A Book a Week #48- 52!

I had notions of getting this post up BEFORE the end of the year, so it was all legitimate that I made my self appointed goal by the self appointed deadline.  But, I have to confess that I took a real mental break from all things related to work over this holiday.  I spent time reading adult novels!  My favorite has been Johnathan Franzen’s Freedom– deserving of all the hype for sure.  And watching lots of movies.  And reading magazines.  It’s been divine.

But to cap off the quest to read 52 childrens books in 2010, I did make the goal with these books rounding out the year:

#48 American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Surely this should be required reading for our Middle School students- it’s a masterful graphic novel that intertwines three stories about a boy’s struggle to find his identity between his Chinese heritage and his American upbringing.

#49 Words of Stone by Kevin Henkes

Level V

Kevin Henkes can write more than just cute picture books.  The main character, Blaze, is traumatized by the death of his mother.  He engages in certain rituals every year to mark her death.  This summer, a new neighbor moves in and mysterious things begin to happen, which ultimately leads to Blaze learning about friendships, family, and finding some inner peace.

#50 Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins

Level Q

In the tradition of The Velveteen Rabbit, Toys Go Out tells the story of three beloved toys from their own perspective.  I read this charming book to J and E.  They were rapt throughout, and looking forward to the sequel Toy Dance Party.

#51 The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan

It’s a dreamy, poetic fictional biography based on the life of Pablo Neruda.  Barb M. suggested this book and thinks it may be a contender for the Newbery (announced on January 10th this year).  It’s as much as I will ever read about Neruda (he had an tough childhood, which seems to be a prerequisite for genius to emerge), and Sis’ images lent the book a puzzle like quality that kept me reading and re-reading.

#52 Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

It’s a pity that the last book of the year was one that, one month later, I can’t remember well at all.  It slid off me like a fried egg off a well seasoned cast iron pan.  It was a sad book, about a girl who was raising herself because her mother was a total looser.  It saddens me to read this kind of book. Maybe that’s why I forgot it as soon as I closed it.

I had notions of how to celebrate achieving my goal:  collecting all the books in a stack and taking a picture of them, ranking them, choosing favorites or least favorites, signing a big movie deal for having a transformative experience ala Julie and Julia.

Alas, that’s all more than I am willing to make happen, or that’s probable.  So, I will leave it at this:  the resolution was good.  It helped me keep up with my kid-lit reading.  I’m signing on for another 52 for 2011.

Happy New Year!


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