Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.25.15

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.

It was a quiet, quiet reading week!  That's ok, #bookaday is about 2 weeks away and I'll be making up for lost time!

Middle Grade

Masterminds (Masterminds #1)
Masterminds by Gordan Korman
5/5 stars
I LOVED this book.  As an adult reader, I've been a fan of Dan Brown and James Rollins, for their fast paced books, clever turns, and that need to keep reading.  Korman did an excellent job of capturing that need to read with his newest book, Masterminds.  It was always hard to put down and I was surprised at many of the twists and turns.  I will love being able to tell kids - did you like this book?  Great, because when you're an adult, there will be more books just like this that will keep you reading!  
Highly recommended for grades 4th and up.  I think the mature 3rd grade reader, one who can keep track of different view points, will be able to keep up with the book.
This book is one I will definitely book talk for summer reading!

Transitional Chapter Books

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter
4/5 stars
I love finding new transitional chapter books.  They aren't many of them and many of them are so poorly written, or too formulaic, to enjoy.
Not this one, this book will keep kids questioning, laughing and excited for the character.  We meet Piper, who is a second grader who is clearly sad about her older brother not being there - but where is he?  Why is he gone?  Piper wears his old earmuffs to help her feel closer to him, but not everyone, including a rather impatient teacher, agrees Piper should be wearing them.  Feeling especially down one morning, Piper hides in a tree, but a wise neighbor spots her and helps Piper discover the tree has a special secret of its own.
This book is perfect in 1st through 3rd grade.  Students who are ready for chapter books, but don't have the stamina for long chapters and more challenging story lines, will feel very comfortable with Piper.  
Fans of Clementine, Judy Moody and Lulu will find a similar character in Piper.
I'm thrilled this will be a chapter book series.  Look for books one and two on August 4th!

Adult Read

The Precious One
The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
5/5 stars
I love de los Santos' writing.  It's poetic and always makes me pause and think about what was said.  This book was no exception.
Told in two voices, the plot line is carried on through the book, seen by two different eyes, by the two sisters, Taisy and Willow.  They give us their story and show us what it's like to be two sisters, raised by the same man, but in very different ways.  The parts that seem inevitable are told in such an interesting way, it's like you never saw it coming.
If you're looking for an adult read this summer, try this one out!

Currently Reading

The 100-Year-Old Secret (The Sherlock Files #1)
The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett
This book is on our IL Bluestem List.  Looks like an interesting book, we'll see how it goes!

After that, I have a few library books to read.  Lots to get through!
Hope you enjoy your long weekend and found time to read!


  1. Masterminds was highly enjoyable. I have yet to convince others to read it though. I have a feeling once it comes out in paperback, it'll be a better hit!

  2. Thanks for all these new to me, Michele, but especially The Precious One. It's nice to think about an adult book once in a while! Have a great week!

  3. I haven't gotten to Masterminds yet. The Precious One looks like something I should add to my summer reading list. Thanks!

  4. Glad to hear Masterminds is good. I have this in my classroom library but haven't read it yet.

  5. I'm excited to hear that you liked Masterminds. That's one that I've been planning to read, but haven't gotten to yet. I am also interested in the Piper Green book-- you are right about it being difficult to find interesting, well-written transitional "chapter" books. Thanks for the recommendations! Happy reading!

  6. This is the first I've heard of Masterminds. I love Gordon Korman but haven't read him in years. When I was a teen, I LOVED several of his YA books--Don't Care High, Son of Interflux, A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag.

  7. Masterminds arrived in our library today! Gordon Korman is the king of fast moving exciting plots. His book, Ungifted, is a continuing hit in our library. Thanks for the information about Piper Green and the Fairy Tree. I've ordered a copy for out library.

  8. Korman is just so talented! I am always amazed at the ideas he comes up with and his ability to execute a well written story every time! I hadn't heard of Masterminds, but now I am very much looking forward to reading it!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  9. The Precious One looks very good! The cover even looks intriguing! I will keep you posted about X. Thank you for sharing this one with ME! Have a terrific reading week.

  10. I am thrilled about this Piper title! Will be looking for it for my class for next year! Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. Thanks for these great recommendations! I LOVE the sounds of Masterminds - particularly for my own son! Isn't Piper Green great? I posted it today as well! Thanks for the adult read recommendation. Sounds like a good one for my book club!