#mustreadin2015 is a challenged hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That
“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books (5? 10? 20? 30? more?) that you commit to reading in 2015. Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and be from any category (adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc.). As your TBR list grows, you promise you will get to the books on this list.”
These were our hopeful lists, and we did not achieve as many books as we wanted, but this challenge did lead us to read so many more books than we would have read without the challenge! Next year, we may not do 25 books. 🙂 Many are books were texts that we wanted to read for a long time, others were books we just really wanted to read in January 2015, and lastly, some are books we really need to read because we’ve promised someone (or each other). Primarily, we included young adult and middle grade books because they were what we were going to try to read more in 2015. We read many books not on this list, and that is, perhaps, why we didn’t completely finish our lists! Our sons wanted picture books, too, so we couldn’t say no to them!
Ricki’s #mustreadin2015 Final Update
Completed: 14 out of 25
I did not meet my goal because I got a bit caught up in new releases, but I am strangely satisfied by the number of books that I finished. Many of these books were on my TBR list for a long time, so I am happy I made some progress on the older part of that list. Next year, I am going to be a bit more realistic.
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky is a beautifully written story about a character named Grayson who was born male but has always felt like she was a female. I have read many books about gender identity, and this one stands out. Grayson felt very real to me, and I felt like I was going on a roller coaster ride right along with her as she confronted the daily challenges with gender. This is a text that is marketed more toward the middle grades, which is refreshing to me. Many (but not all) books about gender identity are geared toward the high school level, and while this is great, I believe we need more books about this important topic for younger readers.
Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath is a fantastic book in verse that is set in the Ottoman Empire during the 1910s. It blends genres of magical realism and historical fiction. The point of view alternates with each poem, so I came to understand the differing perspectives of the family depicted in the text. The horrific genocide against Armenians is not common in literature, and this text sheds light on a time period that should be depicted more often. The strength of the children in this book will be inspirational to readers.
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on the true story of Salva Dut, a Lost Boy of Sudan. I would love to teach this book alongside Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone because there are many parallels across the story—and yet, there are also differences that would provide rich discussions. This is a book that made me want to be a middle school or elementary school teacher. I would love to do the Water for South Sudan challenge with my students. This sort of advocacy would be very empowering for students.
Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper. I could not put this book down. I don’t think I will ever forget Melody. She is a fifth grader who has cerebral palsy and has never spoken a word. Melody has such a strong spirit, and she is hysterical. Despite so many setbacks and frustrations, she is such a powerful force. Not only does this book teach empathy, but it makes me want to be a better person. The ways Melody is able to perceive others will teach readers a lot about being human. This is going on my favorites list!
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick is another book I’ve wanted to read for quite some time. Everyone raves about Brian Selznick, and now I understand why! I loved the way he layers illustrations with story. The book follows two characters (many years apart), and the parallels in their story make this book quite powerful. This is my first Brian Selznick book, but it most definitely will not be my last.
Kellee’s #mustreadin2015 Final Update
Completed: 17 out of 25
I love having a #mustread list because it really pushes me to read books that others have recommended or that I’ve been meaning to read for many years. Many of my 8 that I didn’t read will be moved to my 2016 list.
Here are the books I’ve finished since our summer update:
How It Wend Down by Kekla Magoon is a book that I think should be read and discussed by all teens. It looks into prejudice, point of view, gangs, love, abuse, and so much more. Mostly in this time where more and more black men are being shot, we really need to be talking to young people about why and look at our prejudices and how to stop this from continuing. Kekla Magoon brilliantly intertwines all of the stories and truly makes you look at Tariq’s murder.
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles is another brilliant text by Jo Knowles. Her ability to find the truth in so many different types of teens is just incredible. This book has a whole other aspect that I am so impressed with: the way the stories intertwine and all revolve around the middle finger but all in different ways. I definitely recommend this and all of Knowles’s books.
Heidi Schulz must have read my mind when writing Hook’s Revenge because I’ve always felt that Hook was the most interesting character in the Peter Pan stories (Peter himself is actually a bit obnoxious), and I wanted to know what ever happened to him. These books tell me not only that, but also the story of his feisty daughter. Jocelyn overcomes so much to finally become a pirate then, once in Neverland, she goes on quite an epic journey to avenge her father’s honor. Jocelyn is a spit fire and is ready to lead her crew on an adventure of her lifetime.
I am so glad that Ricki told me that I must read Tyrell by Coe Booth. I had read Bronxwood years ago, but it wasn’t until I read Tyrell that I really understood the context of Bronxwood and really found the love for Tyrell. Actually after reading Tyrell, I went back and reread Bronxwood and also read Kendra because I just didn’t want to leave the world. Coe Booth’s voices in her novels are so real and her stories are heart-wrenching and authentic.
Did you have a #mustreadin2015 list?
Share your final update below!
And don’t forget to share your #mustreadin2016 lists next Tuesday!