#SOL19 Day 17 Spark! Book Reviews

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 5.28.56 PMFor the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.

Book Reviews Spark!:

One of my favorite quick writes are book reviews that I write and share. I’ve been trying to do a better job with my Goodreads account and I frequently share reviews on my personal Facebook page and Amazon. I try to get my thoughts down quick while they are fresh in my mind. I suppose if I put more time into them they’d be more polished and engaging, but without any filters my responses are authentic, honest, and sometimes a little raw. I’m good with that. Knowing that it is just a short burst of writing has been one way that I’ve been able to be consistent with writing and sharing them. You might also notice that most of my reviews are positive. That’s because I’m pretty selective BEFORE I read–there are so many books, so little time. I go on the recommendations of others often, so I know how valuable these reviews might be to someone’s book selection. I encourage readers who love books and appreciate authors to make this quick write a regular habit. Share your #KidLitlLove with others. Those authors will thank you!

Here’s quick write review I shared this weekend:

Sometimes fiction and reality intersect in our lives in providential ways. I was in the 31207017middle of reading Samira Ahmed’s debut YA novel this week when a white national terrorist murdered innocent Muslims in their mosque in New Zealand. This story took on a deeper and more relevant meaning immediately. 17 year old Maya Aziz was born in America to Indian immigrants and attends high school in Illinois. She has always felt a struggle between these two worlds. Her parents’ love is important to her, but their plans for her life do not align with her own goals and dreams. Just as she might be convincing them to let her pursue a career in film in NYC, a terrorist attacks a federal building in Springfield killing over 125 people. First reports claim it was a Muslim terrorist and Maya’s family is threatened and assaulted, but even when they realize the attacker is a white nationalist the ramifications of fear still haunt Maya’s family and threaten their dreams and even their lives. Throw in a high school romance of forbidden love and this book will connect with so many readers on a number of levels. An important read-especially during these times of rising nationalism, prejudice, and irrational fears.

Give it a try. Regularly quick writing reviews will shape the way you start reading books, too! You’ll develop an appreciation for those gifts the authors have crafted just for you-the reader. If you comment today, please share a book recommendation, too if you’d like

22 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 17 Spark! Book Reviews

  1. What an interesting book to be reading this week. Amazing that you can do a quick write review that is so well structured and comprehensive. I am impressed! The book looks good. While I don’t teach readers who would be ready for YA books, I do love reading them. You are also reminding me here about Goodreads. Sigh… I am not good at all about keeping up there and yet it is a great resource for reading suggestions.

  2. It is so important to get your thoughts down in the moment -you need that fresh emotion and I need to the details down so I don’t forget! I sometimes you voice notes to get the spark down and then go back to it. This book looks great – thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the reminder that spreading the book love is so important! I use Goodreads to help me decide what to read all the time. As you mentioned, leaving a review is a great way to show your appreciation to authors and helps them be able to write more books. Now I’m off to add a few more books to my to-read list…

  4. As I was reading your post, I decided that next fall I need to create a website for my secondary ELs to post their book reviews. Hopefully, that would get kids talking more about books. The last YA book that I read was “My Family Divided” by Diane Guerrero. So touching. I learned so much.

  5. I agree that when we complete a quick write our responses are authentic, honest, and sometimes a little raw. Your book review makes me want to read the book.

  6. You know, I get a little nervous about Goodreads reviews, so I really appreciate this approach. It’s the kind of thing I think I could handle. One of the things I’m really noticing with your quickwrites is the idea of being ok with good enough. That is an important lesson for me and for my students. Going to keep pushing myself in this direction.

    1. Yes! Becoming comfortable with first draft (or only draft) approach to writing takes practice. I love this quote from Anne Lamott “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head.”

  7. Huh. A quick write response after I finish the book – would certainly provide a nice archive for future reference. I like the idea and I am impressed with how well you captured this book so comprehensively. Sold. May be next on my list. Thanks on at least 2 counts!

  8. I love that book! I must confess that I need to write down a short summary of the book because I can’t keep the titles (and plots) straight in my head when a student comes for a book suggestion. I keep a reader’s notebook by genre. When a student comes for a book suggestion (and I already know what they love), I can give them a book to read. If I didn’t write anything down, I would NEVER remember. For example, a young lady finished Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, and she wanted something with a similar story line, so I suggested Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds – SHE LOVED IT. In my summaries, I always write a little sentence about a book that reminds me of another book. Thank you for this post! I keep telling myself to be more vigilant with my goodreads.com account and I can leave my reader’s notebook on the shelf (it is going to be hard because I love having the notebook, but I will try:).

  9. Sage advice on capturing thoughts before a review (I am amazed by all you get done, Paula!). I am mulling this “intersection” of books and life – strange how such mirrors develop. Almost as if the writers know to write, write, write, get it out there, for such a time as this …

  10. I appreciate your review of Samira’s book. Your wonderful review makes it sound riveting which I am sure it is. I like that you present fresh ideas without a filter, Paula.

  11. Wow. I really want to read this now, Paula! I’ve got to start showing authors more love in this way. I really appreciate you sharing a model, as I’d have no idea what to include. As always, thanks, Mentor!

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