Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 13: Incorporating #LoveOfReading into Playdates, Photo Albums + Visits to the Mall
November 13, 2019
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 four weeks.
Newsletter Update: In this issue I have a review of a wonderful new middle grade novel and two tips for growing bookworms (scheduling playdates at the library and taking photos of your young children with books). I also have one bookworm moments post about reading while walking through the mall. I have three posts with literacy and reading-related links that I shared on Twitter.
Reading Update: In the last four weeks I finished three middle grade, one young adult, and five adult titles (three fiction and two nonfiction). I read/listened to:
- Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Book. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed October 18, 2019, read aloud to my daughter. We are very much enjoying reading this middle grade series together, and I highly recommend these books as bridge books for kids branching out from a steady graphic novel diet to add some more text-based fare. The main character, Derek, is more more excited about drawing comic strips than he is about reading. The books include little stick figure sketches in the wide margins of less familiar vocabulary words. Even if the words are familiar for your child, the sketches are hilarious.
- Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Stuntboy. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed October 29, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
- J.J. and Chris Grabenstein: Shine!. Random House Children's Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed November 1, 2019, print review copy. My review. The fact that I liked this book enough to write my first review since August should tell you how much I enjoyed this one.
- Kristen Simmons: The Deceivers (Vale Hall, Book 1). Tor Teen. Young Adult Mystery. Completed November 10, 2019, on Kindle. I liked the premise and plotting of this twisty YA novel about a tiny boarding school for teen con-people, but it didn't completely hold my attention for some reason.
- William Kent Krueger: Manitou Canyon (Cork O'Connor, No. 15). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed October 18, 2019, on MP3. Still love Cork O'Connor.
- Thomas Perry: The Boyfriend. Mysterious Press. Adult Mystery. Completed October 27, 2019, on Kindle. Although I usually like Perry's work, I found this one, about a private eye on the trail of a contract killer who hides out by becoming the boyfriend to call girls, less than compelling.
- William Kent Krueger: Sulfur Springs (Cork O'Connor, No. 16). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed November 1, 2019, on MP3.
- Jo Boaler: Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers. HarperOne. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 2, 2019, personal copy. This book, by the author of Mathematical Mindsets, applies recent neuroscience research to ideas about learning: growth mindset, productive struggle, making mistakes, etc. It is fascinating and could be useful to teachers, parents, or anyone looking to expand their brains and keep learning.
- Nir Eyal (with Julie Li): Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. BenBella Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 3, 2019, personal copy. This was the latest read in my quest to read everything out there about focusing in the digital age. The part I found most interesting was the early part, in which Eyal talks about the internal drivers of our distraction (seeking out novelty, etc.). The later parts, about ways to reduce distraction in one's environment, is good stuff, but wasn't as new to me.
I'm listening to The Night Fire: A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch mystery by Michael Connelly. I'm reading A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series, Book 18) by Deborah Crombie. I'm reading My Life As A Cartoonist (My Life Series, Book 3) by Janet Tashjian and Jake Tashjian aloud to my daughter. I originally intended for my daughter to start reading these on her own after we had read the first book together. But in fact we are both really enjoying reading them together. Derek, like my daughter, is an only child. Let's just say that his complaint the other day about his parents' excessive focus on his trials and tribulations resonated with my daughter. This morning we kept reading long past when we were scheduled to stop, because we both HAD to know what was going to happen next. Luckily it was pajama day at school.
On her own, my daughter is most obsessed with the Big Nate series these days. The missing books in her collection (which is most of them, she's mostly read library copies) are one of only two things she has requested (so far) for Christmas. My husband is reading her the first Nancy Drew book before bed, but I think it's going pretty slowly because they are tired.
She also eagerly awaited the recent new releases in the Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid series. In each case we preordered the book and had release day on our calendar. When I went to pick her up from after school care, she positively flew out out to the car, shrieked loudly with excitement, and read the book cover to cover IMMEDIATELY. This is the goal, my friends. Having a child who screams with excitement because the latest book in a series that she loves is here. She reacted similarly yesterday to the news that the ARC of the first book in the Babysitters Club Little Sisters series had arrived. Sadly, I think that one skewed a bit young for her, and so was a little disappointing. But I'm sure it will be a huge hit with younger kids.
The Scholastic Book Fair at our school is next week. Scholastic offered a new option to create some sort of digital wallet for your child, so that they could essentially charge books to you without you having to be there. Me, I steered far, far away from that. First of all, my daughter would select too many books. Second, she would also be tempted by the non-book stuff, some of which is fun but which can get out of hand.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms!
© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.