It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at BookDate, and was adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.
It’s been a bit of a crazy week, so I don’t have too many books to share, but here they are!
Title: Nerdy Birdy
Author: Aaron Reynolds / Illustrator: Matt Davies
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Picture book
My Two Cents: First off, let me just say how much I dislike Amazon’s summary of this very charming book:
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd.
One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle.
When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.
No, no, no! One of my greatest pet peeves is when picture books suggest to children that friendship means finding people who are just like you, and that friendship can only exist between similar individuals who fit into a common mould.
What makes Nerdy Birdy so special is that it blows this trope completely out of the water. Nerdy Birdy is indeed lonely, and he does eventually find a group of nerdy birds who share his passions and interests and warmly welcome him into their flock. But this is really just the beginning of the story. When a new bird appears who is neither nerdy enough for nerdy birds group nor cool enough for the cool birdies, Nerdy Birdy must decide what is really means to be a friend.
Nerdy Birdy is a wonderful little story that turns children’s book tropes on their heads, and really argues that labels are less important than values, and that children can be friends regardless of their appearances, their backgrounds, or their interests. Friendship is about accepting others for who they are, and embracing individuality.
Title: A Game of Thrones : Book One
Author: George R. R. Martin
Publication Date: 1997
Genre/Format: Fantasy / Novel
I’m sure I must be the last person on Earth to crack into A Song of Fire and Ice, but I’ve finally started on A Game of Thrones (book one). I’m about half the way through, and to be honest I’m struggling to understand what all the fuss is about. Sure, there’s sex and violence, but a lot of books have those. The writing is fantastic and the world building is highly detailed, but there’s just nothing particularly magnetic about the storytelling that’s really drawn me in. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and a lot of historical fiction, and I’ve read some pretty incredible writing, but I really can’t say that I’m particularly invested in this story, and I honestly don’t think I’ll be picking up the second novel. Thoughts?
Title: The Pirates
Director: Lee Seok-hoon
Release Date: 2014
My Two Cents: This isn’t a book, but I just had to include it this week because I really, really enjoyed it! This film is like a Korean version of Pirates of The Caribbean – there’s a bounty to be had, and a motley array of pirates, bandits and navy officers are competing to snag the ultimate prize. A winning combination of action, slapstick humour and endearing characters makes this a highly enjoyable film, and the best part is the depiction of a strong, totally awesome female character. Yeo-wol is the female captain of the pirates who rules with fairness and respect, and who will take on the world to defend her crew. A fun, lighthearted romp reminiscent of the Errol Flynn pirate movies of yore.
So, what have you been reading this week?