellis: Shadow on the Fens (Nikki Galena, Book 2). Joffe Books. Adult Mystery. Completed June 25, 2017, on MP3. I didn't like this one quite as much as the first, because I don't like plots that involve gaslighting. But the characters are growing on me, so I probably will give the third book a try.
- Brett Battles: Becoming Quinn. CreateSpace. Adult Thriller. Completed June 25, 2017, on Kindle. This is a prequel to a series about a man who is a "cleaner", as in, he disposes of bodies and associated evidence. He's an interesting character, and this look into how he ended up in the field was fascinating.
I'm currently reading The Deceived by Brett Battles (the second book in the Jonathan Quinn series) and listening to Knife Creek by Paul Doiron (Mike Bowditch series). My daughter and I are still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire together, as we will be for a while. You can find her 2017 reading list here. She's got a number of series that she is reading on her own now: Ivy and Bean, Eerie Elementary, Fancy Nancy Clancy, Owl Diaries, Dr. KittyCat, and Ballpark Mysteries.
We had a productive visit to a used bookstore recently to fill in some titles that she "needed" before her trip. She's starting to officially define herself as a reader. An adult asked her the other day what she likes to do and she responded with "reading and karate." She had to wait for my husband to take her somewhere the other day and she entertained herself by reading picture books, so she hasn't abandoned those, happily. These are all little moments that make me happy about her development as a reader.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. Here's to lots more summer reading!