My summer reading experience!
  • HI all!  I am having a great time reading your summer reading reflections and learning more about you as readers.  Here, I have reflected a bit on my summer reading experience in hopes of letting you all get to know me better as a reader too.

    I had a wonderful summer, and I also had a great summer reading experience.  Each summer, I like to use some of my time off to read some great young adult books that I can later recommend to my students.  Over the summer, I read a bunch of great YA titles that I think many of you would love too. One of my favorites was Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds.  It is a short but powerful story about a boy named Will whose brother has been shot and killed. Will is angry and seeking revenge. On his way to get even for his brother's murder, though, he encounters people from his past who try and help him understand what he's about to do. Also, the book is told in verse (poetry), so it was something new for me.  I also read the latest book from one of my favorite YA authors, Rachel Vail. Well, That Was Awkward follows a middle school girl living in Manhattan trying to navigate friends, boys, family, school, and many of the other challenges middle schoolers deal with on a daily basis.  Gracie, the protagonist, is funny, endearing, and, I think, relatable to many of you. Check it out. My last favorite was Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling.  This book is a sweet story of a girl named Aven who was born without arms.  While of course this has always been a challenge for Aven, she has lived in the same place all her life, and her friends and schoolmates have always accepted her for who she is.  When a job change forces her family to move across the county, Aven must learn to navigate a new school full of unfamiliar (and often less-than-welcoming) faces. However, with the help of some new friends, Aven learns a great deal about herself, and she may even find a way to help others.  Great book.

    In addition to reading some great YA books, I also made time to read some other books geared toward my personal interests.  I read some informational books to try and improve my personal health. I also found myself re-reading some old favorites.

    As always, I made several trips to the public library to find new books.  However, I also tried something new by reading a bunch of e-books on my phone through the Overdrive app.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this way! I wish I had tried it earlier.

    My favorite and most productive place to read was hanging solo at the pool.  There, I was able to relax and settle into my book. It was really hard for me to get any reading done at home because my husband and I just moved into a new house and there was just so much to do!  Even when I was traveling, I spent most of my time trying to soak up the sun and absorb as much local flavor of a place as possible.

    One more fun thing that I got to do this summer was have a reading experience -- meaning I actually went out and did something related to my reading.  Last school year, I read and fell in love with the nonfiction book The Boys in the Boat.  It's about the rowers from the University of Washington who defied all odds to win the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.  While I was on vacation in Seattle, my husband and I went to the UW campus and visited the shellhouse where the rowers practiced before their historic win.  I got to see the boat that took the boys to victory as well as some cool photos and memoribilia.  Also, if you have not read this book, you MUST put it on your list for our nonfiction unit!

    It was truly a great summer of reading.  I look forward to more exciting reading adventures together throughout the school year!