Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Books

New year, new book goals, and I'm off to a running start!  I even got one more book finished right at the end of the month, which I wasn't expecting to do.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
3 Stars

I had two classes that chose this as their novel to read for reading class.  I always reread the books as my classes do so that I can stay on top of what I need to discuss (or not mention yet!) with them.  It helps me refresh my memory for going over their tasks.

I'm not a huge fan of this book, but the kids like it.  Either way, it counts as reading!

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
4 Stars

One of my classes chose this one as their novel for reading class.  Despite this not being "my kind" of story, it's actually a really good book, and both girls and boys really enjoy it!

The Atonement Child

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was disappointed with this book. I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it. Rivers's book Redeeming Love is an amazing book, and this one just did not live up to that for me.

If you're not familiar, Rivers is a Christian author. As you can see in the synopsis, the main character, Dynah, is raped and becomes pregnant is faced with a choice. What annoyed me about this book is the lack of compassion from the Christian characters mainly Dynah's fiance and the Dean of the Christian college they attended. It also really bothered me that for the first half of the book, everyone's reaction to Dynah's options was that she needed to have an abortion or have and keep the child. Adoption wasn't even mentioned until over halfway through the book. 

While obviously no one, including Christians, is perfect, I felt like this book did not reflect Christians well. That disappointed me coming from this author. People were angry, bitter, pushy, and mean. I did really like Dynah as a character, and I also really loved the character of Joe. Dynah was a beautiful character whom I felt was realistic. She ultimately comes to terms with her situation and makes a decision, and the ending did wrap up nicely. I just wish that the story would have reflected people better overall.

Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st CenturyAdvancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century by Richard M. Cash

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My school district chose to use this book as a book study for the first half of the school year. We finished reading it on January 16th as part of our in-service day activities. Apparently, the author is coming to our in-service in February, so that's pretty neat. But ultimately, reading texts like this just leaves me feeling overwhelmed.

When you read a book like this the ideas are great and everything sounds wonderful, but that is in the ideal class, in the idea school district, in the ideal state....and I'm sorry, but NOWHERE is that perfect. Differentiation is important, and good teachers do it (or certainly try to!) every single day. But some days, it doesn't matter what I do as an educator, there are students who just aren't going to engage or "get" it. After awhile, the book deviated from differentiation and started discussing A LOT about teaching students how to think differently. That's nice and all, but it felt like the ways the author presented to go about it would just require time that we don't have! With the demands we have to not only teach our curriculum but to meet state requirements for testing and constantly testing students up until those tests, I just can't wrap my head around how things like this should work.

At one point during the reading of this text, I literally grabbed my pen and wrote, "Seriously? When are we supposed to do this?"

Needless to say, this wasn't the best professional development text I've ever read.

The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book! I had read Kate Morton's "The Lake House" before, and while I liked that one, this book is way better! While there were confusing parts at times, they helped to move the story along and keep me guessing until pieces started to come together at the end. I can definitely say, the ending took me completely by surprise, and I liked that!

I've Got Your NumberI've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophie Kinsella never disappoints me. I borrowed this book as an eBook from my local library. I got an email that my loan was about to expire, and even though I was enjoying it, I just hadn't been putting a lot of time into reading. So I cracked down on Saturday (1/28) and finished it rather quickly! As usual, Kinsella creates a likable protagonist in Poppy. I love the craziness of the way the characters come together in this story, and it was just a light, easy read.

View all my reviews

In light of sneaking in an extra book this month that I didn't think I would actually finish until February, I decided to up my goal on the Goodreads challenge from 20 to 25.  If things keep going like this, I might even up it to 30.  I'm 5 books ahead of schedule right now, so I'm pretty proud of myself.  :)

What have you read so far in 2017? 


Kristin said...

Glad you liked The Secret Keeper!
I liked the Kinsella one..didn't love it.

Post a Comment

Content Rebeckann's Random Thoughts | Design Poppiness Designs