Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It is Monday and again I am joining in the meme over at Mentor Texts.
Hop on over and join in over at the Mentor Text Blog. Just click on the picture 
This past week I read:

Guitar Highway Rose
Brigid Lowry
This edition 2004
First Published 1997
Teen Realistic Fiction
Setting: Western coast of Australia.

Firstly I was recommended to read this book by an 11 year old student of mine.  It was her top book for 2012.  Upon reading it, I loved it, however I did think perhaps 13 years and up would be a more suitable age. Miss 11 year old is a sophisticated reader and I could actually imagine her writing just such a creative and quirky book in a few years time, so I think the exception rather than the rule here.

This book has a seemingly ordinary plot, although a few surprises towards the end had me engaged to the finish. It is not the plot however that makes this book, rather it is the characters and the way in which the story is told.  A wide mix of writing forms are used, at first I found it a little disconcerting, but I was soon loving it.  Imagine this whole paragraph with out a capital or full stop. Every teacher's dread usually! There were paragraphs like this, taking the reader into the head of a 15 year old boy, and it worked. Other forms are diary, streams of consciousness, poetry, police notes..... and so it goes on.  The reader is taken into conversations and characters minds and feelings, hopes, nightmares.  In this way the story is told.

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff.
Jennifer L. Holm.
Published 2011.
Graphic Novel.

It will be interesting to see what my students make of this. They may find the handwriting a little disconcerting as we don't use that here in New Zealand, although it was taught here when I went to school. Now it is one that has no loops etc.  That's when we do teach it!

I liked the Dad in this story and when Ginny gets a mention for her science fair work on the brain, despite the dog eating it!

I have also started a book called Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, a science fiction - cyberpunk book. As I am about a quarter way through this will probably be my reading for the coming week. Again this was a book recommended by one of my students as her top book for the year.  

Happy reading to all for the week coming.


  1. I ordered the sequel to Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf, but it didn't come in. Thanks for reminding me-- I requested it from the public library!

  2. My daughter is enamored with unique narrative forms - she is especially into the diary formats, so I have a feeling that Guitar Highway Rose may be something that she'd enjoy. Since she just turned eleven, maybe I'd wait for another year or so. :) Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf may also be something she'd love. She's into the James Patterson middle-grade novels, she just started on her third one I Funny. :) Have a great reading week ahead of you!

  3. I like the idea of the different format in Guitar Highway Rose-will put it on the list, Kathryn! I've read Meatloaf, & donated it to our school library where it promptly disappeared. I liked it, & thought others would too. It's being replaced! And I loved Little Brother, maybe for middle school & up, but it read very well. I'll be interested to see what you think of it! Have a great week!

  4. We just got the Middle School is Worse book in my class and the kids really like it. Enjoy your reading week!


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