My Life in Books

IMG_7017Happy New Year! Winter Break is a time for looking back on all the great books I read in 2017 and starting the new ones I got for Christmas…

What better time to participate in the “My Life in Books” tag! Thank you to the Maniacal Book Unicorn for tagging me. Be sure to check out their post for the My Life in Books Tag if you haven’t done so already.

A Book for Each Initial

I’ve spelled out the name of my blog (Imaginary Friends) almost entirely using middle grade books I’ve reviewed over the past year or two.

I – The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold

MThe Myth-o-Mania series by Kate McMullan

A – Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

G – The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

I – The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

N – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

A – The Abracadabra Kid by Sid Fleischman

RRowan of Rin by Emily Rodda

Y – The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

F – Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

RThe Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

I – It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

E – Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

N – The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

D – Double Down by Jeff Kinney

S – Savvy by Ingrid Law

Age Count Along My Bookshelf

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I decline to say which position this book holds on my shelf. It shows, though, that I don’t only read middle grade books.

Book That Represents a Destination You Want to Travel To

Does it have to be a real place? If so:

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(Hawaii)

If not, then definitely:

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(Hogwarts)

Favorite Color

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It’s green!

Fondest Memory Of

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I think this biography of Beatrix Potter is out of print now, but I remember putting myself on a waiting list to check it out of the school library when I was in 3rd grade.

Most Difficulty Reading (Aloud)

That’s a tie between The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I needed lots of tissues to get through these read alouds.

Tag You’re It!

I’m sure many of you have already done this tag, but if not, I welcome you to give it a go.

 

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Book Review: Savvy

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 4.33.25 PMLarrabee and I recently read Ingrid Law‘s Savvy aloud together. We found it to be quirky and fun.

Savvy is the story of Mississippi (“Mibs”) Beaumont. Mibs is about to turn 13. When she does, she’ll discover her “savvy,” her special supernatural power. Everyone in her family has one. Her grandfather can move mountains and her brother can create hurricanes.

Then her father gets in a car accident and ends up in the hospital. Mibs is sure that with her new savvy, she can save her father. So, she sneaks away from her birthday party and onto a salesman’s bus along with two of her brothers and two other kids. But the bus heads in the wrong direction and the adventure begins…

Larrabee says if he could choose his savvy, he’d want it to be telekinesis. What would yours be?

Variations on A Christmas Carol

Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 12.17.51 PM‘Tis the season for… Christmas specials. This year, in addition to our usual favorites, Larrabee and I have started a new tradition. We’re reading aloud the original version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and watching some of its many adaptations.

So far, we’ve watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol. What’s next? Bugs Bunny? The Flintstones? Sesame Street? Let us know if you have a recommendation.

As with all adaptations, it’s fun to see the differences between the book and the movies and between the different movie interpretations. And as with all Christmas specials, it’s nice to be reminded of the spirit of Christmas.

A Merry Christmas to us all, and God bless us every one!

Book Review: Ban This Book

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.51.18 AMIf you’re still looking for a present for a young book lover, check out Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. Larrabee and I read it aloud over the Thanksgiving break. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Ban This Book is the story of Amy Anne Ollinger, a 4th grader who never speaks up for herself. Not at school where her classmates see her as a bookish mouse. And not at home where her two younger sisters’ needs always come first. She spends as much time as possible in the corner of the school library where she can read in peace.

Then, one day, the school board removes several books from the library–including her favorite book (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler). Amy Anne, in a private act of rebellion, resolves to read all of the books on the banned list. But as she collects the books, she finds that her friends are interested in them too. So she starts a Banned Books Locker Library and finds herself speaking out against censorship.

You have to like a book that teaches kids about the First Amendment, features a school visit from author Dav Pilkey, and mentions lots and lots of good books.

Book Review: Wonder

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 1.47.53 PMR.J. Palacio‘s Wonder was the best book to read aloud and also the worst.

Larrabee and I borrowed it from from Blaine this fall because we knew the movie was coming out in November, and we always try to read the book first.

Auggie Pullman has a congenital facial deformity, and because of his health problems, he’s been home schooled until now. Wonder is the story of his 5th grade year, his first one in school, told through the points of view of Auggie, his sister, and several other kids.

It was the worst book for me to read aloud because it made me cry. And I don’t mean just a few sniffles over one sad scene. Sometimes Larrabee worried that we’d never get through the whole book.

But it was also the best book for me to read aloud. It sparked great conversations about empathy, about being different, about challenges and blessings, and about being kind. At the end, after all the tears, the book made me smile.

For those of you who want to read more about Auggie, R.J. Palacio has written three more stories from the points of view of Julian (his main tormentor), Christopher (his oldest friend), and Charlotte (a 5th grade classmate), collected in a book called Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories.

And we saw the movie adaptation last week. It’s very good too.