Sunday, March 9, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3.10.14

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.

I always love getting new books.  There is something about the thrill of seeing that new title and holding it in your hands.  Because of a lucky birthday present for me, I got to purchase a bunch of new ones.  And some others are pre-ordered and I know I'll be excited to finally lay my hands on those! 
As I look back on my reading week, it's always interesting to note that so many of these titles come from reading these weekly memes that talk about what we're reading.  I'm lucky to have come across some great reading ideas every week!

Here are some of the books I read this week:

Picture Books
Here Comes the Easter Cat
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
4/5 stars
I actually read this book a few weeks back, but it somehow never made it into my blog or Goodreads account.  Now it is :)  Kids will love the humor in this book.  Told in short sentences and very telling illustrations, we discover that Cat would really like to be the Easter Bunny.  Kids will have to do some inferring by looking at the illustrations - the words don't always tell the whole story!

Informational Texts
Light Is All Around Us
Light Is All Around Us by Wendy Pfeffer
4/5 stars
This book will be great to use next year with 1st grade NGSS!

Don't Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Tell You
Don't Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Tell You by Catherine Rondina
4/5 stars
Kids will love this story.  The author talks about something that all kids have heard - don't swim for 30 min after eating, if you swallow your gum it will be in your stomach for 7 years, the 5-second rule.  Some history of the saying is presented and some basic facts, and then the reader gets to decide, is the saying true or false?  Turn the page and the author tells you and describes the science behind the phrase.

Earlier this year I read Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka (wow, I spelled that correctly without looking at anything!) and I loved what he did for boys and reading short stories.  I thought Ralph Fletcher did the same in Marshfield Dreams, maybe without quite the same punch.  I flagged a few stories to use as writing and reading mentor texts.
Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents
The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz
5/5 stars
Cute poems about each president.  I liked how the author concentrated on one story/idiosyncrasy of each president instead of putting a lot of history into one small poem.  I think kids will really like hearing these unusual poems and learning more interesting facts than they typically find.  The author also put at the back of the book a list of the president, a quote they are known for, their nickname and something they were "first" doing.  Did you know Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital???  No source notes from the author, however!

Early Chapter books
The Miniature World of Marvin and James
The Miniature World of Marvin and James by Elise Broach
3/5 stars
This series will be great for mature 1st gr and 2nd grade readers

Graphic Novels
I read some more Lunch Lady's!  Did you hear it's going to be a movie starring Amy Poehler?  I believe she may do Lunch Lady justice!
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (Lunch Lady, #4)     Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit (Lunch Lady, #5)

Young Adult
Burn by Julianna Baggott
3/5 stars (maybe a little lower if I'm honest with myself)
This was a hard one.  I did not love the first book in this trilogy.  The second one was fantastic.  This third one had moments of being good, and a lot of moments of being so so.  I found a lot of the time thinking it was dragging along and I skimmed.  Other parts I was drawn into the story, but not many.  I was very disappointed with the conclusion.  I felt the character "Partridge" was rushed into his conclusion, and never really dealt with his demons.  They all were wrapped up so quickly with no good explanation.  The big dramatic moment was done and over so quickly, it seemed like the author just needed to meet her deadline and didn't give the ending the time it deserved.  Even though this was a trilogy, I feel like there could be another book written about what happens next, or even a prequel to the series.  This trilogy ended up being a good library-borrowed series.

Still going to read
Handbook for Dragon Slayers
Our mother-daughter book club book.  We're over 1/2 way done!


Ava and Pip


  1. Here Comes the Easter Cat was such a cute book. I've been meaning to check out Don't Touch that Toad but just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm also looking forward to reading Handbook for Dragon Slayers.

    1. I really think kids will love Don't Touch That Toad. It was interesting for me to read as an adult :)

  2. Hi Michelle - We seem to have been posting with a similar spring theme this week! I LOVE your collection this week! Don't Touch That Toad looks like a great one to share with students - and maybe have students write their own strange things they've heard adults say! Ralph Fletcher looks wonderful - I adore his writing! I saw Miniature World of Marvin James just this week - and now seeing it here again is making me want to read it! Ava and Pip has also caught my eye! Thanks for the great recommendations!

    1. I think I really really want spring to come :) I can only imagine the conversations kids will have with the Toad book! I got it from the library so haven't shared it yet, but I'm assuming it will be a hit! Ava and Pip is really fun so far. The Nerdy Book Club post the author did helped make a deeper connection as I've read it!

  3. I didn't know that Lunch Lady was going to be a movie! an't imagine what that will do to book sales! These titles are already so beloved. What a wonderfully varied list of books!

    1. I had so many reading gaps that I'm trying to have a varied diet this year :) It has certainly helped with my conversations with the kids!

  4. Hi there Michele, you have so many great titles here. I am envious of your Lunch Lady books here. My daughter and I did manage to snag one during a book sale here, but we are looking forward to reading more of her adventures. I have to find The President's Stuck in the Bath Tub - looks like a great poetry book indeed!