What I'm Reading Wednesday

I read a lot. So I've decided to start a new "feature" here on the blog. Every Wednesday I'll share what I'm currently reading. I'd love to hear in the comments what you are currently reading!

Right now I'm reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

This book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014.

The summary from Goodreads is as follows:

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

I am currently on Part 8-Chapter 4. There are 32 parts to this book, so I have quite a bit more to go! It's due in 3 days and I can't renew it, so I hope I can finish it in time!

What are you currently reading?

Florida SSYRA Battle of the Books 2015-2016

This school year my daughter read the 15 SSYRA books for grades 3-5 in just about 5 weeks. I wrote a post on tips on how to raise a reader and you can read it HERE

She was the first one in her SCHOOL to finish all of the books. She was the ONLY reader in her class to attend every party that was held in the school media center celebrating students who had read XYZ number of books by a given date. Once she finished the grades 3-5 list, she began a few on the grades 6-8 list. But she got bored quickly because she wasn't reading them for a "prize" and so she wanted to read books of her own choosing instead. No problem with me. As long as she's reading, I'm happy. Laughing

I was super excited to see the 2015-2016 list announced this week! You can see the official announcement below!

I've already gone ahead and reserved all of the books through our county library system, and I expect that they will begin to arrive shortly!! The titles this year all look really good and I think Haley will really enjoy them.

Grades 3-5 were also released. Ella and Ronin aren't as much into reading as Haley, but I've put a handful of these on reserve with the hope that they'll want to read a few. They did get jealous that Haley was attending the reading parties while they had to stay in class. 


 So there you have it, ALL the books for the 2015-2016 school year. 


2015-16 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Finalists

Grades 3-5

Athlete vs. Mathlete W.C. Mack

Blast Off! Nate Ball

Eight Keys Suzanne LaFleur

Fortunately, the Milk Neil Gaiman

The Fourteenth Goldfish Jennifer Holm

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe Lutricia Clifton

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom Christopher Healy

The Hypnotists Gordon Korman

Kizzy Ann Stamps Jeri Watts

Nerd Camp Elissa Brent Weissman

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen Donna Gephart

Pie Sarah Weeks

A Snicker of Magic Natalie Lloyd

Three Times Lucky Sheila Turnage White

Fur Flying Patricia MacLachlan


2015-16 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Finalists

Grades 6-8

Counting by 7s Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Eighth Day Dianne K. Salerni

Eye of the Storm Kate Messner

Jack Strong Takes a Stand Tommy Greenwald

Jungle of Bones Ben Mikaelsen

The Night Gardener Jonathan Auxier

Project Jackalope Emily Ecton

The Secret of Rover Rachel Wildavsky

Seeing Red Kathryn Erskine Skink

No Surrender Carl Hiaasen

Stung Bethany Wiggins

Tesla’s Attic Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman

The Testing Joelle Charbonneau

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Twerp Mark Goldblatt



Do your kids like to read??

5 Tips on how to raise a reader

Reading has always been an important part of my life.

I was taught to read by my mother before I was 3 years old.

Nightly story time began when my children were still in the womb.

But loving to read, and raising your child(ren) to love to read are two very different things.

Children that become lifelong readers (like me!) often need that "perfect" book, something that just opens their imagination and introduces them to the wide world of fiction.

Non-fiction was always my children's first foray into independent reading. They loved to read books about animals, weather and geography.

But getting them to read fiction INDEPENDENTLY was a little challenging. I always read fiction books to them during our evening story time. Harry Potter, Little House on the Prairie, and of course, shorter non-chapter books like Ferdinand the Bull, Going on a Bear Hunt, Skippy Jon Jones, and Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel were (and still are!!) some of our favorites.

In 3rd grade I bought Haley all of the Sunshine State Young Readers Award books (SSYRA) she read a few of them, but it was more out of a sense of obligation to ME than of her wanting to do it for HER.

I found it so odd that a child of a LIBRARIAN wouldn't take the mom librarians suggestion for great books. She'd take suggestions from her school media specialist and classroom teacher but not her own mother. Undecided

So I backed off, and decided to use the tips I used with my own library patrons to try to instill a lifelong love of reading in my own children.

1. READ ALOUD. Just as I mentioned above, reading aloud is something that I have always done with my kids, and continue to do with them today at ages 8, 9, and 10. They love to have me read them a story, and I love reading to them.

2. STICK WITH A SERIES. If my kids love a book that is part of a series, I'll continue reading the series to them. But I noticed that Haley (my oldest) was often asking to read ahead in the series. I'd get her hooked on the first book, and then she'd take the series and finish the rest of it! Score one for Mom Librarian!

3. MODEL READING BEHAVIOR. I make sure that my kids see me reading. And reading a REAL book. Not an e-book. Not a magazine, but a real honest to goodness book.  I also make sure that reading is part of our family lifestyle. The kids and I have a 30 minute "silent reading" time every afternoon. I read, they read, and though 30 minutes is hard for Ronin, he's working on it. He might only get 10 minutes, and then I read aloud to him for the other 20 minutes.

4. LET THEM CHOOSE!! This one was hard for me. I despised when Haley would bring home Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. But she loved them. She could read through them quickly, she was laughing, she was engaged. I had to remind myself that even through Greg demonstrated behaviors that I didn't want Haley to do, it didn't mean that she would simply by reading the book. If anything it was the opposite. She got to "live" through Greg's bad choices.

5. CLASSICS!! As a librarian I have a TON of books in our home. And a lot of those books are classics. Charlotte's Web, Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, etc., all take up a prominent spot on our bookshelves. As Haley started to become a more voracious reader, she started grabbing the classics to fill up her time between visits to the library.


This year, Haley decided she wanted to read the SSYRA books. All 15 of them. She started last week, and as of today she has read 8 of the 15 books.


But the BEST part of watching my children emerge as readers is that they are reading just for the sake of reading. Countless studies have shown that children that start reading earlier have better academic success AND become LIFELONG readers.

And we visit the library often!! They have so much more at the library than just books!! Like Lego's. Lego's are fun.

Do you have any tips to share on raising a reader??