Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Books Make Me Smile!

Ordering books is so much fun because eventually they do make it to my house. It's a great feeling when I see the boxes because I forgot that I ordered them but immediately know what they are. And for someone as old as I am, I forget WHICH books I ordered so it's like Christmas when I rip them open. Each time I pulled out a book, I gasped!

Now, how do I decide which one to read first? Well, I can actually start reading all of them, which I am often known to do. But I'm smack in the middle of a really good second in a series and I think I'll stick with that tonight.  But who knows...once I get finished with this, it's open season.

I've heard SO MUCH about Wonder by R. J. Palacio that I thought maybe I had to start there. BUT...I have a teacher at school that I know will love it and then she'll talk me into reading it. And Wonder is one of those books that I might have to be talked to a LOT. Sensitive material is hard for me...I'm a big baby and a big chicken. Said teacher kept telling me to read Hunger Games but I would grimace and shiver. It took a couple years. I then read the trilogy in a few days. Now it's taken off like wild fire through my fifth graders, especially because the movie is coming out soon. Wonder is also the type of book that I won't start at night. It's a "light of day" type of book for me. Yes...I have a LOT of reading quirks.

Wonder is about a boy about to start middle school after being home schooled all his life. He decides it's time to go to a public school. He's just like every other middle schooler there. Except for one thing...his face is horribly deformed.

But The Mighty Miss Malone, by the amazing Christopher Paul Curtis, is begging me to pick it up, too. It takes place during the Great Depression, which my mother used to say, "you should have had to live through the depression, you'd appreciate things more". My young brain would think, "WHY would you wish that on anyone?" but never voice out loud. Now I want to read anything I can during the time my mother lived her young life.  

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly was one of those books. I just finished it on audio and the reader was superb. A lighter book and probably the reason it only got an Honor recognition by Newbery voters, but it is Newbery worthy. Calpurnia is an 11 year old girl from a well-to-do family in Texas in the year 1898. Wearing corsets and "coming out" doesn't appeal to her in the least. She'd rather be with her grandfather and reading about Darwin's Origin of Species, or being with her six brothers. I laughed out loud every single day driving to work and back as I listened to Calpurnia and her adventures.  

Trail of the Spellmans by the hilarious Lisa Lutz is a book that wasn't supposed to happen. At least that's what I had heard...that the Spellmans series was over. Was I ever delighted to hear that it was out and I could order it. The Spellmans are one of the most dysfunctional families in America but one of the funniest, too. They are all private investigators, with major issues of their own. The minor characters in this book are as delightful as the main!

The picture books are the desserts to the main meal of my group. Who knows when I'll get to them? Desserts are to be savored.