Monday, June 2, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.02.14

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.

Wow, you can tell it's the end of the year!  There is so much to do to wrap it up!  I spend most of my time recommending books to students to try and make sure they have lots ready to go for their summer reading lists, that I end up not having a lot of time to read on my own.  I'm sure that will change soon.  After all, this Friday starts... #bookaday!  So excited to challenge myself this summer.  I am ready to go!  I have a stack from the library and a stack of picture books that have been sitting here for awhile and I added to that pile this weekend!  I went to an indie bookstore, The Bookstall, that is new to me.  It's a bit of a drive, but they made it worth it when they had 6 fabulous middle grade authors there!  I got to hear and meet:  Michele Weber Hurwitz, Liesl Shurtliff (this was the 2nd time I've met her!), Wendy McClure, Emily Fairlie, Kate Hannigan, and Amy Timberlake (yes, the Newbery Honor author!).  I walked away with all of their books, plus many more.  The Bookstall has a fantastic children's literature section and I'm sure I'll make the drive again!  In fact, I left with a box of books instead of a bag :)
So, what this means is few books read, but lots coming up!
Here is what I did get to:

Picture Books

Naked by Michael Ian Black
5/5 stars
My Goodreads review:  I found the next book I need to own! Parents will understand and kids will laugh! I didn't know what to expect with a book called "Naked" but the author/illustrator team did a great job. The text was hilarious and the illustrations added to the hilarity of the subject. I laughed at the other characters' faces as they were looking at the naked boy. I chuckled even more when he was naked.... but with a cape! Simple text but a GREAT story!

Some Smug Slug
Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards
3/5 stars

Informational Texts

Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain
Angel Island:  Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman
5/5 stars
Fantastic account of the "Ellis Island of the west".  Detailed review coming in my Wednesday post.


The Accidental Keyhand (The Ninja Librarians #1)
The Ninja Librarians
I tried really hard to enjoy this book.  I really wanted to enjoy this book.  I got to page 100 and looked longingly over to the pile of books I really wanted to get to and decided I was done.  I'm not sure if it was because I was reading the book every night late at night and was too tired to get into it.  I looked at many reviews on Goodreads and it had received glowing reviews.  I kept it on my to-read shelf.  I just couldn't continue it at this point.  Maybe I'll pick it up again.  Maybe I won't.  

Currently Reading

The One and Only
The One and Only by Emily Giffin
(every time I say or type the title I want to add "Ivan" to the end of it!)
It's good.  Not my favorite.  Solid chick-lit.  Should finish it sometime this week.

Circa Now
Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner
After hearing all the buzz about this book I knew I wanted to start it sooner than later.  So far, it's that good.

Readers Front and Center: Helping All Students Engage with Complex Text
Readers Front and Center by Dorothy Barnhouse
I'm really enjoying this professional read so far.  I don't think I'll read much of it until school is out, but I'm looking forward to getting back to it.  I love how she described one of her earlier conferences with students.  Sounds like something I'm doing now!  I'm anxious to hear more, and my burning question that I want answered is what do you do when a student is waaaay off on their answer.  You're not supposed to "teach" the answer, but how do I guide their thinking?  


  1. #bookaday AND #48HBC start the same day! WOOOOOOO! I felt the same way you did about Ninja Librarians (I'd be so much more evil/awesome), but thought that Circa Now was too sad. We need middle grade books where people grieve more... Productively? In so many middle grade books people (especially parents) seem to wallow and become dysfunctional when beset by grief, and it's not a great message for middle grade readers.

  2. I just picked up Naked! at the library yesterday. Can't wait to read it!

  3. I have heard so many good things about Circa Now - I really need to get to a bookstore! When my nephew says ninja it sounds like he says naked and I can't help but read naked librarians and laugh! Get ready for #bookaday! Can't wait to hear what all you will be reading! Enjoy your last week.

  4. Last summer going to the beach with all the family, my (then) 4 year old granddaughter stripped down anytime, & the 12 year old cousin (boy) freaked out-so funny. Wish we would have had the book Naked then! I'll look also for Some Smug Slug, Michele. I actually think they're interesting, tiny antennae & all! I went to Angel Island with students a long time ago-fascinating place. Glad to hear about a book! Have a good week!

  5. Loved reading about your bookstore visit! I don't have any bookstores nearby, so I love to shop vicariously! I am eager to read Naked--looks hilarious. I nearly bought Ninja Librarians this week, but read a couple of negative reviews online that made it sound like a slog. My library has Angel Island, so I'll have to check it out. Russell Freedman's books are always so good. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Naked looks so funny!!!! Ordered it from my library :)
    I also have Readers Front and Center to read. Glad to hear it is a good read.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  7. Thank you for your candor about Ninja Librarians. The concept seems really neat, but I think I will pass, having read your review. I know that feeling where you don't want to abandon, but you just have to do it! Thank you for sharing all of these books with us. I hope the end of your year wraps up well!

  8. I too have heard much buzz about Circa Now. Need to get my hands on this title!

  9. Angeli Island looks great. Aww, thanks for sharing about Ninja Librarians, the concept seemed so promising.

  10. I can't wait for Naked. I showed my students the video that Ohi made about drawing it and they are excited too. :)