Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Must Read in 2015: An Update

Can you believe it? One quarter of 2015 is behind us already.

It's time for a Must Read in 2015 update.

You may recall that I chose 15 titles that I absolutely had to read this year.

7 Picture Books. 2 Middle Grade Novels. 4 YA Fiction. 2 Adult Fiction.

Not only am I happy to report that I have completed 7 of the 15 titles, but I am thrilled to share that I have absolutely loved what I've read, so far.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. (Coretta Scott King Book Award, Newbery Honor)

I listened to this memoir in verse on audiobook; read by the author herself. The language and cadence of speech is exquisite.  I savoured every word. The universality of the author's childhood experiences touched me, and left me thinking that the title could easily have been Girl Dreaming.

I will be purchasing a hard copy of this one, for sure.

Hope Springs by Eric Walters. Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

A picture book for the older child (grade 2+), this is a wonderful book for initiating a discussion on global awareness. The back material, or Story behind the Story, was especially appreciated; as were Ms. Fernandes colourful illustrations.

As we prepare for Eric Walters to visit our school next month, one student wondered aloud how he has time for all his writing, considering his humanitarian responsibilities.

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

This non-fiction picture book is just a real treat. Catchy rhymes are paired with delightful collage illustrations; while providing facts on different birds and their nesting habits. A great addition to any library or personal collection.

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

I borrowed this autobiographical picture book from my public library, and had to renew it. I read it over and over again. I'll definitely be purchasing it for my school library. What a treasure! It is an ode to the creative process. Buy it!

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Simple and adorable. This is a smart, fun picture book for the younger crowd. It makes a great read-aloud.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

I think I have admitted before that I am a huge Sharon M. Draper fan. Well, the fan crush has risen tremendously after reading Stella. Historical Fiction, geared for middle grades, Stella presents the reader with the segregated world of the 1930's American South. I loved the family relationships, and the juxtaposition of kindness with  the cruelty that is experienced. Another winner!

Two by Kathryn Otoshi

While not as impressed as I was with Zero and One, Two definitely has a place in the school library. Three's a crowd problems pop up all the time. What a great story for dealing with the issue.

There you have it. 7 Must-Read titles. I would recommend every single one.