As I was thinking about this post and what my reading challenges and plans to overcome those challenges I realized that my challenges are probably the same as everyone else’s. My biggest reading challenge is find the motivation to actually read and setting off time to read instead of piling up to read the night before the post is due. In order to overcome my challenges I plan on looking at reading from a different, more positive perspective. I noticed if I look at reading in a negative way then that is how I reading will be. I noticed this not just with reading but with other things as well. For my reading plan for the rest of the semester is to do my reading on Monday’s, Wednesday, and Fridays. I decided these three days because I am done with my classes on these three days by 11 am, so it find it easier to find reading time during those days where I am not as busy. I also plan to do it early in the morning because the sooner I get it done the better, especially on Friday’s because I like to do stuff in the afternoon. I also want to challenge myself to read more chapter books rather than read picture books for four hours. I don’t plan on reading big books like Harry Potter or anything like that but easier chapter books instead more along the lines of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I decided to do this because it pushes me to read books that I normally wouldn’t but at the same time I am still in my comfort zone. The hardest thing about achieving my goals will be actually pulling through with my plan. I plan to achieve my goals by setting off times during the day and setting alarms to remind me when I am supposed to be reading.
For this week’s “Monday, What are you Reading” blog I decided to read two small chapter books. The books I chose to read were Sadie and Ratz by Sonya Hartnett, and Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper.
The first book was Sadie and Ratz by Sonya Hartnett, was a very easy book to read and follow along to which I really liked. It was a chapter book and it had a few pictures on every other page which in my opinion I think is great for little kids who are being introduced to chapter books. The book is about a little girl named Hannah who named her hands Sadie and Ratz and “Sadie and Ratz” misbehave all the time they do things that would upset her parents and grandparents. Hannah has a little brother whose name was never revealed it was just Baby Boy and Baby Boy starts misbehaving but every time he does something he shouldn’t be doing he blames it on “Sadie and Ratz”. Since he is the baby of the house the parents believe him and Hannah is always the one to blame for when it goes down to it. I liked this book because I can relate to it, I have younger sisters who always did stuff and would blame it on me or my other sister so this book definitely brought back some memories from when we were younger.
The second book I read was Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper. This book is about an elementary school girl named Grace whose teacher makes the class “go green” which at first Grace hates because she doesn’t care she just wants to play and have fun with her best friend Mimi. The teacher assigns the class to do a “green” project and Grace and her friend Mimi decided to save plastic bottles to decorate and reuse them later. Mimi also has a cousin that has to stay with Mimi and she easily annoys the girls because she always takes Mimi’s toys and gets in between the two friends. It was a good book, it teaches kids about recycling so this is a good book to get them informed if the school is doing a “go green” project.
For this week’s assignment we had to read Newbery Honor books. The two books I chose to read were Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan and What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman.
The first book was Sarah, Plain and Tall; this book is about a family of three whose mother/wife died a day after giving birth to their son Caleb. From the beginning of the book the readers can see how the atmosphere of the family is sad and lonely and I could tell that the family needed that mother/wife figure in the house. The dad ends up putting an ad in the newspaper and a woman named Sarah responds the letter. To me that was a little odd and I didn’t know what to expect from this woman that responded to the ad in the newspaper. She eventually moves in to the house and plans to get married to the dad in the summer and the kids love her but she misses her old home and the sea. It is then when the kids think she is going to leave them and never come back one day when she decided to go into town by herself. I liked this book, it didn’t have much action or anything but it was a little sad to see how the children really need a motherly figure and how much this stranger changed their lives. I would recommend this book because it is easy to read and is a good story. The author of the book was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming and I thought that was really cool considering I’m from Wyoming.
The Second book I read was What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman; this book is about a third grade boy who saw his baby sister get thrown across the room by her mom’s boyfriend. Luckily though her mom was on the other side and caught the baby but as soon as that happened Jamie and his mom and sister sheltered with one of his mom’s friends and he had a trailer which they end up moving into. I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorite books because I don’t agree with some of the mom’s actions but I think this is a good book that gives the perspective of a third grader in situations like the one Jamie was in. Overall it was an alright book and it was easy to read as well.
As I reflect on the reading I have done so far not much has changed when it comes to me being a reader in general. I still don’t really like reading, it’s not that I don’t like the books I’ve read because I’ve liked all the books I’ve read so far but reading isn’t my thing. I kind of see it as for some people sports or music isn’t a subject they enjoy and no matter how hard he or she tries their feelings towards that subject are probably not going to change. I don’t want to get things confused with I don’t like the books I’ve read though because I have read some pretty fantastic books. I think it’s just the fact that I can’t sit down and read for fun. I do like all the illustrations in the books I have read and the story plots but I get easily distracted and easily bored even if I am reading a good book. My personal taste though are picture books and short stories. I like books for little kids and easy chapter books, mainly because I know I will finish reading those books unlike long 500 page books. I think my favorite book that I have read so far is the book, The One and Only Ivan. If an author could write a book that would be perfect for me I would ask him or her to write it about something funny and kid related. I would say that the Pura Belpra and the Newbery prizes are my favorites. I like the Pura Belpra because they are Latino books and I can easily relate to most books. I always like how books incorporate two language and they are great books for bilingual students and I like that. I think the grade level of books that I have enjoyed the most would probably be fourth grade and below; so early elementary.
For this week’s “It’s Monday! What are you Reading?” book we were assigned to read One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate’s. I really liked this book. I liked how I truly got into the book and I even got emotional throughout the book and that doesn’t happen often so that is saying something. I liked the whole story plot and everything that happened in the book, from beginning until the end.
Plot: The plot of the book was about a silverback gorilla whose name is Ivan. Ivan lives at the Big Top Mall with his friends Bob, Ruby and Stella. Mack is the care taker of all the animals at the mall and used to be kind of a father figure for Ivan until Ivan grew up. Mack wasn’t very nice towards the end of the book to the animals. Stella is an old elephant that has a broken leg and eventually dies, but before she dies she makes Ivan make a promise. Ivan tries everything to keep that promise and uses his artistic abilities to achieve that promise. Julie is George’s daughter and she helps Ivan with his drawings and is the one who helped Ivan accomplish his promise.
Setting: The setting of the book is at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. At the mall Ivan lives in a cage or as Ivan likes to call it, a “domain”.
Theme: I think the theme of the book is about keeping promises and to follow your dreams. Ivan made a promise to Stella and that was to let Ruby go free with other elephants. Since Ivan was a good friend of Stella he never forgot the promise he made her right before she passed away. Ivan also dreamed about being that silver back he was supposed to be and he followed his dreams and kept his promise to Stella at the same time.
I found this novel very emotionally satisfying because it was very descriptive with all the emotions that the characters were feeling and that was transmitted to the readers. I also like how detailed the author was about the setting and the characters, it made me feel a part of the book as well.
I am one of those people who find it really hard to find time to read. There are many reasons as to why I find it hard to find time to read. I usually just leave reading to do last out of all my homework assignments. By the time I’m done with the actual assignments I have no motivation to continue doing homework so I put the reading aside for some other day. I find it hard to find time because of the fact that that I have so much homework and it gets very overwhelming. I also choose the worst way to distribute the four hours in my opinion, because I do it in big blocks instead of reading a little each day. I am a slow reader especially since I get distracted really easily when I am reading, so I don’t get a whole lot of books read in the four hours of reading we have to do. I get one bigger book in and a couple of picture books in as well. I definitely think there is room for improvement on how I’m spending the reading time. I plan on trying a different method this week and that is to distribute it throughout the week every chance I get to read like 30 minutes a day until I get the four hours in. I also plan on reading a little first even 15 minutes would be good, before I go out and take a break from homework. The obstacles that get in my way are not being able to focus specifically on reading. In order to completely focus I have to be by myself otherwise I just watch people walk in and out. I also prefer to read when I’m listen to music so I can block out other people, it also helps me from thinking of the things I need to get done and I do not like sitting in silence.
For this week we had to read award winning books. It was pretty hard to find the books at the library on campus but I ended up finding some great books.
The first book I chose was The Moon over Star by Dianna Hutts Ashton and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney was a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award in 2009. It is about a little girl who dreams of becoming an Astronaut and at the same time she dreams of this a man lands on the moon for the first time. I liked the illustrations they were very appealing to me and I also liked the overall story plot.
The second book I chose was My Name is Gabito by Monica Brown is the winner of the Pura Belpré Award. This book is about a little boy whose nickname is Gabito and he tells a lot of stories because of what he sees, his imagination, and the stories he hears his grandpa tell. Gabito turns out to be Gabriel Garcia Marquez a very famous author. The illustrations in this book were fantastic and I really liked how in the end there is a short autobiography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
For my third book I chose The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. This book is a winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. I really enjoyed this book it was very cute and I liked the fun colors used in this story. I could instantly relate to the crocodile because when I was younger I used to think that I would grow a watermelon in my stomach if I ate the seed. This book is a great book for the younger kids because I’m sure at one point or another we can all relate to being scared of eating a watermelon seed.
The next book I chose was A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant. This book is the 2014 Honor book the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal. I really like the story line of determination and how many people can see this as anything is possible as long as one sets his or her mind to it.
For the Schneider Family Book Award I chose the book Rules by Cynthia Lord. The book was about a little girl with a little brother who has autism and she teaches him all these rules that he is supposed to follow. She wants to live a “normal” life with a “normal” little brother. This book was very touching, I don’t know what it is like to live with someone with autism but through the book I was able to put myself into that position and some parts were very sweet and heart touching. This book was enjoyable and I would recommend it.
The final book I chose was Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott. This book is the award winner of the Golden Sower Award. This book is about a kid who gives monsters haircuts and in order to do this he has to stay out his bedtime. This book is for primary kids and I think they would really enjoy this book because it’s funny.