Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Monday, August 14, 2017

Book 573: Pigs Rock!

Pigs Rock!, written by Melanie Davis Jones, illustrated by Bob Staake, Viking 2003.

I don't know the author's other work, but nothing about the text or 'story' struck me as being anything special or unique.  Usually I love the illustrator's work, but this time, the work felt flat, without any sense of whimsy or fun.  To me, both the author and illustrator were sleepwalking through this book.




Saturday, August 5, 2017

Book 572: The Divorce Papers

The Divorce Papers, by Susan Rieger, Crown Publishing, 2014.

I found this book for a dollar, it looked interesting, so I bought it.

Full disclosure:  I spent seven years working in Criminal Law, and five years working in Family Law (before becoming a Children's Librarian).  I have drafted many, many divorce pleadings, answers, orders, agreements, and letters.  I found this book, if not exactly hilarious, at least amusing.  I think, however, the coming from a law background is a prerequisite for enjoying this book at all.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Book 571: Cruising Paradise

Cruising Paradise, by Sam Shepard, 1997.

I reviewed this book on Goodreads last Monday (July 24th).  Then I went on a short vacation with my family, and today (July 31st), I just read that the remarkable Sam Shepard has died.


This is the book that made me want to become a writer. It is also the book that made me adore Sam Shepard, but that is a completely different story. 


These stories are breathtakingly perfect. I don't mean they are the polished gems of a technically brilliant wordsmith. I mean they are perfect in their pure, raw, gut-wrenching beauty. The characters in the story may be the most hideous creatures you have ever encountered, and yet you can be moved to tears when you travel with them through their hardships. 


Sam Shepard is an underrated genius. 




Friday, May 26, 2017

Book 570: Listen My Children

Listen My Children, Core Knowledge Book, 2001.

My son read this book for his Second Grade Literature class.  This book is an excellently-curated collection of poems for second-graders.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book 569: The Legend of the Bluebonnet

The Legend of the Bluebonnet, by Tomie DePaola, Penguin Books, 1983.

This is a lovely, lovely book.  My son read it for a First Grade class last year, and it might have been a little advanced for him then.  But now, it is perfect for him.  In fact, it is just perfect.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book 568: Weather, Poems for All Seasons

Weather:  Poems for All Seasons, by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Melanie Hall, HarperCollins, 1995.

My son read this book last year for first grade.  It was his first introduction to a study of poetry, and he really enjoyed it.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Book 567: Buddy, the First Seeing Eye Dog

Buddy:  The First Seeing Eye Dog, by Eva Moore, illustrated by Don Bolognese, Scholastic Book 1996.

This is a delightful true-life story for a second-grader.  My second-grader was impressed with the friendships in this book:  The friendship between Kiss and Gala, and the friendship between Kiss (now Buddy) and Morris.

The illustrations are tender and action-packed, and add so much to the text.

The only thing that didn't quite make sense was the title.  Buddy was the first seeing eye dog in the US, but she wasn't the first seeing eye dog.