Sunday, June 8, 2014

48 Hour Book Challenge Summary

I ended up with 12 hours and 34 minutes of participation. My goal was twelve hours, and I wasn't quite sure I was going to make thing that this Book Challenge (and keeping track of time spent reading) does, is remind you of all the little moments you have throughout the day to read. Fifteen minutes and here and there add up pretty quickly.

On Friday, I had 3 hours and 26 minutes of participation - reading and listening to an audiobook. On Saturday, I started my morning with 15 minutes of blog reading and commenting (and was reminded that it's hard to comment on blogs using my phone) and the rest of my time was spent reading and listening to an audiobook. I ended the day with a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes of participation. And today, I caught up with 5 hours and 48 minutes. I didn't spend any time posting reviews and would've liked to have spent more time reading other blogs and commenting, but hope to do more tonight and tomorrow.

I started listing to Hold Fast by Blue Balliet and really like it. I have to confess, though,  I'm not always the best audiobook listener, and I'm going to switch over to reading this. I love this family, and their family quote book - reading and quotes and poems are all so important to this family, especially the father. I feel like I'm missing clues as I read and just not getting as much of out of listening to this as I would if I were reading it. More to come on this book when I've finished it. (Side note - I listened to The Wright Three, also by Balliet on audio, and finished it thinking that I should have read it.) 

I also read:
Dog Days by Karen English, with illustrations by Laura Freeman - This was on my radar before the challenge, when I was looking for some good, shorter chapter books. And what I really liked about this one, is that race isn't a factor. It's about a kid who is starting a new school and having to make new friends and dealing with a scary older kid and a bossy sister, and he just happens to be African-American. English is also the author of the Nikki & Deja series, and the girls appear in this book. 

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman - A great middle school story about growing up and fitting in and figuring out who you are. Tara, who is both Indian and Jewish, prepares for her bat mitzvah and struggles with questions about God and how she can be both Indian and Jewish and not lose sight of either. It was a fun read, but with a serious side.

The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic by Uma Krishnaswami, with illustrations by Abigail Halpin - This is the sequel/companion? to The Grand Plan to Fix Everything. I read that one awhile back, and I was able to jump into this one pretty quickly and pick up where things left off; I think you could probably read this one first, but I always like to have the backstory. This is a fun, younger middle school read (or 4th or 5th grade really), absolutely perfect for Bollywood fans. 

Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi - Skye is Japanese-American, and learns quite a bit more about her Japanese heritage and family when her cousin and his parents, and the children's grandfather, move to her city from Japan. This does a nice job of showing both sides of the story - Skye who is learning Japanese to communicate better with her relatives, and learning more about her family's history, and Hiroshi, who is learning English and adjusting to a new way of life. Kite fighting brings them together. Spoiler alert - sad ending. A 2013-2014 Texas Bluebonnet nominee.

The Secret of the Skeleton Key (#1 in The Code Busters Club series) by Penny Warner - Another book with a diverse cast of characters, where race isn't the focus. A group of kids have their own Code Busters Club to solve puzzles and decipher codes, and they find themselves solving a mystery. There are codes for the reader to solve (with the solutions in the back of the book). This is popular in my library.

The Whole Story of Half A Girl by Veera Hiranandani - Another Jewish-Indian teen. Sonia is staring sixth grade in a new school, changing from a very laid back private school to a public school, in part because her father lost his job. As she struggles with friends, her father is also struggling, but in his case with depression.Like Tara in My Basmati Bat Mitzvah, she's struggling to figure out what she wants and where she fits in. I think this was my favorite of all the books I finished this weekend.

My books this weekend skewed on the younger end, but I also started The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson, which I've heard great things about, and am eager to finish. I've started a list of books I've discovered on other blogs, and as I read more blogs and reviews, I know it's only going to grow. Thanks to MotherReader for hosting this wonderful challenge!

Friday, June 6, 2014

48 Hour Book Challenge!

Well, the blog is least for the weekend...maybe. I'm really excited about MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge. I participated a few years ago and had a lot of fun. This year, the focus is on diversity in books, and I think it will really generate some great reading lists. And, hopefully, it will get me back in the swing of blogging and reading blogs and commenting. I'm aiming looowwww...summer is underway and this week has been crazy busy, and we officially kick off our summer reading program tomorrow...but I've got a stack of some great looking books and hope to read at least twelve hours. I'm posting now, but will officially start at 5pm with an audiobook (Hold Fast by Blue Balliett) on my way to pick up craft supplies for tomorrow.