Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon, May 2016

Bout of Books

It's time for another Bout of Books!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
During January's read-a-thon, I managed to read 30 digital ARCs in a week. I read so much that I have only just finished scheduling reviews of some of those titles! During this bout, which runs the week of May 9th, I'm hoping to have similar success. Here are my tentative goals:

  • Read three titles for Fumbling Through Fantasy (which takes me through the end of June)
  • Read one Old School Sunday title (to fill the next available date, June 12th)
  • Read my 1960s and 1970s titles for Newbery Through the Decades. (Total of 2 books)
  • Read ARCs for middle grade books coming out in June and July. (Total of 7 books)
  • Read ARCs of chapter books coming out in June and July. (Total of 7 books)
  • Read all the YA ARCs I currently have. (Total of 4 books)
This is only 24 books, so hopefully I'll get these done and with the time leftover, get started on the rest of the titles I want to blog about this summer. Check back here, and on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts the week of May 9th to follow my progress.

I, Vivaldi by Janice Shefelman, illustrated by Tom Shefelman (Picture Book Biographies from A to Z - Letter V)

I, Vivaldi
by Janice Shefelman
illustrated by Tom Shefelman
2008. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers


Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was an Italian baroque composer and violinist.


In Vivaldi's own "voice," this book narrates the events of his life, beginning with his birth on the day of an earthquake when his mother promises God that her son will be a priest. This promise creates an inner conflict for Vivaldi as his musical talent is revealed, but the book follows his path to becoming both the Red Priest and a violin teacher for orphan girls.

About the Illustrations

Throughout this book Vivaldi appears warm and approachable, as though he is someone young readers would want to get to know. The illustrations also include lovely depictions of church interiors. There is just one problem, which occurs twice. The same figure is shown two different times in two different illustrations playing a pipe, and the figure's hands are reversed on the instrument. In a book about a musician, these details are especially important, so it's disappointing that an editor did not correct this error.

Author's Note 

There are three notes at the back of the book. "Fact and Fiction" explains how the author wrote the text "using facts to imagine fiction." The "Glossary" defines words specific to the Catholic faith, like cardinal and Mass, as well as Italian words like gondola. Finally, the "Listen and Play" section suggests that readers listen to "The Compleat Four Seasons" and provides the Violin I part for the beginning of "Spring."

Additional Comments 

This book is very well done, and one of my favorites of this month's project. Though the first person narration does make it more of a fiction book, the factual information is all correct, and presenting it as a story helps make it interesting to young readers who might not know anything about Vivaldi.

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