Tag Archives: Leslie Connor

Bob & Mason

2 Aug

Sometimes, book covers are remarkably similar and I get confused. Take these two, for example.


Both have trees in the center. Both have names in the title. Both feature the main character and a diminutive companion. Both are done in shades of browns and reds, oranges and yellows. Both have mysteries that need solving, though neither is a mystery book. I picked one up thinking it was the other. I read both. Both were great – sad, poignant. Funny, too.

Bob, by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, is set in Australia during a drought.

Publisher’s Summary: It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.

It turns out she’s right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

The Truth According to Mason Buttle,  by Leslie Connor, is set in a family that has seen better days.

Publisher’s Summary: Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.

But will anyone believe him?

Both were full of hope.

I hope you read them.

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This week’s booktalks 9/18-9/22

22 Sep

Monday, I actually encouraged students to listen to The Inquisitor’s Tale  because the audiobook is rather excellent.

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Tired Tuesday, feeling groggy after BTSN, I chose a book I could get super excited about sharing.

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Wednesday, I went for inspirational.

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Thursday, because we were talking about maps as inspiration for writing personal narratives, I chose The Map Trap, with its obvious connection.

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And, finally, Friday, I recommended All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook,  just because I like it. It is the perfect book to curl up with this week.

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The Power of Story

29 Aug

ARGH. I have to go to work today and I am close to finishing All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor.

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I LOVE this book.

Here’s the summary:

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.

When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?

All book summaries leave out significant details. Sometimes that’s to keep surprise elements a surprise. Sometimes it is to lure a reader in.

What this summary doesn’t tell you is that Perry’s teacher assigns an assignment in which he has to write about how his family came to Surprise. Instead, considering the inmates his family, he embarks on an interview project of many inmates. As you read the stories, each inmate is humanized. I have to say, at this point in the story I really dislike the DA, Thomas VanLeer, and I hope I get to learn his story. He needs some humanizing.

The End of Summer Tally

28 Aug

Teachers in my district go back to work tomorrow. I’ve essentially been back for most of the last two weeks, but tomorrow is the real deal. It makes today bittersweet. It has been a productive summer.

I rehomed 1 dog.

I knit 1 pair of socks and 4 shawls.

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And, I read or listened to 44 books. Here is the list.

  1. Half Lost by Sally Green
  2. Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
  3.  Flawed by Cecilia Ahern
  4. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whalen
  5. Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
  6. The Girl in the Blue Coat  by Monica Hesse
  7. Whisper to Me  by Nick Lake
  8. Save Me a Seat  by Sarah Weeks and its Naradarajan
  9. Ruined by Amy Tintera
  10. Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
  11. Sea Change  by Frank Viva
  12. An Armadillo in New York by Julie Kraulis
  13. The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
  14. Some Kind of Happiness  by Claire Legrand
  15. Wishing Day  Laura Myracle
  16. Us  by David Nicholls
  17. Compass South  by Hope Larson
  18. Summerlost by Ally Condie
  19. Princeless by Jeremy Whitley
  20. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hamma
  21. Prudence by Gail Carriger
  22. A Hero of France by Alan Furst
  23. The Crown’s Game  by Evelyn Skye
  24. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  25. Outrun the Moon by Stacy Lee
  26. In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III
  27. Imperium by Robert Harris
  28. Faith  by Jody Houser
  29. Gena/Finn  by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
  30. Rocks Fall Everyone Dies by Lindsey Ribar
  31. Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
  32. The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
  33. Far From Fair by Elana K. Arnold
  34. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
  35. Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb
  36. Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
  37. Paper Girls vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  38. The Year of Lear by James Shapiro
  39. Julia Vanishes  by Catherine Egan
  40. Plumdog  by Emma Chichester Clark
  41. Love is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark
  42. Changeless by Gail Carriger
  43. Lucky Strikes  by Louis Bayard
  44. I’ll Be There  by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I’m currently knitting convertible gloves. I’ve finished one, but won’t get the second finished before tomorrow. I’m currently reading All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor.

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I won’t finish it before tomorrow, either.

 

 

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