5 days until summer reading officially begins! Beagles and Books is excited to share another edition of It’s 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:
The House that Lou Built by Mae Respicio
Having her own room would be awesome-sauce. Living in San Francisco, Lou shares a bedroom with her mother and lives in her grandmother Lola’s house. Lou’s father died before she was born and he left her a plot of land. On that land, Lou dreams of building a tiny house. Her timeline for building has to be accelerated because her mom was offered and accepted a nursing job in Washington State. If Lou can build her house this summer, then perhaps her mom will change her mind.
With the help of her cousins and friends, Lou secretly begins building. At first, her house seems to be on its way, and Lou is bursting with excitement over her plan. But then a notice of public auction arrives in the mail because taxes are due. Lou discovers they have 30 days to pay or the auction will occur. After Lou finally comes clean about her tiny house building project, her mom is not happy. Lou is grounded with no more trips to the land. Fearful of losing her only connection to her father, Lou is desperate to save her land. Lou though soon realizes that home is not about a particular place; “it’s more of a feeling,-of comfort and trust, of people that are a part of you.” Home is a family who loves you and supports you.
The House that Lou Built is a story about dreaming big. Lou embodies the quote Seize the day that her shop teacher and mentor, Mr. Keller displays in his classroom. While her dreams are big, Lou knows that perseverance, hard work, and faith in oneself are essential to making dreams come true. What I truly love about Lou’s story is that it can also be a mirror and window to readers. Lou is Filipino-American and throughout the book, her Filipino culture is seamlessly interwoven into the story from language to food to traditions such as annual Barrio Fiesta. As a reading specialist, I am always on the lookout for new #ownvoices titles to share with students as well as share with my media specialist to order for our school library.
A very special thanks to author Mae Respicio for sending an ARC of The House That Lou Built to my #bookexcursion group. Lou celebrates her book birthday tomorrow on June 12, 2018. Pre-order so you can get your copy and meet Lou, her family, and friends right away!
Off and Away by Cale Atkinson
I am a big fan of Cale Atkinson’s books and Off & Away is “sea-sational!” It is a touching and uplifting story about having the courage to face your fears. Jo always wanted to be a great adventurer like her dad, but her apprehension about what lurked below the sea always kept her from stepping off their dock. When Jo’s dad falls ill and bottles keep piling up, Jo takes a deep breath in before embarking on her bold journey. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, please click here.
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.
Emma and Muse by Nancy Lemon
Emma is a young artist and her most favorite thing to draw, paint, sculpt is her dog named Muse until one day Muse decides to join her in creating her next masterpiece. Emma shouts “BAD DOG MUSE!” and a heartbroken Muse leaves home. Without Muse, Emma is no longer inspired and needs him to regain her creative juices. Will Emma come up with a plan to find Muse and get him back? Will Muse forgive Emma?
Emma and Muse is not only a story about friendship and forgiveness but also a wonderful picture book that exposes young readers to the world of art. Author/ illustrator Nancy Lemon fills the book with dog paintings drawn in the style of famous artists as well as a glossary of art terms at the end of the book. I shared Emma and Muse with the art teacher at my school (whose name is coincidentally Emma) and she absolutely loved it.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books! Happy Reading!