Mid November Meeting

As I sat at our big rectangle of tables with these kids Friday, it dawned on me that I was among some of the best kids I know.  They are considerate, expressive, exploring the world around them, and READING!  I am so blessed to share a tiny piece of their lives!

We had a good discussion and are looking forward to 2 things happening in 2 weeks – we are nominating 4 more titles each for our mock Newbery award, and Ms. Cheryl will be visiting!  Ms. Cheryl was a co-leader of this group in the years before she started her full time job as selector of children’s books for our library system.  I am SO excited to have her keep in touch with us through the years, and can hardly wait to see her!

Which titles would you suggest we nominate this time?

First 2015 Nominations!

We had 18 very well-read kids, including several costumed participants, who each came prepared to nominate 3 titles Friday night.  In alphabetical order, here is our list to give you a heads-up on what this group is really appreciating so far:

All Four Stars, by Tara Dairman
*Humorous, great characters…” – Hannah
Bird, by Crystal Chan
*… lifelike and three-dimensional characters… plot was something new.” – Ethan
*… I perceived the grandfather exactly as Jewel did: he seemed like a crazy old man. ..Sharing his music with Jewel revealed a lot about his personality. Also the character of John/Eugene was very interesting and complex…The characters were brilliant in this book.” -Olivia
Eighth Day, by Dianne Salerni
*I enjoyed how all the legends were woven into the story…” -Hayden
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle, by George Hagen
*…lots of twists and riddles to make you think about the book…” -Hayden
Girl in Reverse, by Barbara Stuber
*…has a very unique way of handling its plot…that brought out the characters and how they have changed from beginning to end.” -Sienna
Greenglass House, by Cynthia Lord
*…I love the attention to all the small, quirky details and the use of the kids’ role-playing game to explore a place they’ve seen all their lives.” – Elizabeth
Half a Chance, by Cynthia Lord
*The writing style distinguishes this from any average book.” -Abigail
Immortal Max, by Lutricia Clifton
*The characters and plot were amazing! -Sarah
Jungle of Bones, by Ben Mikaelsen
*The setting of this jungle is distinguished. -Yazeed
Mending Horses, by M. P. Barker
*The theme is really deep and characters are very realistic…” -Abigail
Nest, by Esther Ehrlich
*…the setting mirrored the characters’ feelings.” – Ellie
*..plot is amazing…” -Katie
*The writing style is able to show the beauty of each scene not with words or shallow descriptions, but with symbols that throughout the story gather depth…perfect amount of carefree and just enough pain to ring true.” -Krista
The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier
*The plot was so chilling and captivating while giving backstories that explained character motivations…” -Ellie
*..characters are a joy..while you are intrigued by the plot. This book also teaches you a lesson about greed and has a mystery of Molly’s secret.” -Kayla
Paper Cowboy, by Kristin Levine
*..The setting, dutifully explained, affects the characters’ reasoning..” -Benjamin B
*The characters each have a backstory…they each have their own unique voice…” -Olivia
The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer
*…the story ended without a true ending, which I took to mean that the Riverman had not won.” -Elizabeth
*…the setting of a smaller town fit the moodiness of the book well. – Shaan
Running Out of Night, by Sharon Lovejoy
*The plot sets up different conflicts of each journey…” -Christiana
The Sittin’ Up, by Shelia Moses
*…The big events and climax were perfectly timed. One of my favorites.” -Benjamin W
Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd
*The setting helps you get to know the character better.” -Christiana
Time of the Fireflies, by Kimberley Griffiths Little
*..the writing style made it suspenseful and interesting, which makes you want to keep reading it.” -Puja
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, by Julie Lamana
*…mix of sadness, love and joy…” -Haley

Please keep in mind that we all are still reading, and will each be nominating an additional 4 titles the first Friday in December to consider for this year’s award.

2015 Nominations are Coming…..

We had a fantastic meeting mid October.  We discussed new fall titles as well as those that had been hanging around for a few months.  Even more importantly, our first 3 nominations will be forthcoming at our October 31 meeting!  Have you been keeping up with our blog comments?  Which titles should we definitely NOT miss in our nominations this year?

1st October Meeting

Wow!  We had such a great discussion Friday night and made a LOT of progress.

We took a lot of titles off our reading list and got down to some serious talk about many books, including Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson, New Kid by Tim Green, and The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier.  When we started discussing The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez by Peter Johnson and Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits, we ran out of time.

Debate is always the fun part, especially with so many diverse opinions!

What are YOUR opinions on these titles?

Mid September Meeting

We had a good discussion this week as more of us have been able to read each other’s favorites and comment on them.  Of course we are comparing them to newer titles as well.  We had a challenge matching some of them up with others in the same genre or ‘type of book’ to help with comparisons.  What titles would you group together to discuss?

Our first “Favorites” list

2014GroupAfter reading all summer, 22 of us met the last Friday of August to come up with our favorite titles so far.  You will see that this list is as diverse as we are!

Bird, by Crystal Chan
Blood Guard, by Carter Roy
Curiosity, by Gary Blackwood
The Eighth Day, by Dianne Salerni
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle, by George Hagen
Girl in Reverse, by Barbara Stuber
Half a Chance, by Cynthia Lord
I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora
Mending Horses, by M. P. Barker
Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, by Dana Alison Levy
Nest, by Esther Ehrlich
Painting the Rainbow, by Amy Gordon
Paper Cowboy, by Kristin Levine
Riverman, by Aaron Starmer
Secret Hum of a Daisy, by Tracy Holczer
Sittin’ Up, by Shelia Moses
Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd
Swim That Rock, by John Rocco
Tin Star, by Cecil Castellucci
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, by Julie Lamana

Please comment on which is YOUR favorite!

Meeting Mid-August

We had another fantastic meeting where we shared what we each had been reading.  The highlight this time was when Ethan gave a thumbs-up to Nest by Ehrlich!  We have got to get more copies as soon as possible!
We are currently reading as much as possible before the school year starts in earnest, in preparation for making our first Favorites list of the year.  What titles are we missing?


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