Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1.12.15

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.

What do you do when you have below 30 degree wind gusts and you're off school?  You read!

Picture Books

Stormy Night
Stormy Night by Salina Yoon
3/5 stars
Bear, the star of Yoon's Found from last year, is back with his found Floppy the Bunny!  This time, Bear is fearful of a thunderstorm that is outside his home.  Bear finds that the true comforts in the face of something scary is having your parents, a treasured stuffed animal and a book with you!  I loved seeing the cameos of Penguin and Pinecone in the illustrations.  Pair this book with Blue on Blue by Dianne White during spring storms!

What If...?
What If...? by Anthony Browne
4/5 stars
I think this would be a fun book to use to show inferring with young students.  Joe can't remember the house number for his friend's party and by looking at the homes and windows of the home, Joe has to figure out if it's his friend's house or not.

First Snow
First Snow by Peter McCarty
4/5 stars
What would it be like to experience snow for the first time?  Young Pedro finds out!

In Our Mothers' House
In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco
5/5 stars
Beautiful story that shows what being in a family is all about - loving and caring for each other.  Polacco tells a wonderful story about children growing up in a home with two moms and the traditions and love in the home.  Beautiful.

Please, Mr. Panda
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony
3/5 stars
This one missed the mark for me.  When I think of books that have a sarcastic, humorous edge, I think of I Want My Hat Back.  I feel like Please, Mr. Panda tried for that same edge, but it didn't give me that same chuckle.

Hermelin: The Detective Mouse
Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey
4/5 stars
Fun mystery, detective book.  I liked going back and using the text to fill in what I didn't see in the illustrations.

Transitional Chapter Books

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure (Chicken Squad Adventure, #2)
The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken by Doreen Cronin
4/5 stars
I love these sarcastic chicks.  Every adventure of their's makes me laugh.

Middle Grade

The Way to Stay in Destiny
The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood
5/5 stars
I mentioned last week that I had finished this beauty of a book the night before my post went up and just didn't have time to write about it.  I absolutely adored this book, it was beautifully written, has a fantastic setting and awesome characters.  The relationship between the main character, Theo and his reluctant guardian, Uncle Raymond are at the front of the story.  I love that Scattergood keeps their relationship real, and doesn't sugar-coat it.  The setting of Destiny, Florida (which sounds so good during this cold snap we're having) is just as important to the story as the Rest Easy Rooming House and what it offers to Theo.
Some of my favorite lines:
pg. 99 "That's what happens.  You start off dreaming one thing about your life.  But you have to be ready for what turns up."

pg. 101 "When she asked if I wanted to play for her recital, I figured I'd have more time to practice before being thrown to the leotarded wolves."

pg. 145 "Nobody in the history of the universe ever learned one single fact worth knowing on the last day of school."

pg. 176 "I don't have a clue what I'm talking about, but I'm making my wishes big."

Don't miss this book!

Pie by Sarah Weeks
5/5 stars
I really enjoyed the characters in this story.  I think the main character in this story, Alice, would have been friends with Theo, from The Way to Stay in Destiny.

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner
5/5 stars
I love that the books I've started with in 2015 have all been amazing.
What amazes me about this book is the voice of the author, Kate Messner.  She understands kids.  She understands her audience.

Currently Reading

The Exact Location of Home
The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner


All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin
I've heard amazing things about this one!

Have a wonderful reading week!


  1. All the Bright Places is a wild emotional ride! It was wanderful....haha, I meant wonderful, but wanderful is sort of fitting! Enjoy! ~Megan

  2. The Way to Stay in Destiny has received so much praise - can't wait to get around to reading it.

  3. I just got All The Bright Places, will get to the Scattergood soon. Great books already, Michele. Thanks for the picture books, too. There are new ones there for me!

  4. Thank you for the longer review of The Way to Stay in Destiny. I need to search my shelves to see if I have this one. I can't tell if it looks so familiar because everyone is blogging about it or if I actually have it. I can't WAIT to hear what you think about All the Bright Places!

  5. I'm hoping The Way to Destiny arrives in our library soon as I keep hearing such good things about it. I've been meaning to read Pie, but haven't got around to it. I did finish As Simple as it Seems though and it was fabulous.

  6. So many great books. You hit quite a few middle grades too. That is my book gap. I will have to get The Way to Destiny.

  7. I've read so many great things about Kate Messner. I hope I get to read one of her novels soonest. :) Anthony Browne is brilliant - love almost all of his picturebooks. :)

  8. I just bought All the Bright Places--literally hours after resolving very firmly (and telling my husband all about my resolution!) not to buy any new books until March. He could only laugh as he brought the Amazon box in 2 days later. SIGH. All of those middle grades look delightful! I have barely been reading over the past 2 weeks and it's starting to make me crazy! Got to get back to it this weekend!