Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Five Books of May

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May was a good reading month as I finished up school and had some good stuff loaded up on the Kindle to read.

The Turner House was Leah's choice for book club in May, and I found it to be a fascinating character study of an African American family in Detroit during the housing market collapse. It is not dense in plot, so I often found myself wondering if something was going to happen but not much does. There are some elements of the supernatural, and it was a National Book Award Finalist. And I'm not surprised.

Booked is the second book written in the style of The Crossover, Kwame Alexander's Newberry winner that I read and loved last year. He does these books so well with just the perfect combination of soccer, middle school drama, family, and beautiful words. My mom just read The Crossover, and they are both fantastic. I'm for sure adding this to the list of options I'm going to give teachers this fall when they pick new books for their classroom libraries.

The 19th Wife is a blended story about Mormon polygamists in Brigham Young's time and modern day. It can be a bit creepy, and it sometimes was a bit much to read in the middle of the night while nursing Rebecca. It also was approximately 100 pages too long. The historical part follows a real woman who left the LDS church after she was tired of being one of Brigham Young's wives (maybe the 19th?). She's interesting, but her sections were just a bit much. If this topic interests you, I still cannot forget Under the Banner of Heaven that I read about ten years ago. I was on a road trip with my mom and read many of the passages aloud to her as we went, and it stuck with her too!

Kate picked out Circling the Sun for the Kindle, and I had myself convinced it was not a real person as I read (and loved) this historical novel set mostly in colonial Kenya. I think I was just not paying attention because Beryl Markham most certainly was a real person and fascinating. It's an easy read but well done. If you read and enjoyed The Paris Wife about Hemingway in Paris, you should follow up with this one. It takes you to a whole new time period and setting!

I subscribed to the email list over at Modern Mrs. Darcy for her daily Kindle deals and have only made two purchases so far. As Kip says, how much money is this really saving us if you just buy more books? So I'm trying to be really picky.

Crenshaw is sitting in my office at school so I snagged it on the Kindle on sale for only $1.99 a couple weeks ago. Katherine Applegate pulls on all the heartstrings with this one. The main character is a fifth grade boy whose family is on the verge of being homeless...again. There are flashbacks to the first time it happened, when he was a first grader and they lived in their van for several months. I read it in a single day, and I think it would be a good read for elementary kids and maybe our sixth graders who tend to love Katherine Applegate's book, The One and Only Ivan. The subject matter is tough, but it's so well done. I read it in a day and highly recommend.

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