What a month this has been – I couldn’t have imagined at the start of the month how much life would change in such a short space of time. I can’t believe how much I miss the small pleasures in life, such as going for a coffee, browsing in a bookshop and meeting up with friends. These were things I took for granted: I will definitely have a newfound appreciation for them when I am eventually able to enjoy them again.
One of the hardest things for me has been how much I miss teaching my class, and how much I miss the wonderful children I taught. For the last couple of days before schools closed for the majority of children, we read lots, we coloured and we chatted and the children made cards for each other for when times might get difficult – a reminder that we may be apart, but we are still a team, thinking about each other. Goodness, reading these made me cry. I really, really hope that I get to teach my class all back together again this school year. I do go into school once a week to supervise the children of key workers, but there haven’t been many. It has been lovely to see a couple in my class though!
I’ve also just had news that my Dad has been taken into hospital in Ireland, with a very high temperature. He has dementia and is lost without my Mum (even though he doesn’t know her most of the time) who is not allowed to visit him. This really breaks my heart, and I just feel so helpless.
My reading has been very up and down this month. Some times, I’ve been able to take myself into a book and, at others, I just couldn’t focus on anything other than endlessly following the news, worrying and refreshing Twitter! I know that reading books is good for my mental health, and I do feel grateful that I’ve got this wonderful hobby/lifeline to keep me occupied – if only I can let it occupy me more often! This is something I am definitely working on!
Books I’ve read:
I’ve read nine books this month, which is less than I normally would. I’ve reviewed five of them and hope to also write a review for TrooFriend shortly. The books I’ve reviewed are:
- Toto The Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe.
- Viper’s Daughter.
- The House of Hidden Wonders.
- Starfell: Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale.
- Crater Lake.
I was sent Girl 38 by Ewa Jozeekowicz to review, and loved her writing style so much that I immediately read The Mystery of the Colour Thief which I enjoyed even more! Her books certainly seem to deal with difficult friendships and making new friends. This one also dealt with a heavy guilt which was expressed in the most ingenious way. I’d been wanting to read The Magic Place for ages and, when I saw the e-book, was available through my library, I jumped at the chance to read it. I read it early one morning in one sitting and, oh my goodness, it was a wonderful, if sometimes emotionally difficult read. The ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’ villains are terribly cruel, yet Clementine never gives up hope of reaching her magic place. I’ve heard so many people talk about The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane so decided to give it a read as I had bought it a while back to read to see if I could use it as a class text with Year 4. This story was not what I was expecting, but it was an incredible read! Edward, a china rabbit, who is vain and self-centred, is loved dearly by his young owner, Abilene, but he does not return that love. One day, Edward finds himself separated from his young owner, and so begins his journey of self-discovery, and the opening of his heart to love as he is passed from owner to owner and learns to love. Edward also suffers a great deal of humiliation, pain and neglect, but he rises above this to find love and connection. He endures a great deal, but engenders love in others, and learns to return that love. This story is heart-achingly tender and beautiful and absolutely tore at my heartstrings … and the ending is just perfect!
Books I’ve bought:
This month, I’ve bought 12 books: 10 physical copies and 2 e-books. I’ve only read one of them, Starfell, though! I really need to get better at reading the books I have before I keep buying more – probably not going to happen though! I’ve actually bought a couple of books which aren’t middle-grade this month: Havenfall and Hold Back the Tide! I’m still waiting for Storm and Orla and the Serpent’s Curse to arrive – but they have now been dispatched.
There have been so many good books on NetGalley recently. I was approved for these four in March. I should have three of them read by the end of the week!
What books have you read this month? Have you read any of these?