Discover more from Young at Heart
That's Noteworthy! (vol. 4)
more 5-star MG reads, young library-lover quotes, and simple joys
Five weeks into the school year, and I feel like I’m finding a rhythm amidst the chaos. I’m back to listening regularly to podcasts and audiobooks after a bit of a summer slow-down (which is fine, I don’t mind the variance of the seasons in terms of what works).
I hope you’re finding yourself settling into the season as we look toward the official start of fall (I have succumbed to some seasonal food/treats at TJ’s but I can’t imagine buying pumpkins yet— but hey, that’s just me).
📚. I finished two middle grade books this week and had a really fun time reading the picture book Mr. S to my 1st and 2nd grade students. They got such a kick out of it (and so did I). It’s such a funny (and unexpected) first-day-of school story. I’m going to read it to my own kids, too. They’re “old” for picture books but are we ever too old for a good, silly laugh?
The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead & Wendy Mass (2023) :: Thanks to NetGalley, I got an Advanced Listening Copy of this audiobook, and I’m so glad. I have since raved about it to my family and I definitely want to buy a copy for my library. I loved going into it not knowing much about it— I just knew I was captivated by the delightful cover and the tagline saying it was about a boy, a cat, a little free library, and a ghostly librarian. I loved it— intriguing mystery, endearing characters, and definitely a dash of the unexpected. Also it made me tear up at the end— more out of tenderness than sadness— and I don’t cry often in books.
Land of Broken Promises by Jane Kuo (2023) :: I was so happy when Jane’s publicist reached out to me last spring about this new book and I’m thankful to the publisher Harper Collins for sending me a copy. I loved this book as much as her first book, which I shared about in last week’s newsletter. The poetry is so simple (easy to read!) yet beautiful. The story took a turn that really surprised me and is based on Jane’s own immigration story. And again we see MC Anna deal with friend, family, school, faith, and work issues in a relatable way. For me, this was a “window” book, giving me insight into another’s experience and I’m grateful to have had my eyes and heart opened by this book.
My favorite passage evokes a very personal memory/feeling of the early days of Covid for me (even though that’s totally not what it’s about— I think that’s the power of poetry and the written word, which is one of the themes of this book): “And who knows / maybe one day, I’ll look back on this summer / and miss the moments I spent / talking about poetry with Ba / and miss all the time I spent wishing / I was anywhere but here.”
🤓. This week in the library I received applications from 5th & 6th graders who would like to volunteer in the library with my BookWORM (Workers of Reading Materials) program. I thought it would be fun to share some of their reasons for wanting to join in.
“I love organizing and helping people. (I organize my books all the time.)”
“I like the calm atmosphere in the library. Plus it would be nice to see how the library works.”
“I’m really good at helping and solving problems and I know where all the books are.”
“I love to read and would like to spend time in the library to see new books!”
“I have read many, many, many books and would love to help give recommendations and have more knowledge about all the books we have.”
“I have read many of the books at the library so I know where they are usually shelved.”
“I like to get to know people better through their books.”
So anyone who thinks libraries are outdated, just needs to meet some kids who still love them. These kids are my kindred spirits.
🥰. A few things bringing me joy this week:
My new writing playlist and making progress on my WIP (also the desk where I’ve been working on it).
The books I’m currently reading which span all my favorite genre and age categories.
Getting excited for our upcoming book fair!
Turkey tacos with apple salsa which is a current favorite family dinner and makes everyone happy.
Happy Friday and happy reading!
Thanks for reading Young at Heart! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
I always use affiliate links with Bookshop.org when I link to books. If you purchase through my links you support me a tiny bit, and more importantly, you support indie bookstores. Thanks!