Big thanks to Teresa Rolfe Kravtin for providing me with a copy of this lovely book.
The Year of the Book
By: Andrea Cheng
I decide to read books for different reasons: a recommendation from a student, a review on Nerdy Book Club, a featured book trailer from Watch.Connect.Read., a beautiful review at Teach Mentor Text, a Twitter conversation (this list could really go on for a long time). The reason I decided to read The Year of the Book was for one reason and one reason only: the cover. Let’s be honest, we all judge some books by the cover (I tend to judge publishers this way as well). Any book that includes the covers of some of my favorite books like Where the Wild Things Are and The Mixed Up Files, is a book that I am going to move to the top of my to-read pile. Teacher-librarian, John Schu, said the cover reminded him on Laurel Snyder’s Penny Dreadful. That sealed the deal for me.
Once I opened The Year of the Book, I quickly fell in love with Anna, and her journey to understand friendship. I loved how she turned to books for guidance, and I was tickled by her relationship with a crossing guard. I cannot wait to hand this book to a fourth grader in the fall.
Many students in the elementary school that I teach in are Japanese. Their fathers come to America to work for 2-5 years, and their children attend the public school Monday – Friday, and then they attend Japanese school on Saturday. I cheered (out loud) when I found that Anna attends Chinese school on the weekends in The Year of the Book. Yay! I’m glad that ALL students will better understand what school is like for students from cultures different than their own.
This book didn’t knock my socks off, and it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat. I was able to put it down while I did some chores, and I didn’t cry while I read it. Usually, it takes one of those things for me to give a book 5 stars. Not in this case. I can’t stop thinking about Anna, I can’t wait to share this book with fourth graders, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. The Year of the Book is a Book that has a nice little nook in my heart. A nook where I’m sure Anna would love to curl up with a good book.
I guess in this case, judging a book by its cover, proved to be a smart move.