Pockets of Time Part 2

I recently posted about my Newbery contender staycation, spree, adventure, what have you.

14 books devoured. Mostly enjoyed.  All appreciated. A colleague had asked me when I find time to read so much. I have a long history of waving my book dork flag proudly. Sad times fell upon my book love though when I found myself much too busy to tend to that part of my psyche. Enter the Mock Newbery and my book dork self was immediately clawing to get out and have at it. So my house may have gotten a little messy, my daughter may have watched a little more tv, and my husband may have been neglected a tad. For something has to give to feed the need to read, my friends. But true book dorks find pockets of time to read as well. 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there. Whenever, wherever.

As I read, I posted the books to my social media accounts. Partly because I was pretty proud of myself and partly because I felt so strongly about many of these books. As requested by some readers, here you go, taken directly from my fresh thoughts immediately after finishing each book:

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Books 1 and 2 of my reading weekend. One sweet and one even sweeter with a side of heartbreak. Katherine Applegate is most skilled. Crenshaw is sticking with me (Got my own personal Crenshaw as you can see) 


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It’s not very often that you find art on the cover of a book that is as catching as the book jacket. Circus Mirandus- a place I’d like to go and didn’t want to leave. My favorite of the bunch so far. Book #3 of the reading weekend.



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Book #4 of the weekend. My mind is staying in this one. Driving me to want to make a difference again. A great, great read. #booklove


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Book #5? I’m losing count. Lol. Definitely a cautionary tale about eco danger. Not what I was expecting. In a good way. #booklove


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Oh my Mim- you are a force to be reckoned with and a character that leaps off the page. This one, while too mature for our 6th Graders, is an absolute must read for anyone older. A wonderful book shining a light on so many issues in such a smart and pointed way. #bigtimebooklove Reading weekend continues into the week.



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And the book dork lives! I think I should go back to school to be a librarian… Book #7 out of 14 is definitely a keeper. Rebecca Stead tackles friendship, like, and love in middle school. And she does it so so well. And Mr. P? Yeah- he pretty much embodies all the amazing teachers I know. #book love


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Besides having a very cool name, Ms. Scattergood writes a heck of a story. Set in a time before I was born and yet I still feel connected to the characters. Theo’s passion for music drives your feelings to and fro and back again all the while making you cheer for him. Number 8 of 14 I believe. #booklove


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That mushy face makes me laugh. She wanted to hang with (or sit on) Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. This books should be put in the hands of every teacher first to serve as a reminder to look beyond the surface of our students’ behavior and then every student so that they may see the possibilities that lie within themselves. Ally, Keisha, and Albert still are bringing tears to my eyes while I sit here telling the cat how amazing they are (the husband is sleeping) #booklove


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Well. I’m having a hard time writing about this one due to my disbelief that Lisa Graff would do this to me. That’s all I can say. That being said, this one is a keeper (I feel like a broken record- or at the very least an easy to please reader). I can feel Trent’s fire and want to put it out for him. And Fallon- oh boy am I happy to continue to see such strong female role models. Still mad at Lisa Graff, don’t care that it was the perfect ending. But you should still go read it. Now. Go. Then we can be happy mad together. #booklove



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Oh my. This one will take the kids a long time to get through but it is so so worth the time invested. You read it, all the while in awe of the stories woven together in such a masterful way. I’m sad to have finished it and yet grateful to have experienced it. The story of a harmonica connecting a young boy in WWII Germany, to a pair of orphans in Pennsylvania, to a young girl in a divided California is a masterpiece and my favorite of the bunch so far. #booklove


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Well had to dig in and I love what I saw when I opened to this dedication page. The story that follows is interspersed with such fascinating facts. The back and forth narration by a character that is “not a constant talker” is a stroke of genius. I struggled liking the characters in this one though. I’m unsettled as I put it down. #booklove #2left



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Give me a few kid free hours and away I go! #13 should feel unlucky and this one does for a while. Miss Ada though, despite her best efforts to hold it at bay, gets carried away by hope and takes you along for the ride. Definitely making my top choice more difficult. #booklove #justoneleft


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And that is #14 in the books people. It’s been an amazing literary journey. Following Mia/Mai on her journey to discover her roots and uncover the past in order to bring her family peace, was humbling to say the least. Our heritage and history are so so important. #booklove #neverends

So, if you made it this far, that is that. 14 books read that are now in the hands of our 6th Graders. I’m being stopped in the halls everyday to the sounds of “I’m reading Crenshaw, Mrs. Koehler and it’s SO good!” or “I’m still reading Fish in a Tree, and you were right! Everyone needs to read this one!” The kids are getting to experience some book love and I couldn’t be happier. Maybe we will find some book dorks born out of this.

P.S. Rumor has it that other schools in my district ordered some slightly different titles.  I see some pockets of time needing to be filled…