Amazingly, the first month of the year is nearly over. Before we know it, December 2012 is upon us! Is it just me or does time seem to be on overdrive lately, zooming and streaking past, leaving specks of dust from unfinished tasks in its wake. Before I get lost in my random ruminations, let me do our very first round-up post for January, which shall likewise be our contribution for the Carnival of Children’s Literature which is hosted this month by Delightful Children’s Books.
List of Novels in Verse
Our bimonthly theme for November and December which has a spill-over until the middle of January was on Poetry-Filled Yuletide Cheer. Since we simply love participating in Poetry Fridays, we thought that we might as well allow poetry to overtake our sensibilities and do it on a daily basis. This, by far, is one of my absolute favorite bimonthly themes. It gave me so much joy to review quite a number of novels-in-verse. We wanted to do more, but realistically, we could only do so much. We were actually thinking of doing a repeat of the novels-in-verse theme in the near future, we shall see how that goes. Here are some of the books that we featured these past two months:
Margarita Engle. To say that we have fallen in love with Margarita Engle would be an understatement. As such we have managed to feature three of her books for our theme. Click on the thumbnails to be taken to our reviews.
Margarita has written more novels-in-verse which you might also want to check out: Hurricane Dancers (2011), Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba (2009), and The Wild Book to be published this March 2012.
Helen Frost. I actually borrowed a number of books by Helen Frost but we did not have sufficient time to really read through and review all her lovely books. I did manage to review Hidden which was published in 2011:
I was also able to read her amazingly-written Crossing Stones and I found myself simply crying unbidden tears somewhere at the end of the book. I wanted so badly to review it, but I thought about saving it for later. Some of the other novels-in-verse written by Helen Frost include: Keesha’s House (2004), The Braid (2007), Spinning through the Universe (2005), and Diamond Willow (2009).
Nikki Grimes is also a highly-esteemed poet and she has written a few poetry books and novels in verse. I was able to review her Dark Sons for our bimonthly feature:
Nikki has also written a few other novels-in-verse such as Planet Middle School (2011) and A Girl Named Mister (2010). Most of her picture books are likewise written in verse. If you wish to know more about her, click here to be taken to her website. Nikki also writes extensively about her thoughts on writing. And I was particularly riveted by her take on novels-in-verse which you can find in her blogpost entitled: Novels-in-Verse: Let’s Talk.
A few other novels-in-verse that we were able to review include the following:
One of the websites that helped me look for titles in this genre would be the Young Adult Reader Reviews – Australia (YARR-A) website that features a comprehensive listing of novels in verse around the world, arranged in alphabetical order! Another helpful site that provides a pretty exhaustive list of novels-in-verse can likewise be found in Stephanie’s Read in a Single Sitting. I found so many more titles in the list that Stephanie created that I attempted to borrow a few more books from our library, only to put them back in their shelves after reprimanding myself that I need to read up more on our bimonthly theme on the paranormal/carnivale for January/February.
List of Poetry Books for Children
We have also reviewed a number of poetry books for children. Here is our list:
The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman - review by Fats
Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith - review by Fats
God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant - review by Fats
Dream by Susan V. Bosak - review by Fats
Blog Memes – January Edition
We do take part in quite a number of blog memes in the kidlitosphere and the YA blogosphere. Here is a summary of our posts this January:
- In My Mailbox: A Happy New Year Special
- IMM (29): Page One Warehouse Sale, Singapore
- IMM (30): Circus, Carnivale, and All Things Paranormal: Launch of our Bimonthly theme this January/February 2012
- IMM (31): Book Off and Library Madness – by Fats
- Teaser Tuesday: A Visit from the Goon Squad – by Iphigene
- Teaser Tuesday: Of Monsters, Circus and Strange Creatures
- Book Talk Tuesday: Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack and Artwork by The Dillons
- Book Talk Tuesday: Layered Poetry in Nikki Grimes’ Dark Sons
- Poetry Friday: There Are No Happy Endings [because] We Have Such Solid Measures for Pain // Two Poems by Joel M. Toledo
- Poetry Friday: A Shel Silverstein 2-in-1 Special
- Poetry Friday: Whisperings of the eerie with e.e. cummings
- Poetry Friday: The Monsterologist, a Memoir in Rhyme by Bobbi Katz and Adam McCauley
Reading Challenges 2012
Right now, there are only very few who have signed-up. If you’re interested in exploring this genre in YA literature, do take a moment to consider it. We’re hoping to read at least 10 novels-in-verse this year. We would also be including the reviews of novels-in-verse we have done this January in Amanda’s database.
365 Reading Challenge. Last year, we started the tradition of documenting all the books that we have read throughout the year, and we challenged ourselves to read 365 books amongst the three of us. Our final tally indicated that we have exceeded this number and we have collectively read 503 books in all for 2011! We are continuing the tradition this year. If you wish to know the books we read this January, click here to be taken to our Reading Calendar. So far, here are the numbers:
- Myra – 16 books
- Iphigene – 3 books
- Fats – 11 books
- Total books read for January 2012: 30
Comment Challenge 2012. We also joined the Comment Challenge 2012 hosted by Mother Reader (The heart of a mother. The Soul of a reader. The mouth of a smartass) and Lee Wind from I’m Here, I’m Queer, What the Hell do I Read? The challenge ran for 20 days (05 January – 25 January 2012) and the goal was to do at least 5 comments for each of those 20 days – the idea is for you to clock in 100 comments by end of 20 days. We joined quite late (19th of January), but we managed to finish all 100 comments by our third day (see our Comment Challenge Update here). Yay.
We have also participated in a number of reading challenges this year (eight in all including our very own Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge, even though we are technically not eligible to receive prizes). Here’s our update for the month so far:
- Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 1 of 12
- Picture Book Challenge: 13 of 120
- AWB Reading Challenge: 5 of 35
- Novels in Verse Reading Challenge: 3 of 10
- No progress in the following challenges: Caldecott Challenge, Newbery Medal Challenge, Reading the World Challenge, Immigrant Stories Challenge
**!Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge Winner!**
We are pleased to announce our winner for the AWB Reading Challenge this January!
Congratulations Zoe from Playing by the Book for her review on books about Grieving: Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit by Amelie Fried, illustrated by Jacky Gleich!
You may choose from the available books as found in our announcement post here. Zoe’s blog is simply amazing – if you haven’t had a chance to visit her site yet, you’re definitely missing out on a lot of kidlit-related events (and recommended fun activities to do with your kids). Many thanks again to Pansing Books for donating the book prizes.
Please visit our AWB Database if you wish to check out other reviews this January from the participants of the reading challenge. Lots of great reviews this month. If you haven’t signed up yet for the challenge, please do! The more, the merrier!