Growing Bookworms Newsletter: March 11: Turning A Corner Edition
March 10, 2020
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, especially bookworms. The newsletter is sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog.
Newsletter Update: I've named this the "Turning A Corner Edition" of the newsletter because I have several posts around a common theme: the fact that my daughter, after a steady diet of graphic and notebook novels, has abruptly started devouring middle grade fiction.
I first share a Bookworm Moments post about her carrying multiple books around Disney World. I next reflect on this as a Literacy Milestone: the first text-based book series that she has inhabited so completely that she finds it difficult (and sad) to leave. In my third post, I share a tale of a delightful Saturday that my daughter spent reading in bed for hours, because she simply HAD to finish a new (long) book. This last is, as you'll see, also a validation of giving kids reading choice.
I was traveling for a couple of weeks and wasn't able to share as many links as usual, but I do have a couple of roundups of literacy and reading-related news. I've included the most recent roundup in the newsletter. The others can be found on my blog.
Reading Update: Since my last update, I read three middle grade, four young adult, and five adult titles (four fiction, shown, and one nonfiction title, not shown below). Cross-country travel helped, as did a cluster of exciting YA thrillers. I read/listened to:
- Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Youtuber. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed February 5, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter from library copy.
- Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Meme. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed February 28, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter from library copy. These books are so good! I highly recommend them, especially for kids who enjoy notebook novels, but who are ready for something with not quite so many illustrations. They also make great read-together books between parents and kids, bringing up issues like bullying and peer pressure without being heavy-handed.
- Kenneth Oppel: Bloom (The Overthrow, Book 1). Knopf Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed March 8, 2020. I read this book, the first of a new speculative fiction trilogy, in a single sitting. It is suspenseful, intriguing, and filled with well-rounded characters. I think it's going to do extremely well.
- Adriana Mather: Killing November. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Young Adult Mystery/Thriller. Completed February 7, 2020, on Kindle. This is the first of a new, suspenseful series. It skated right on the border of being too dark for me, but I will certainly be back reading when the next book comes out.
- Maureen Johnson: The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, Book 3). Katherine Tegen Books. Young Adult Mystery. Completed February 20, 2020, on Kindle. I found this to be a satisfying conclusion to the Truly Devious series. Now that the books are all available, this would be a great recommendation for any mystery fan, early teen to adult.
- Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, Book 2). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Young Adult Mystery. Completed February 25, 2020, on Kindle. This wrapped up the mysteries for the main character introduced in the first Debutantes book (reviewed here), but Barnes opened the door for future books based on a younger set of related characters. The ending is wildly implausible, but I still found this book a lot of fun. A perfect vacation read!
- Karen McManus: One of Us Is Next (sequel to One Of Us Is Lying). Delacorte Press. Young Adult Mystery. Completed March 5, 2020, on Kindle. McManus did a nice job here setting a second mystery in the world of One Of Us Is Lying, but featuring different (related) characters. This is one of those books that I enjoyed thinking about before I went to sleep, wondering how the pieces were going to fit together.
- Michael McGarrity: Tularosa (Kevin Kerney, No. 1). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed February 8, 2020, on MP3. The fact that this series uses the same narrator as the Walt Longmire books bothered me at first, but I soon got past that. This series has gotten me out of my audiobook slump, which is a relief.
- Taylor Stevens: Liar's Paradox (Jack and Jill, Book 1). Pinnacle. Adult Thriller. Completed February 15, 2020, on Kindle. This is the first of a new thriller series, of the hyper-competent protagonist, daring escape, shady government agency, variety. The family drama takes it to another level, though. It features twins raised by a mother who is either paranoid and delusional OR a former spy trying to keep them alive. Or maybe both. I have downloaded the next book, though I don't feel the need to read it immediately.
- Michael McGarrity: Tularosa (Kevin Kerney, No. 2). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed March 1, 2020, on MP3.
- Michael McGarrity: Serpent's Gate (Kevin Kerney, No. 3). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed March 9, 2020, on MP3.
I'm reading This Is Marketing by Seth Godin in print, Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge on Kindle, and the new Joe Pickett novel by C. J. Box, Long Range on audio. For future reading, I'm in a twisty YA mystery/thriller phase, if anyone has any recommendations. Nothing too violent. I had to stop reading Lee Child's Reacher series, which I had really liked. Somewhere along the way, my appetite for violence has cooled a bit.
My daughter and I have been reading favorite picture books since catching up on the My Life series (next book coming in April). You can see her choices here. Highlights included three from the Questioneers series by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts and two favorites from Bob Staake. I was going to start Elizabeth Enright's Gone-Away Lake the other morning, but couldn't find it (a problem when you have too many books in your house). We're giving Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein a try as a read-together instead. We've only read four chapters, but I think it might take.
As for my daughter's own reading, you can read the posts below to see what's going on with that. I must say that this has been a satisfying period for me as a bookworm mom. This weekend she had me read a passage from Land of Stories: Book 3 that disturbed her (characters injured and in peril as a war commences). I said something like "Maybe you shouldn't read these books, if they're going to upset you." She snatched the book away, held it her chest, and snapped "Mine! You are NOT taking this book away." And I thought: "Success." (With fingers crossed for no bad dreams.)
This journey of raising a child who enjoys books is a long one, and I know that there are pitfalls ahead (AR, dull whole class novels, time constraints, etc.). But we are in a fun phase right now and I intend to enjoy every minute! Thanks for joining me on the journey.
© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.