Here’s what I read during #DiverseAThon. I kept a post draft open throughout the week and wrote down what I was reading at least once each day. It was a busier week than normal, but I also didn’t do any reading outside of this challenge which is very unusual for me. Usually I’m reading at least one chapter book for school, one for the library book group, and one for personal reading. The only personal reading I had ongoing this week was the adult version of Hidden Figures, which certainly relates to this challenge.
If this post is too long for you (lots of details of my reading habits for the week), there’s a shorter synopsis here.
Day One (1/22):
Okay, so I didn’t check my calendar, for some reason I thought the 22nd was Monday! This meant I got to start a day earlier than I thought. Normally Sundays are a prime reading day, but today was a little busier than usual so I read Encore, Grace. It was very confusing to me because there were many casual references to events that I felt should have been covered in a previous book. After finishing, I got online and found that yes, there is a previous chapter book called Starring Grace, which I don’t even own. So I read these out of order by accident!
After that, I was planning to knock out Bravo, Grace, but after opening it found out it was a series of short stories, not actually a novel like the previous book. So I read two chapters from Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice instead. It’s not quite what I expected. Large portions of the book are direct quotations from Colvin herself, tied together with narration and sidebars from Phillip Hoose, the nominal author. I went to the author’s note at the end of the book which gives more info about the writing of it – this material is taken from extensive interviews with Colvin. As I read more, hopefully I can work out my thoughts on this style. I stopped at a really sad point in her life.
Tonight I’ll do a little more reading before bed, maybe start The Red Pencil or One Crazy Summer. Tomorrow I’m hoping to have enough time to read Flygirl in one fell swoop, but I might be overoptimistic. We’ll see.
Day Two (1/23):
I ended up reading more of Claudette Colvin. The third chapter got a little heavy for middle school students with discussion of rape and the death penalty. Chapter four discusses the actual event, and then chapter five the aftermath. It’s almost as interesting as Hidden Figures, and I think I’ll finish it this week. I got through the first section reading before bed.
Unfortunately, some things came up and I got NO other reading done. Oh well, there’s always before bed tonight.
Day Three (1/24):
I fell asleep right away and didn’t read much last night, one meager chapter of One Crazy Summer. This was my long day, so pretty much the only reading I got done was on my breaks. However, I think tonight I’ll finish it. I don’t know why I had this book for so long and didn’t get into it. It’s quite good – I might read it with the kids. There’s a sequel I want to pick up now too. Delphinia’s voice really connected with me.
Still waiting for a time to start Flygirl. Before bed won’t work as I want to read it straight through and I have appointments tomorrow, so I’ll probably read more of Claudette Colvin if anything. Maybe Thursday for Flygirl?
Day Four (1/25):
Finished One Crazy Summer yesterday night. I don’t expect to get much reading done today as I have several appointments to attend. It’s also quite busy at work – many events occurring.
Read a few more chapters of Claudette Colvin here and there on my break and while waiting in lines, etc. The chapters are pretty short so it’s a good on-the-go book, but the book is too large to fit in my purse comfortably. Maybe I’ll read more tonight?
Day Five (1/26):
No reading yesterday night, just falling into bed. Today I got a lot of Hidden Figures done in various waiting rooms and at meal breaks. Still a fabulous book, although I’m only about halfway through it.
Tonight I started The Red Pencil and got about a third of the way in. It’s illuminated, which I didn’t expect. It’s a novel in verse, which I don’t really like. But it’s by two people I really respect – Andrea Davis Pinkney and Shane W. Evans. We’ll see how it goes over. Might try to finish this section before bed. Maybe.
Day Six (1/27):
Thought I would finish The Red Pencil today, but didn’t read a page from it. Read a good amount of Hidden Figures on my lunch and breaks. The weekend is also going to be crazy. I can’t wait for Monday.
Day Seven (1/28):
Family emergency and major work event. No reading all day, not a good day.
Day Eight (1/29):
Family situation is better but still eating up a lot of time. Any time I was not taking care of the kids I was sleeping or cleaning to catch up from the previous day and week. Normally Sunday is a much better reading day, but all I got done from the list was some more of Hidden Figures, which I am still loving and have made good progress on this week. Also for a while I was stuck in a place where the only diverse reading I could find was The Kite Runner (which I read years ago). So I read about 30 pages of it, mostly fuming that I hadn’t brought any of my other books.
Tomorrow is an extra early morning so I doubt I’ll read any more before bed. The Red Pencil clearly didn’t grip me enough to return to it right now with all that’s been happening.
Turns out I was wrong! Baby woke up and was fussing so I managed to finish Hidden Figures. So happy.
This was not a normal week for me. Two of my workplaces had between them three major events requiring a lot from me, which is not normal (at most between my various jobs I usually have one event – book club, a reading, book celebration day, etc.- a week). There was a family emergency which took up a lot of reading time. Plus we had way more appointments than is normal for any given week, which cut into my reading time a lot. Only one appointment was one I could read at.
On the other hand, I didn’t do any reading for work this week – usually every other week I finish a non-fiction book for one job and I normally am reading quite a bit alongside my students as well. But all my read-alouds are set for the month and I finished my non-fiction read in anticipation of these events. The only personal reading I had actively going was Hidden Figures. So it should have balanced out, right? I wasn’t happy with this representation of a week in my reading life, but it’s decent given how unusually busy this particular week was.
Begun and Completed this week:
Encore Grace by Mary Hoffman
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Other things read during the challenge:
Hidden Figures (adult version)
Chapter books on MLK’s life (for review, previously read)
Picture books with the kids =)
The Kite Runner (a few chapters – not intentionally part of the challenge but found myself in a situation where that was the only diverse reading available)
Started but did not finish:
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (finished section 1, which is most of the book)
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney (read section 1, about half the book)
Did not read:
Flygirl by Sherri Smith
Bravo Grace by Mary Hoffman
Scraps of Time 1928: A Song for Harlem