Tag Archives: 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Challenge

YALSA’s 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-In #4

4 Jan

I didn’t make much progress on the Challenge this week. I started reading Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully.

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She’s sort of the most famous woman you’ve never heard of. Born in 1857 and raised in Pennsylvania oil country, Ida M. Tarbell was one of the first investigative journalists and probably the most influential in her time. Her series of articles on the Standard Oil Trust, a complicated business empire run by John D. Rockefeller, revealed to readers the underhanded, even illegal practices that had led to Rockefeller’s success. So far, although informative, I’m finding it a slow read. It’s not hard, I just don’t feel as though I have the sense of her yet.

This will be the last nonfiction book I comment on. All the others are CYBILS YA nonfiction finalists for which I am a judge. I’ll be rereading and blogging about the Morris Award finalists, though.

YALSA’s 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-In #3

28 Dec

Thank goodness for the holidays!!! I read three of the books this week: 2 Morris finalists & 1 NF finalist.

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I finally finished  The Carnival at Bray, which I liked, but fund I kept expiating it to be narrated in the first person and was surprised every time I picked it up because it wasn’t. That said, I liked it, but didn’t love it. I felt it took some time to get going, then everything happened at once. That said, it was beautifully written, so give it a read.

Next, I read  Laughing at My Nightmare which I was very excited about.

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I wonder if this book was a contentious choice. With gallows humor, Burcaw describes what his life has been like so far. He is trying to be a typical teen, while confined to a wheelchair. While the book is inspirational and really sheds light on what life is like for people with disabilities, the tone sort of rankled at time, especially when he is critical of others with disabilities. Maybe that’s  just my white middle-class sensibility, but it felt like he was over-compensating for the wheelchair. I feel like a bad person for saying that.

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Finally, I finished The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender yesterday afternoon. I loved this book.  It is magical realism wrapped in a world where the reader’s senses are tantalized. It s also very sad and violent, though not graphically so. It begins with the sad history of the Roux family, from which Ava is descended. When we finally got to Ava’s story, I was very worried for her, and with good reason. But the ending is so full of hope. Read this one.

YALSA’s 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-In #2

21 Dec

Tis the season to put down the books and madly finish my Christmas knitting projects. I’ve hardly read this week. I had to renew my driver’s license, so I had about an hour to read at the DMV. I’m about a third of the way through  The Carnival at Bray  by Jessie Ann Foley.

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It’s good, but so far, I like  Gabi  and  Owen  better. We shall see what the next two-thirds bring.

On a happy note, I finished all my knitting last night!  The last item was a pair of gloves.

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It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but there is a bit of cabling on the wrist. This is my favorite glove pattern to knit, Knotty, and it is a free pattern you can download from Ravelry. I am giving these to the recipient today, which explains the lack of reading this week. Now, that school and knitting are finished for the year, I can really relax with some good books.

 

Success! and Morris/Nonfiction Challenge Check-in #1

14 Dec

Yesterday I took sweet Marley for a meet and greet, hoping he would go home with the family.

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I had a good feeling about the potential adopters based on our phone conversations (someone else had done the home visit). And as I pulled into the parking lot of the dog park where the meet & greet would take place, potential mom’s hands flew to her north in excitement. They brought along their 13-year-old basset, Midge, and we chose the dog park so we could let the bassets get to know one another on neutral ground. Although Marley seemed more interested in running with the big dogs than socializing with Midge, things went well. He is on a two-week trial and my fingers are crossed that the has found his forever home.

Once I was home I sat down and finished Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. WOW!!

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I can see why this book is a Morris finalist. The voice is so strong; I just wanted to give Gabi a hug. Written in the form of a diary, this book is an easy read, though it taps some heavy themes: teen pregnancy, meth addiction, gay teens. It is all done sensitively and really makes you see some sides of these issues you don’t always get to see.

YALSA’s 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Begins!

8 Dec

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It’s that time of year again. Besides being the holiday season it is the season  for  YALSA’s Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge. I posted the finalists last week, when their were announced so you can look back there at the titles or read ahead for the official links to them. Here’s what the challenge entails in a nutshell:

Challenge objective Read all of the finalists for the   2015 Morris Award  debut YA authors, all of the finalists for  YALSA’s 2015 Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, or both between now and the Youth Media Awards on February 2.

Challenge rewards Beyond experiencing the best of the best that new YA authors and YA nonfiction have to offer, everyone who finishes the challenge may use what they read toward our 2015 Hub Reading Challenge. The Hub Reading Challenge includes prizes (!!!), so by participating in the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge, you’re getting a head start on reading some of the best books published this year and you’re giving yourself an advantage in trying to win those prizes. 

Challenge guidelines

  • The challenge begins at 8:00AM Eastern Time on Monday, December 8 and ends at 7:45AM Central Time on Monday, February 2. (And in case you’re wondering, the challenge ends on Central Time because the awards will be announced live at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago– which is on Central Time.)
  • Participants may count the reading they have done since the finalists for each award was announced last week (December 3rd for the Morris and December 4th for the Nonfiction Award, to be exact). If you read one of the finalists before the announcement of the shortlist for that award, you must re-read it for it to count.
  • Participants may read either all of the finalists for the Morris Award, all of the finalists for the Nonfiction Award, or both. The challenge cannot be completed simply by picking five titles between the two lists; participants must read the entire list of finalists for one or both awards.

For more info or to sign up, check out The Hub’s announcement of the reading challenge.

I have a bit of rereading to do and some new books to meet. I’m in and I hope you are too.

Randy Ribay

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