It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey as a way to share what you have read and/or reviewed in the past week. It's also a terrific way to find out what other people are reading.
Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers have given this meme a children's literature focus: picture books, middle grade novels, etc. They "encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting the other bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.
The Christmas season is speeding along! I've been super busy, as I'm sure everyone else is, shopping, wrapping, and getting organized to travel to visit my family. It's a wonderful time of year with a lot to celebrate, but I wish I had a little more time to read!!!! Here's what I've managed to read this past week:
Middle Grade Fiction
I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this middle grade novel and it tells an engaging story about a family who has immigrated to a country that is full of promise due to a powerful resource that exists there. Mia and her parents came when Mia was five. Her mother is a research scientist involved in the work of finding ways to create more Amber. Amber is a substance that gives people strength, skills, talent, and health. It's only available to citizens of the country, and even then it's rationed. The amber is running out, and, as in all scarcity circumstances, people have strong disagreements about who should be able to get this precious substance. This story might have a lot of interest against the backdrop of the current national debate over immigration policy.
Middle Grade Fiction
Living in community means we need to appreciate the ways everyone is special and how that diversity makes our world more fun and interesting. Drawing on her own experiences growing up with diabetes, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has written this gorgeously illustrated picture book describing a group of friends planting a garden. Just like all of the plants in the garden are different, all of the children are also unique. This would be a good book to share with young readers as a way to start a conversation about how those that are differently abled can be brought into community with others and how everyone benefits from these relationships.
Catching fireflies (or lightning bugs where I was raised) is a favorite activity of lots of children in the summertime. This lovely picture book uses awesome, close-up photography and simple, poetic text to tell the story of a female firefly trying to attract the attention of a male firefly by blinking her light on and off. The reader can almost feel the soft heat of a summer evening and see the blinking of hundred of fireflies in the twilight. It reminds me of the verse from the Bible, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) This would definitely be a good book to share with young readers at bedtime, especially if fireflies can be seen from a window.
The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies in Pictures and Words by Wendy Ewald (Photographs), Wendy Ewald