Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3.14.16

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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 took a little break last week as we were on vacation.  Lucky me, vacation brought nerdy bloggers together - I had the chance to visit with our "Unleashing Readers" friend, Kellee Moye!  Love meeting nerdy friends in real life!  

Vacation always leads to some extra reading time.  Sharing some great new chapter books today and my weekend of binge reading picture books!

Last Two Weeks Adventures

Looking for some great nonfiction picture books?  Check out This is the Earth here which would make a perfect Earth Day book.  If you teach K-2, you want to make sure to add this book about community helpers to your book shelves.  Loved it!

I read this glorious book and immediately wanted to reread.  Be sure to check out Hour of the Bees.

Did you follow along on the Normal Norman blog tour?  Here are some ideas on using this wonderful book in your reading or writing block time!

Now that we're more than halfway through the school year, it's a great time to have students look back on the readerly lives.  Here are some books you might use when talking about it!

Picture Books

Emma and Julia Love Ballet
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
3/5 stars
A comparison between a young child, Emma, and a professional ballerina, Julia, and how similar they are.  Both have a passion for ballet and work hard at what they love.  I could see young ballerinas loving this story but I think you could also use it to talk to kids about doing what they love and chasing a dream.

Puddle by Hyewon Yum
4/5 stars
Sweet picture book that young readers will really enjoy.  A mother-son story about the power of imagination and making it come to life!

Lionheart by Richard Collingridge
4/5 stars
The illustrations are gorgeous.
It's a sweet story about a boy who needs to be brave to fight a monster.  His stuffed animal comes to life to show him how to use his friends and find his voice to roar!
Reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are and "Narnia", I think young readers will enjoy this one.  The theme is a good one, maybe a bit weak in the telling, but one you could use as part of a collection of books to teach theme.

Get a Hit, Mo!
Get a Hit, Mo! by David Adler
3/5 stars
Mo, our surprise Geisel winner, is back and this time it's baseball season.  Mo is still too small, too young to be the star on his baseball team.  This time, it's pure luck that helps him win the game for his team.

Dylan the Villain
Dylan the Villain by K.G. Campbell
3/5 stars
I do love villain stories!  This was a cute one, will be fun to read with some villainous laughter!  Liked the open ending.

Quick, Little Monkey!
Quick, Little Monkey by Sarah L. Thomson
4/5 stars
Loved this picture book!  Perfect for young readers.  Little Monkey learns to heed the life lessons from her Papa when she finds herself in new territory.  Great author's note giving real information about the animals seen in this book.

Ideas Are All Around
Ideas Are All Around by Philip Stead
4/5 stars
I could see teachers using this in writer's workshop - how to get ideas all around you and turn those small moments into a story.

Transitional Chapter Books

Product Details
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree:  The Sea Pony by Ellen Potter
4/5 stars
This series is so perfect for fans of Junie B., Clementine and Judy Moody.  I hope Piper Green gets as much love as they do!
In this third installment, Piper gets a special whistle necklace from the Fairy Tree.  As in all gifts from the Fairy Tree, you never know when they will come in handy, but like always, this special necklace helps out in unforeseen ways!

Middle Grade

Rookie of the Year (Rip and Red, #2)
Rookie of the Year by Phil Bildner
4/5 stars
If you haven't already read the first book in the Rip and Red series, A Whole New Ballgame, I highly recommend you get to it soon.  This series is so fun for kids and for teachers.  Teachers will want to be Mr. Acevedo.  Teachers will see that this series is perfect for read aloud!  Kids will love the characters in the story and relate to the problems the kids come across.  Make sure you put this second book on your radar in July.

Young Adult

Salt to the Sea
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
5/5 stars
I have loved Sepetys' other two young adult books and this one was just as amazing.  It took a little bit to get into since the story is told in 4 different voices.  Once I had the characters straight and I knew what was going on in the story, I was sucked in and just wanted to keep reading.  I love getting the different perspectives and seeing this time in history from four different views.  Some characters I really liked and some I loved to hate.  
It's after reading books like this that tell me a part about history that I might not have ever really known about that always amazes me that there is so much about this world I don't know.

Currently Reading

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
This is my February #mustreadin2016.  I know, I'm a bit late.  But so glad to be getting to this one!  If you enjoy Marie Lu's books, this is a don't miss!

Happy Reading!


  1. I am so glad to hear that Salt to the Sea is just as amazing as Ruta Sepatys' other books. I need to find that one. I also have not gotten to Red Queen yet but am definitely interested in it. Have a great reading week!

  2. I still need to read Red Queen too, someday? And the picture books you've shared look delightful, like Puddle, Ideas All Around and Lionheart. I'm sure the Stead book is one I will love. Thanks Michele. So great that you and Kellee got to meet!

  3. We don't know The Rookie of the Year - Thank you for telling us about this series. We will definitely get the first book. It is also great to know you loved Salt to the Sea. I bought it for my teenage son because I heard it was amazing! I just read him your review - Thank you

  4. I loved Hour of the Bees, too! It's going to be a very important book this year. I'm looking forward to reading Rookie of the Year! I have it as a digital-ARC, but just haven't gotten to it, yet. I loved A Whole New Ballgame, so I can't wait to see the continuation of the story. Have a great week!

  5. I am so glad you loved Salt to the Sea. It was one of my favorites of the past year. Ruta is something special. I've been fortunate to get to know her through ALAN, and she is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. She makes me fall in love with history.

  6. So lovely you got to meet Kellee I can't wait to read Salt to the Sea and am thrilled that there is a new Piper Green.

  7. Thanks for sharing Rookie of the Year--that title wasn't on my radar but looks like the kind of read-aloud my son enjoys over breakfast (when he's willing to listen to "younger" stories). I'm always keen on a new Philip Stead title, so I need to order that one. And a new Piper Green. Yay! Thanks, as always, for adding so many new books to my list, Michele!

  8. I loved meeting you! I cannot wait for the summer!
    I also loved chatting books with you and K! Especially chatting about Salt :)

    Happy reading this week!

  9. I am looking forward to Salt to the Sea. I have enjoyed all of her previous books and have heard only wonderful things about this one. I just got Ideas are All Around in a shipment this week and will have to bring it home. Thanks!