Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.
Our Reads This Week
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Front Desk is a semi autobiographical account of young Mia Tang who recently immigrated with her parents from China to the United States. Mia and her family manage the Calivista with her parents taking care of the housekeeping and Mia managing the front desk. Mia becomes friends with the Calivista weeklies who become her extended family.
Managing the front desk and being the new student at Dale Elementary School is a lot to handle but Mia is determined to succeed even when things get tough. While her mother encourages Mia to spend more time doing math, Mia wants to focus on becoming a better writer. Her mother says “You just can’t be as good as the white kids in their language honey. It’s their language,” Mia though is insistent in proving her mother wrong practicing and perfecting her writing with the help of Calivista weekly Mrs. T’s dictionary-thesaurus. After Mia’s writing changes a few people’s lives for the better, Mia realizes her written words could have the power to change her life too. As her friend Lupe says, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”
Front Desk is a story of hope and heart. Mia is an exceptional character who shows not only a genuine kindness but also immense courage to help others. For my full review, click here.
A very special thanks to Arthur A. Levine Books and Lizette Serrano of Scholastic for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group. Pre-order Front Desk now, for it releases on May 1, 2018.
Neither by Airlie Anderson
“Once upon a time, there were two kinds: this (a blue rabbit) and that (a yellow bird).” An egg hatches and out comes a green creature that has characteristics of both a rabbit and a bird. “You can’t be both. You must be a neither!” said this and that which forces “Neither” to fly off to Somewhere Else. As “Neither” soars in the sky, the reader can see a bird’s eye view of the Land of This and That, which is predominantly blue and yellow while the land adjacent to it includes many more colors. “Neither” soon finds out that she has not found Somewhere Else but rather the Land of All where animals of different kinds are welcome. Anderson’s colorful and vivid illustrations are captivating to the eye. In the Land of All, creatures are a blend of different animals such as a cat butterfly and a dog fish celebrating both uniqueness and inclusiveness.
Reminiscent of Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Manchev, Neither is an engaging and thoughtful story about tolerance, diversity, and acceptance. I cannot wait to share this with students for #classroombookaday.
Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick of the Week:
Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
Arfy is a dog in search of a forever home. Living in a cardboard box in an alley, he decides to write letters to residents on Butternut Street asking “Can I be your dog?” In each letter, Arfy states why he would be a good fit for them. Unfortunately, Arfy receives letters back turning him down for different reasons. A sad Arfy returns to his “home” in the alley and wakes up to find a letter addressed to him. Unbeknownst to Arfy (although readers can infer from the illustrations), the mail carrier has been reading some of his letters. She writes her own letter to Arfy asking him “Can I be your person?” stating why they would be a good match.
From the bold and lively illustrations, the plot being told through letters, and determination of Arfy to find a home, Can I Be Your Dog is not only the perfect read aloud but also a great resource for teaching persuasive writing or composing letters. What especially warms my heart are the tips for how to help a homeless animal in the end papers.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books! Have a great week! Happy Reading!