Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


I'm joining in with Jen from Teach Mentor Texts, Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and other bloggers who share the books they have read the past week.

I haven't read any newly released books this week, I've just been catching up on my "to read" list.


Being Summer in Australia, it is the right time of year to be reading this book about the sometimes heart-wrenching impact of bushfire and the dedication of our firefighters. Jackie French's poetic verse grabs you from the very start:

One small spark brought fire awake,
Winding like a small black snake,
Fire flickered, fire crept,
Flames snickered, fire leapt....

The image of a snake winding and the choice of the word "snickered" are so perfect and Bruce Whatley's illustrations are truly spectacular. The way he catches the translucent colours within the flames is magical. Having been heavily involved with wildfire for many years through my forestry work, I made many personal connections with this book. This subject, which could be difficult for many readers, is treated with the care and respect it deserves. A beautiful book.


Can you believe I'd never read Harold? Now that I have, I can see why it is has been a favourite for so many decades, how clever!


My sister took my littlest to the book store to buy her a gift and she chose Journey. Again, I'd never read it, I knew it was wordless and I'd heard plenty of praise, so I was thrilled with her choice.

How funny to have read Harold then Journey one after the other on the same evening! I enjoyed Harold, but I just adored Journey. We lingered on those beautiful illustrations, taking it all in. Such amazing opportunities for inference, which were still accessible to my 4-year-old. I loved the clever twists in the storyline which tied everything together so neatly. Needless to say, my daughter reached for this one again the following night. More smiles!


I really enjoy Aaron Blabey's books. I like the unusual colour palette and the unique way he draws his characters. This story of a boy and girl who are taunted and teased by their classmates but who become best of friends is inspiring and carries a gentle message for all children to be kind to each other.


The Promise is a thought provoking book with a powerful message. It follows the story of a child living in a dull, bleak city who steals from others to survive. When she steals a bag from a lady she makes a promise to use what is inside. As she fulfills her promise she transforms the world around her, bringing colour to herself and the city.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I know right, how had I not read this before? In a plot reminiscent of Harry Potter, 12-year-old Percy Jackson discovers he is the son of a Greek god he embarks upon a quest to prevent a war between the gods and return Zeus's master lightning bolt. The Lightning Thief is full of action, mythological creatures, exciting duels and narrow escapes.

There is plenty of humour, I was particularly entertained by the odd titles of the chapters and the cleverly written voice of the characters which made this book easy to become immersed in. I enjoyed the incorporation of Greek mythology and the creative way that Riordan integrated the mythology into contemporary society. Overall this was a fun holiday read!


  1. Last spring break I caved and read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. It was ok. I can see why kids want to read it, but didn't make me want to read more. The cover of Fire looks gorgeous. I'm not acquainted with Aaron Blabey so will have to check out Stanley Paste.

    1. Aaron Blabey also wrote Pearl Barley and Charlie parsley, as well as Sunday Chutney. They're a little quirky, but sweet!

  2. Haven't read Percy Jackson myself - Rick Riordan is always a hit or miss for me. :( Great to know about the Aaron Blabey title. Learned about the Australian bushfires through Morris Gleitzman's NOW. Quite a powerful middle grade novel too.