It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Monday’s are my least favorite day of the week. It seems as though there’s just never enough time in my weekend to finish all that I want to accomplish. Anybody else feel that way, or is this just my college experiences bubbling to the surface again?

Moving right along…

This week I spent a lot of my time reading literature (enrolled in FIVE different literature judy blume.jpgcourses and loving every minute), but I’ve spent a great amount of time going back to Young Adult literature. Something i’ve almost put aside and forgotten about. But Young Adult Literature was my life for many years. It consumed my afternoons and evenings, car rides (before I had to drive to school myself), and any other free chance I had. I’m a nerd, I know. On a serious note though, I was able to read things like Judy Blume’s God, Are you There? It’s Me, Margaret and John Green novels like Looking for Alaska. As a young adult, not yet ready for the “real adult” literature yet, this was the stuff I connected to and wanted to read!

All I’m saying, is it’s refreshing to take a step back into these books. And with that being said, this past week I read Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie. Some categorize it in the Juvenile category others categorize it in the Young Adult. It definitely was an easy and enjoyable read.

Because of Winn-Dixie

winn-dixieThe plot to this novel is very captivating. It covers topics like friendship, what it means to lose a loved one, and a journey of finding oneself. India Opal Buloni is the preacher’s daughter, which also means that all eyes are on her. To make things more difficult her mother left her when she was just a toddler and left nothing behind, not even a simple memory for Opal to hold on to. Unexpectedly she befriends a stray dog that she names Winn-Dixie (after the town’s Supermarket). This is a friendship that exceeds all of the rest. It seems as though, when the two of them are together anything is possible. At a young age, it’s so important to value great friendships. Because of Winn-Dixie Opal is able to find who she is. The labels she’s been marked with make her a Preacher’s daughter and a girl abandoned by her mother, but there’s so much more in her heart than those two measly facts.

As I flipped through the pages of this book I couldn’t help but think about the purpose behind the story. Kids and Young Adults need to read these types of novels. I know it helped me as a young adult to figure out where I belonged and who my friends were. It’s easy to find yourself when you have relatable characters to read and struggle through life with. Books are so important for this reason alone.

Coretta Scott King Award


An image of Coretta Scott King. She was a famous author, activist, civil rights leader, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s beloved wife. CC-By Lenora Peterson

Also, as many of you know, today is a national holiday! We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and all that he stood for. As I began my next book I thought it would only be fitting to choose a book that has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Award. This is an award that is given to African American authors who have been able to share and incorporate their culture into an outstanding novel. Like i’ve mentioned before, literature is so amazing because it teaches us about other cultures!

For this reason, the second novel I chose to start reading at the end of last week was Sharon M. Draper’s, Forged By Fire. I have yet to finish it, so I want to save all of the details for my next blog post, but I’m a little over half-way done!

I do, however, want to leave you with a couple of lines from the novel to think about. And mainly to give you an idea of what it is i’m reading right now.

“I know what you meant. Since this kid is poor and black and his mother is living alone and unmarried, his father must be long gone. Well, I’m here to tell you that not all black men are like that. There’s zillions of black families with a mama and a daddy and two kids like the ‘average’ American family.” Aunt Queen’s shoulders dropped a bit then, and she said with resignation, “But unfortunately, this ain’t one of them. I don’t know where the boy’s daddy is. I just didn’t want you to assume. You coulda been wrong, you know?”

If you haven’t ever read a book that has been awarded this prestigious award, I highly recommend diving into one.

As always, happy reading friends!



19 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading?

  1. Zane's Blog says:

    You are about the eighth person in this course that has mentioned the book “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, so I’m adding it to my book bingo. Your blog incorporated an element of culture, which I enjoyed. I agree completely that it has been refreshing to step back into young adult books, and discover who we once were and how the genre has expanded over the last fifteen years. Looking forward to more of your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. preciouspalabrasblog says:

    I read “Because of Winn-Dixie” as a teen and absolutely loved the book. I also remember really enjoying the movie when it came out. I think one of the reasons I found the book so interesting was because I had a childhood dog that Winn-Dixie kept reminding me of. That just goes to show how much we truly can relate to the story line and characters in books. It makes it so much more special to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      That’s awesome that you were able to relate to this book on such a deep level. I think most teens really can connect to it in some way or another. During the teenage years, every kid is trying to find their place, or their friends. I’m glad Winn-Dixie was able to be there for her!


  3. Ali Meyer says:

    Look at you go! I only barely managed to read one book last week, so I’m super impressed! Anyway, I’m really glad that you liked the Judy Blume novel. It was one that my mom told me that I needed to read when I was younger, but I never got around to it because who listens to their mother when they’re a teenager? Now that I look back, I think I should pick it up (because mother knows best right?) Anyway, I love that you’re having such a great experience.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. pilotpoetphysic says:

    I truly enjoyed your blog and the descriptions of the books that you have been reading. I have heard fantastic things about Draper but am yet to read one of her novels. I own Forged by Fire and now want to bump it up on the list. Unfortunately, life will be too short for all the books that I want to read.

    Another winner of the Coretta Scott King Award that I thoroughly enjoyed was Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. It is written in verse, and this is my second year reading it with my freshmen. They really enjoy the story, but some find the writing style difficult. It is her memoir, and I can’t say enough good things about it!

    Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      Life is far too short for all of the reading I want to do as well! I will have to look at your book suggestion by Jacqueline Woodson! It sounds very interesting. Also, I did finish Forged by Fire and I must say, I do recommend bumping it up on your list. The ending is one you will not forget!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. MaryAnneJ says:

    “Are You There God, It’s Me Margret” was (is) one of my favorites! I made my younger sisters read it and I love teasing them with the “We must increase our bust” chant. One of the main reasons I liked the story so much was how she explored religion. There weren’t very many stories that showed us how diverse faiths are, let alone through such an innocent point of view. Happy reading, Afton!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      hahaha! MaryAnne this is hilarious. I loved that part! I’m so glad you loved this book as much as I did. The fact that she was able to bring diversity to young readers was such a powerful part of the novel I thought. This book is one that I honestly do think every young girl should read.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. savannah3547 says:

    Because of Winn-Dixie seems like such a timeless story. I feel like almost anyone could pick it up and relate to it some how. What did you think of Are You There God? It’s, Me Margaret? Somehow that one passed me by and I’m wondering if I should give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      Are You There God? It’s, Me Margaret is such a classic for young girls. It hit on those “hard topics” about a growing young girl. It’s super friendly, funny, and relatable. I recommend this to any girl, at any time. Reading it now as an adult, you’ll probably even think it’s funnier! 🙂


  7. lizkrohn says:

    I loved your book selection! I always liked dogs but I think after I read Because of Winn-Dixie I officially became a “dog person”. I became so attached to the characters in this book. I continue to remember this book even years later and I am pretty sure it has shaped the way I feel about animals today.

    Liked by 1 person

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