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.
Unfortunately, Bella has become quite camera shy especially a book is nearby. Imagine that! Thankfully Etta is willing to pose as long as treats are part of the deal.
Our Reads This Week:
Property of the Rebel Librarian by Allison Varnes
12 year old June Harper has always been a rule follower, but after her parents confiscate her library book, The Makings of a Witch, the librarian Ms. Bradshaw is put on indefinite leave, and the school board passes a resolution banning all books which contain profanity, drugs, violence, rock/rap music, witchcraft, drinking, smoking or rebellion of any kind, June has no choice but to rebel for the first time in her life. Recalling Ms. Bradshaw’s words that one book can change everything, June secretly starts a banned book library in an abandoned locker stocking it with books borrowed from a Little Free Library located in her neighborhood. Word begins to spread about June’s library but fear of getting caught is growing. Can she keep her underground library hidden or will it be discovered?
I love books about books and most especially I love characters who are voracious readers. June is a proud library groupie who understands the true power of books. As I read Property of the Rebel Librarian, I’ll admit I was so angered by all the adults in the novel (except of course for Ms. Bradshaw who is awesome) who firmly believed in censoring books. While it may have seemed far fetched, all I have to do is scroll my Twitter feed to be reminded that censorship is happening when parents and teachers think graphic novels are not real reading or students can’t choose books outside of their reading levels. I greatly admired June for taking a stand choosing books over a boy and fighting for the freedom to read and most importantly, for the freedom of choice.
While The Makings of a Witch is not a real novel, all other titles mentioned in the novel are real and it was so cool to see familiar and loved titles such as EngiNerds, Pax, A Snicker of Magic, and Because of Winn Dixie. A full list of all titles mentioned appears at the end of the book. Special thanks to author Allison Varnes for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group. Property of the Rebel Librarian recently published in September 2018.
Bone Soup: A Spooky and Tasty Tale by Alyssa Satin Capucilli Illustrated by Tom Knight
Bone Soup is a fun Halloween retelling of the classic tale Stone Soup that I can’t wait to read aloud to students this week! On Halloween morning, three hungry witches have nothing in their cupboards except a bone. “Let’s make bone soup!” said Naggy Witch. Carrying their cauldron with the lone bone from house to house, the witches trick or treat for more ingredients to make bone soup. An assortment of ghoulish characters contribute to the soup by adding a bit of water, a savory morsel, a crunchy treat, and some tasty tidbits. But wait! Soup from a bone? Is this a trick instead of a treat?
Kids will not only enjoy this spooky plot of this remake but also the entertaining and not too scary illustrations. At the end of the book, there is a recipe to make bone soup which would be a great family activity. As a teacher, I love author Alyssa Satin Capucilli’s word choice exposing children to rich vocabulary (gleefully, beguiling, boomed) and her use of puns (“I won’t hang around much longer,” sneered the bat.) Another bonus is under the recipe, she includes a note which reminds readers that the theme of both Bone Soup and the original folktale is that of collaboration and sharing. That makes Bone Soup a treat for adults to read to kids!
Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending Bone Soup to Beagles and Books. It released in July 2018.
Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks
With engaging artwork using a limited color palette, a fast paced plot, strong and diverse characters and of course, an adorable three-headed kitty, I hope that Sanity and Tallulah is the first of many space adventures with this charming, intelligent, and plucky duo. To read my full review, 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.
Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Blue is a tender and poignant story chronicling the relationship between a boy and his dog. The first double page spread is a beautiful water color illustration of a puppy and boy sleeping head to head both touching a blue blanket with only two words, baby blue. Each subsequent spread sweetly captures a moment in time that the boy and his dog share as they grow up together. The blue blanket is now a kerchief which the boy and the dog take turns wearing. Just two words, one being blue, describe each scene. The bonded pair chase butterflies, run in the ocean waves, sleep together, read in a tent, and walk in the rain and snow. Inevitably, the dog ages and the boy copes with his grief and the loss of his best friend. As a dog mom, I too have experienced this sorrow and especially with Etta getting older, this story hits very close to home. Blue though reminds me that I can cherish my precious memories and open my heart once again.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Have a great week!