Discover more from Young at Heart
That's Noteworthy! (vol. 2)
2 MG reads, library book clubs, writing update, etc.!
I’m so ready for a 3-day weekend and to catch up on some reading and resting. Last Saturday I got to enjoy some glorious sunny morning reading, and I’m looking forward to doing that again hopefully.
📚. Soon I’ll get back to reading some more YA, but with school back in session, I also expect to keep going with plenty of middle grade. I finished two books in the last week, both middle grade.
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett :: This is a backlist mystery that I remember my oldest daughter reading years ago. It’s a very cleverly crafted story full of coincidences (or are they?) surrounding the painter Vermeer. The art aspect was very thought-provoking and I enjoyed getting to know the two young protagonists who form a new and unexpected friendship along the way.
The artwork is by Bret Helquist (who also illustrated A Series of Unfortunate Events) and is sprinkled throughout (with its own incorporated puzzle hidden in the illustrations). I enjoyed the audio but also liked having the book handy to reference. Oddly, the narrator pronounced Petra’s name wrong (like Peetra) at times which was extremely strange. Overall, a 5-⭐️ middle grade mystery for me.
The Book That No One Wanted to Read by Richard Ayoade :: What a funny, quirky, cheeky book! Just published in March of 2023, this is a book to read in print, because the illustrations really add to the humor.
I got this for the library in my Junior Library Guild subscription and I’m so glad I did because I can see kids getting a real kick out of it as the narrator (a book) speaks directly to the reader in the second person. This book treats its reader as smart but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. For me, 4 ⭐️s. My son also enjoyed it.
🤓. In the library this week, I met for the first time with my 5th-grade book clubs. I did a little “book tasting,” where I introduced them to three mystery novels by reading the jacket flap copy and a few pages from each. The students are then going to vote on their favorite. I’ll keep you posted on what they choose!
The choices were: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, Masterpiece by Elise Broach, and Chasing Vermeer, which I mentioned above. The first two I’ve already read and led book clubs for previously in my kids’ class. We also started book circulation this week and it has been so fun to see the students get excited about checking out books.
🥰. As I mentioned on Instagram, I am currently outlining a new middle grade novel. This week I chatted about the story with two of my kids. Hallee has been helping me already with plot and character name ideas, and now I let her and Brody read my outline so far and give me their input and ideas. I am loving this experience of letting them into my process and brainstorming with them.
This week was back-to-school nights for my kids’ school. It’s so fun meeting my kids’ teachers. I told my daughter’s AP Lang (11th grade English) how much I loved reading her syllabus where she detailed her desire for her students to read for pleasure. She gives them time for it at the beginning of every class, and she explained how she desires to create a community of readers. Oh that more teachers allowed their students the time and space for this in 2023.
Happy Friday and happy reading!
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