Are you on your way to your 2018 reading goals?
I’ve currently reached 13 out of 61 books for 2018 (Check out What is your 2018 Reading Resolution? for ideas on setting your own resolution). To track my books, I’m trying out keeping a reading journal with the list of books I’ve finished, plus any quotes I’ve marked with book darts, short descriptions, and a “To Be Read” list. I was inspired to try this after listening to Sarah Mackenzie’s podcast episode on “Delightful, Simple Reading Journals for Kids”. I also still add a batch of books into Goodreads every so often to have a digital record. Do you have a way to track your reading that works for you? I’d love to hear it!
Here are some of the books I’ve added to my reading journal lately:
At Home in the World is a travel memoir from Tsh Oxenreider, a writer who spent a year traveling the world with her husband and three young kids. This book is the perfect inspiration for parents who haven’t gotten the travel bug out of their systems and want to continue to explore and have adventures with their families–which could even just mean taking a short road trip. You may have heard of Tsh from her work on the “Women’s Work” or “Simple Show” podcasts, which I only realized were the same creator after devouring the book and looking to see what else she had written. It is a wonderful feeling to finish a great book and then realize you have a whole backlog of the author’s podcasts, articles and books you can catch up on.
Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly was this year’s Newbery winner. Give this middle-grade title to fans of Wonder by R.J. Palacio or Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. Told from alternating points of view, at its core this is a relatable coming-of-age story with a lot of heart. It’s the start of summer for four neighbors who are all trying to find their way in the world, from fitting in and accepting themselves, to navigating relationships with their parents. Their stories become intertwined when something goes terribly wrong in the woods near their houses. I enjoyed this one so much I suggested it for my school’s next parent/child book club. Empathy building, thought-provoking middle grade fiction at its best.
Green Eggs and Ham was voted my school’s favorite Dr. Seuss book this month, but The Lorax was a strong second and the one students’ kept begging to hear read aloud. This is a crowd pleasing read aloud, from the littlest ones up through at least fifth grade. Children are captivated by this story and now more than ever we could use some inspiration to take care of our environment–truffula trees, bar-ba-loots, and humming-fish might just do the trick!
Mom & Me & Mom was a wonderful audiobook experience that I was able to enjoy during commutes or while cleaning up the house. The book centers on Vivian Baxter, Maya Angelou’s complicated, strong mother. The book is read by Angelou herself and it feels like you’re sitting in a room with her, hearing the story of her life. This book is beyond inspiring as you see the depth of a mother’s love, together with Vivian Baxter’s stumbles, and for me it shed light on how Maya Angelou overcame astounding adversity and took a winding path to become the wise, successful poet we now know.
Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett is the perfect book to curl up with on a snow day (as are many of Jan Brett’s books–you may know her as the author of The Mitten). Annie’s cat, Taffy, has gone missing and she’s very lonely. Annie tries to lure a nice new pet to her home with corn cakes, but wild animals like bears and a moose keep showing up instead. An adorable read aloud and the boardbook version is perfect for my little bookworm, who still wants to nibble the pages!