I have a confession to make. I have not been writing too terribly much lately. Eek! But wait! Don’t judge me too strongly YET. Let me tell you what I HAVE been spending a lot of time doing.
I’ve been reading.
Now, while this may not seem like a great feat to those of you in the “professional” world, in the world of a teacher, finding the time to read even a chapter of a book is comparable to finding the perfect LBD. It’s difficult. Luckily, with a student teacher, my paper grading workload has been minimized, thus opening up time for my beloved hobby – reading.
I have to say that at the beginning, when I first started reading at night in lieu of grading papers or planning lessons, I felt this nagging sense of something. A bowl of popcorn with M&M’s (I love how they get all melty when you toss them in hot popcorn!) determined the feeling wasn’t hunger. It was guilt. I felt guilty that I wasn’t working on things for school. Without a student teacher, every night is filled with some sort of school-related work, so spending an hour reading a book was quite foreign. But, I persevered and pushed past this guilty feeling to the place where I could just enjoy.
Here are a few titles off of my current reading list!
Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson – This series is a fantastic and furious trip through the various Disney parks through the eyes of the “keepers,” teen hosts at the parks who “cross over” as holograms into the parks at night. The books are full of our favorite Disney characters and include so many wonderful details about the parks. It’s a MUST for Disney fans, and a fun read for everyone else. I read the first installment aloud to my class and they were hooked.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – A recommendation from many Twitter friends, Shiver did not disappoint. I loved the way that the chapters alternated between both protagonists, and how we got to know each of them separately before we got to see them interact. The concept of werewolves is intriguing, particularly thinking about the change happening due to temperature shift, instead of a full moon. The love that blossoms between the characters is a page-turner!
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Can you tell that I read a lot of books geared toward my students??? I was already a fan of Suzanne Collins before I even picked up these two books, due to The Underland Chronicles. These two newest books propelled her even further up on the list of authors I adore. Taking place in a futuristic world built on what’s left of our country, Katniss and her counterparts are forced to take place in a “game” where a boy and girl from each area of the country are expected to compete to see who can live the longest. Collins pushes the envelope of what is socially acceptable, but the way she writes doesn’t cause you to turn away from the difficult subject matter. I can’t wait for the third installment, Mockingjay.
Conspiracy 365 by Gabrielle Lord – Wow. What a cool concept. Each month of the year, a new book in this series becomes available. Callum Ormond’s father has just died and now his family is experiencing more than its fair share of crises. Callum finds out that he has to attempt to survive for 365 days, all the while, striving to solve the riddle/mystery surrounding his father’s death and his family’s name. I was introduced to this series by a student, who is generously letting me borrow each installment after she has read it. Lord does an incredible job of finding just the cliffhanger with which to end each book to make you yearn for the next.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe – Thank goodness for book club! If it weren’t for this group of women, I would never have found this book, much less forced myself to step out of my “kid-friendly” circle of literature to read it. I have not yet finished it, but already, I am enthralled. I am continually amazed at the way Howe is able to describe the setting of the book with such detail that I not only can visualize it, but I can smell the mustiness and feel the stagnant air on my face. It is beautifully written and centers around a topic that has intrigued me since I read The Crucible in high school. The Salem witch trials.
Whew! This is just a brief listing of what’s hot now, in my humble opinion. Happy reading, everyone!