It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? #5

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

Yesterday I finished New Boy. It’s a clever retelling of Othello, set in a schoolyard of eleven-year-olds in the 1970s.

What I’m currently reading:

Today I am reading The West Woods for a blog tour with YA Bound Blog Tours.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Carry Me Home, which is also for a blog tour.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: New Boy


Title: New Boy
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: May 11, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat’s son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970’s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

Review:

This is a very clever retelling of Shakespeare’s classic play, Othello. 

What I love most about this story is that it can stand alone. It is not just an adaptation of Othello. If I didn’t know that this was a retelling before I read it, I would have thought it was a unique story. 

It is a realistic portrayal of schoolyard drama. The whole story takes place during one school day. A lot can change within a day for children, with relationships being made and broken, so I can see these things happening in real life. 

I also liked that the story gave different perspectives of the events. We get to see what Dee, Osei, Mimi, and Ian do and what they think. I love the way that Shakespeare’s characters have been translated into children. The dramatic characters have great personalities for emotional kids. 

I loved this story. I just wish I had read it sooner! It is one of my favourite Shakespeare retellings!

Weekly Wrap Up #5

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

I went to Lake Placid this week on vacation. I had planned to read a lot but I really didn’t have much time.

I read 5 books this week, and reviewed all of them:

My favourite has to be Harley Quinn!

I also did a weekly book meme everyday:

What did you read this week? Have you read any of these books?

Ghosts


Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Purchased
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

Review:

I loved the diversity in this graphic novel. It focused a lot on the Mexican traditions of their town. Carlos’s family makes more traditional mexican food and they speak Spanish fluently. Maya and Cat’s mother didn’t like the way her mother was so traditional when she was young so she didnt take the time to learn about her heritage. Cat and Maya get to learn about these celebrations from Carlos.

Another important aspect of the story is Maya’s illness. This is an important subject that isn’t covered enough in chuldren’s stories. I’m glad to see it represented here.

This is a great middle grade story for young readers.

Stacking The Shelves #4 

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

This week I went to Lake Placid. I can turn any vacation into a bookish vacay! First we went to Barnes and Noble in Syracuse. I bought Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater and How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather. 

 

The DC comics were on sale, buy two get one free, so I had to stock up…


And these are some adorable Harry Potter bookmarks!

Then, I went to the bookstore in Lake Placid, called The Bookstore Plus.

 

I found a signed copy of Warcross so I had to get it! They also had some Pride and Prejudice stickie notes. So cute!


Finally we went to Watertown. I went to Hot Topic and bought a Hermione doll and a Hermione Pop! And at a game and comic store I found a Harley Quinn piggy bank!

So my shelves have been fully stacked this week! Did you get any fun books this week?

Review: Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet


Title: Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet
Author: William Shakespeare
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hailed as one of the greatest romantic tragedies ever written, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the ‘star-crossed lovers’, Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the curse of enmity overpowers and everything goes terribly wrong.

Review:

Romeo and Juliet was the first Shakespeare play that I read. My class put on a condensed version of the play when I was ten, and I later read it in middle school. I think it is a good choice for introducing children to Shakespeare. 

This is a good version of the story. I liked the illustrations that went along with it. They would help children follow along with the story. Some of the men were drawn in a similar way, like Mercutio, Benvolio, and Tybalt. But Romeo and Juliet were distinctly illustrated. 

I liked the way that some of the most famous lines from the play were paraphrased so modern children would understand. For instance, in the balcony scene, Juliet says “O Romeo, Romeo! Why do you have to be Romeo?” rather than “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” This way, children will learn what the characters are saying without getting confused by Shakespeare’s phrasing. 

At times I found the story to get a little confusing. Especially at the beginning, there is a lot of “he did this, then this, then this.” However, the main points of the story were clear. 

This is a great book to introduce children to Shakespeare. 

First Lines Friday #4

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“All the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song. Including my friendship with Ellen Dryver.
The song that sealed the deal was ‘Dumb Blonde’ from her 1967 debut album, Hello, I’m Dolly. During the summer before first grade, my aunt Lucy bonded with Mrs. Dryver over their mutual devotion to Dolly.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

I haven’t read this one yet, but I will soon! Have you read it?