My Reading Challenge

When I was thinking about my reading challenge, I was mainly focused on the types of books I was going to read. I realized it isn’t all about the types of books but also the amount of time I am going to read. I want to set a goal of about 4-5 hours of reading a week and I also want to make a goal of getting all of my reading done before Friday if possible. I would also like to make a goal to read before bed because sometimes I watch tv before bed when I could be reading and relaxing. For this week’s reading, I picked a few Mo Willems books and other random children’s books. I picked these because Mo Willems is one of my favorite authors and I love reading his books! For the rest of the semester, I want to switch every week from children’s books to young adult and middle school books. I really enjoyed the book I read last week and would love to read more books like it.

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

This week I read Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. I found it in the Young Adult section of my library so I was kind of hesitant to read it because I didn’t know what the length of it would be like. I read the summary and knew I had to read it. Unknown

A twelve year old girl, Abilene, lives with her father Gideon. They travel from town to town doing odd jobs to make as much money as possible. Gideon gets a railroad job and realizes that this life isn’t the life that his daughter should be living. He sends her to live with a pastor in the town that he grew up in, Manifest, Kansas. Abilene arrives and quickly finds out that Shady, the pastor, isn’t anything like she expected. He isn’t as clean as a pastor should be and his face was unshaved. His house was part saloon, part carpenter’s shop and part church. Abilene goes to bed that night to put away her belongings and discovers a cigar box filled with letters and other items. The next day she read some of the letters and promised herself she was going to find out who the letters were from and who the people were. She meets a couple girls from school and quickly becomes summertime friends with them. They spy on people from the town and wander about the land discovering new things. One night, Abilene realizes she lost her compass that her dad had given her and had a good idea where it was at. Abilene made her way to a gated house that Abilene renamed as Path to Perdition, and sees her compass hanging on the porch. She attempts to get it back but breaks a very expensive pot in the process. To pay for the pot, Miss Sadie who is the owner of the house, makes Abilene work for her the rest of the summer. Miss Sadie is known as a “diviner” or someone who can tell the future. Abilene asks Miss Sadie about the letters and in return Miss Sadie tells her the stories about the people of Manifest. A series of events start to unfold and Abilene learns more about Manifest and her dad than what she had bargained for. This book had so much adventure and mystery in it and I could hardly put it down. This story has such a good lesson about learning who you are and where to call home. I loved this book and would want anyone to read it!:)

My Life as a Reader

As I look back on my life as a reader before this children’s literature class, I realize how much time I didn’t devote to reading. College has been busy so I haven’t been reading as much as I have like and I was afraid I would never get back into it and enjoy it as much as I used to. This class has proved me wrong! I have picked up many books since the beginning of this class and have enjoyed it just as much. Although I have to actually have to have an interest in the book first! I find that I really enjoy the children’s books with great illustrations. I love looking at the pictures because it really adds to the story. I also love the books that have a moral to the story. Though they may be short, they still teach children the value of different things and you leave the story feeling better in a way. Another type of book I really enjoy is the young adult books that would most likely be for middle school kids. I didn’t think I would enjoy them as much as the children’s book but the last book that I just read proved me wrong. They don’t have pictures but they go deeper into the story unlike a children’s book would. They still teach lessons but in a different way. For the last reading assignment, I read a young adult that was some what of a mystery and I loved it! I love books about friendship and would enjoy reading one of those in the near future.

What are You Reading? The One and Only Ivan!

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This book was one of my favorite books that I have read this far, I loved it! It made me feel so many different emotions; mad, happy, sad, worried. When I started getting more into the book, I realized it was not for tiny children to read but rather higher elementary kids and middle schoolers. It wasn’t your average children’s book.

In what ways do you see Applegate effectively using plot, setting, and theme in ONE AND ONLY IVAN?

Plot:

Applegate does a fantastic job of introducing the characters and telling about their background. Right away we learn about Ivan who is the main character. He is a Silverback Gorilla who was taken away from his family when he was younger. Mack, who is the owner of The Big Top Mall, buys Ivan and raises him as his own kid. He takes him for ice cream and lets him watch t.v like a normal human would. Ivan starts doing shows at a young age and draws publicity and attention to the Big Top Mall. There are other animals at The Big Top Mall as well. Stella, an elephant, is another main character in this story. She is an older elephant but one of Ivan’s very best friends.  She plays a typical mother like character and cares for anyone and everyone who comes to The Big Top Mall. Another animal we learn about is Bob the Dog. He considers himself a stray who doesn’t have a home but basically lives at The Big Top Mall with all of the other animals. He seems all tough and mighty but by the end of the book, we learn that he is a softy! George and Julia come every night to the Big Top Mall. While George cleans, Julia works on her homework, a.k.a her art and drawings, and visits with the animals. Julia seems to understand the animals the most and knows what they are feeling. Stella, who is supposed to be the “savior” of the Big Top Mall, joins the crew about half way through the book. She is just a baby elephant and is unsure of what to think of everything at first. We learn about her horrible past but also learn that she is a fighter.I love the relationship Ivan and Stella create during this book. It’s such a great story of hope and determination!

Setting:

The setting of this story plays a very important part. The story is set in The Big Top Mall  is a hot spot for people to come and watch the shows that are put on on a daily basis. This place may be a happy place for small children who love animals, but it is not a happy place for the animals themselves. They are kept in small domains or also known as “cages” and never get time to run around and play. They stay in their area 24/7 except for when they are needed for a show. They receive very little food and water or anything else to entertain them. The setting gives an eery feeling to the story and makes the reader sad for the animals that have to live in that kind of condition.

Theme:

The One and Only Ivan has so many different themes in it. One theme that really stood out to me was friendship. Bob the Dog and Ivan had an awesome friendship. Ivan let Bob the Dog sleep on his tummy every night because that’s the only way he could sleep. If that’s not true friendship, I don’t know what is! Another one is Ivan and Stella. Ivan promises Stella that he will take care of Ruby and find her a better home because he didn’t want to disappoint Stella and let her down. Another theme that I found was hope. Ivan didn’t know how he was going to get Ruby out of The Big Top Mall but he had hope that it would work out.

I absolutely loved this book! Applegate did a great job with the setting, plot and theme. I would suggest this book to anyone and even plan on reading it again myself! It was such a great book about friendship, loyalty and hope.

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

This week we were told to pick out and read award winning books. Although it wasn’t too easy to find these books, I still enjoyed read them! 

splash of red

I absolutely loved this book! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started reading this book. It was a book about a boy who loved to draw and paint but other things in life got in the way of this. He grew up and had to start working and then went to war. At war, he got shot in the shoulder and this led to him not being able to draw anymore. He went through life doing odd jobs and eventually got back into painting and became famous for his work! I loved how this book started out so innocent and then slowly progressed into the reality that we all eventually have to deal with. At the end of the book, it had the real life story of Horace Pippin. I loved that this book was based on a true story and it made it even more personable. I also loved the illustrations of this book!:)

watermelon

I really like this book! It had great illustrations and a really cute story line. This book is about an alligator who swallows a watermelon seed and thinks it is going to grow inside of him! He eventually spits the seed up and tells himself he will never eat watermelon again but of course that doesn’t happen. I loved how the author makes the alligator so innocent and clueless to the fact that the seed will not grow inside of him. Any little kid would think the same thing and I think it’s adorable. I think this book would be great for anyone to read and would be really fun to read to little kids!

ari and dante

I loved this book! It was definitely not what I had expected but I loved it nonetheless. It was a great story about friendship and adventure and I never wanted to put it down. I really got emotionally attached the characters because they are so intriguing! I would recommend this book to anyone but mostly for intermediate to advanced readers.

wordswithwings 

I enjoyed the story line of this book but I didn’t like the way it was written. I have always had a hard time following and reading poems and since this one was set up like a poem, I found it hard to pay attention and follow along with. The storyline was sort of dark and depressing so I wouldn’t recommend it to little children but rather kids who are advanced readers and who are a little bit older. 

a dog called homeless

I absolutely loved this book! This book is about a girl who lost her mom and is told from her perspective. She tells about things that she is going through in her life and the trouble she has with girls at school and her dad at home. She always sees her mom walking down the street but no one will believe her. When she sees her mom, she also sees a dog (the dog is real). She pets, plays and feeds the dog and eventually names him “Homeless.” I won’t tell you the rest because it will ruin it but I recommend reading it! It is hard not to become attached to the characters! It was a great book and I loved reading it!:) 

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

This week we were told to pick out and read award winning books. Although it wasn’t too easy to find these books, I still enjoyed read them! 

 

splash of red

I absolutely loved this book! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started reading this book. It was a book about a boy who loved to draw and paint but other things in life got in the way of this. He grew up and had to start working and then went to war. At war, he got shot in the shoulder and this led to him not being able to draw anymore. He went through life doing odd jobs and eventually got back into painting and became famous for his work! I loved how this book started out so innocent and then slowly progressed into the reality that we all eventually have to deal with. At the end of the book, it had the real life story of Horace Pippin. I loved that this book was based on a true story and it made it even more personable. I also loved the illustrations of this book!:)

 

watermelon

I really like this book! It had great illustrations and a really cute story line. This book is about an alligator who swallows a watermelon seed and thinks it is going to grow inside of him! He eventually spits the seed up and tells himself he will never eat watermelon again but of course that doesn’t happen. I loved how the author makes the alligator so innocent and clueless to the fact that the seed will not grow inside of him. Any little kid would think the same thing and I think it’s adorable. I think this book would be great for anyone to read and would be really fun to read to little kids!

 

ari and dante

I loved this book! It was definitely not what I had expected but I loved it nonetheless. It was a great story about friendship and adventure and I never wanted to put it down. I really got emotionally attached the characters because they are so intriguing! I would recommend this book to anyone but mostly for intermediate to advanced readers.

 

wordswithwings 

I enjoyed the story line of this book but I didn’t like the way it was written. I have always had a hard time following and reading poems and since this one was set up like a poem, I found it hard to pay attention and follow along with. The storyline was sort of dark and depressing so I wouldn’t recommend it to little children but rather kids who are advanced readers and who are a little bit older. 

 

a dog called homeless

I absolutely loved this book! This book is about a girl who lost her mom and is told from her perspective. She tells about things that she is going through in her life and the trouble she has with girls at school and her dad at home. She always sees her mom walking down the street but no one will believe her. When she sees her mom, she also sees a dog (the dog is real). She pets, plays and feeds the dog and eventually names him “Homeless.” I won’t tell you the rest because it will ruin it but I recommend reading it! It is hard not to become attached to the characters! It was a great book and I loved reading it!:) 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Time to Read

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As of now, I only have class two days out of the week plus this online class so I find it easy to find time to read. Once I start my part time job, I think it is going to be a little harder to find the time to sit down and read. Another reason I find it easy to make time to read is because it’s only the beginning of the semester and the heavy workload of all the classes hasn’t begun yet! But once it does, I plan to still take time either before I go to bed or on my lunch break to take the time and read. 

When reading children’s books I tend to read in longer time periods because once I start reading I just don’t want to stop! Since they are short books, I usually read many of them at one time. Although I am finding time to read now, I think there is still room for improvement. I am a procrastinator and sometimes leave my readings for the very last minute!:/ I always find something to do whether it’s watching T.V, going on walks or hanging out with friends. To help this, I want to organize myself and make time for reading at least 30 minutes to an hour per day.