Yesterday, I dove into Counting By 7s, and devoured it in one day. Willow Chance is a dynamic character, who you want to root for throughout the entire book. She is a testimony to beating the odds and overcoming life's many obstacles at such a young age. I know that many students will relate to her character, and they will be surprised by her tenacity. And the writing! I can't say enough about the metaphors and symbolism woven into both the words Willow says, but also in the descriptive portions. Holly Goldberg Sloan is a phenomenal author. If you want a peek at the first chapter, you can download it for free by following this link:
http://hollygoldbergsloan.com/aboutcountingby7s.html Then, run out and buy your own copy if someone has already checked out the one in our classroom library.
I am halfway into Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story. I had seen the movie, but my sister recommended the book and it did not disappoint. Considering this book as a "partial" read-aloud since the message of perseverance is one from which my students could benefit. The first half is most inspiring, while the second half includes a lot of medical jargon, as it chronicles Dr. Carson's medical career.
My next read will most likely be the second book in the Gone series by Michael Grant, called Hunger. The other books in the series are: Lies, Plague, Fear and Light (released in April, 2013). I love this quote from Michael (from his website http://themichaelgrant.com/gone/):
Why did I write the GONE series? Well, in my head I imagine this reader. Sometimes it's a girl, sometimes it's a boy. It changes. But in any case there's this reader. And I want that reader to pick up GONE, and to be unable to put it down until they have read every word. I want that reader to forget everything else going on around them and become completely engrossed.
When they're done with the first book, I want them to need that next book desperately. I want to surprise that reader and scare that reader and make and make that reader fall in love. In the end I want the reader to put down the book and think, "Man, that was fun."
Funny thing is that Michael Grant's wife of 29 years is author Katherine Applegate, who wrote the Newbery award-winning book, The One and Only Ivan. Small world.