Monday, January 30, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1.30.17

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.

Last Week's Adventures

Check out the upcoming book from Laura Purdie Salas, If You Were the Moon.

3rd-6th grade teachers, check out The Wizard's Dog by Eric Kahn Gale.  Really heartwarming book about Merlin's lovable dog!

I'm really proud of our Mock Sibert/Sibert Smackdown project.  I'm so happy to see these kids lift the level of nonfiction learning.

On the #road2reading Challenge, I share the importance of a Mock Geisel unit.

Picture Books

Go, Otto, Go!
Go, Otto, Go! by David Milgrim
3/5 stars
Catching up on the Geisel winners that I have not read (I always have some of those!).  Simple text with this one.  At the beginning we see Otto looking at a picture of what we assume is his family.  He expresses his desire to go home.  We watch Otto build a rocket and say goodbye to his current companions.  But something happens to his rocket and it goes a bit haywire.  Otto ends up back where he started and realizes he is home.
I'm not sure if young readers will reach deep into theme here and talk about how home is where the heart is.  I'm interested in seeing their reactions.

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!: An Alphabet Caper
Oops Pounce Quick Run! by Mike Twohy
4/5 stars
Now this one I get why it won a Geisel Honor - it's very clever!  Really an alphabet concept book, but it tells a story of a ball catching a mouse in his house by surprise.  What follows is a chase between Mouse and Dog with each page having one word, sometimes a phrase, all in alphabetical order.  Very clever.

Plankton is Pushy
Plankton is Pushy by Jonathan Fenske
4/5 stars
I can't remember if I reviewed this one on here or not.  Just in case I didn't, I'm including it today!  Even though I knew how this book would end, there were still several parts that made me laugh out loud.  And I loved seeing a cameo of Barnacle from Fenske's other book.  Although not published until April, it's already available through the Scholastic catalogs.


One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
One Last Word: Wisdom From the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
5/5 stars
Nikki Grimes is a master of her craft.
This book takes the work of poets whose work was written during, inspired by, or helped found the Harlem Renaissance and then Nikki Grimes used the work in her own work.  The poems she chose are still powerful today.  But the way she used pieces of the original poems  to craft new ones is masterful.  Using a format called the Golden Shovel, she takes a line or lines from a poem and ends each line of her poem with a word (going in sequential order) from the original.  
Another piece of this book is the artwork that is included.  Readers will find work by R. Gregory Christie, E. B. Lewis, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, Javaka Steptoe and many others.
Do not miss the notes Grimes includes at the beginning of the book.  Very powerful words.

Middle Grade

Siren Sisters
Siren Sisters by Dana Langer
3/5 stars
This coming of age novel has a twist - not only is Lolly, our main character, trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be, she's also trying to reconcile all of this with her turning into a Siren - someone who is at the bidding of the Sea Witch.

Currently Reading

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Yup.  Still reading it.  Reading time is so limited and this is a hard one to carry around in my purse at 640 pages.  Still loving it, though!

Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Both this book and my other current read are #mustreadin2017 books.  My goal was to read both in January.  I'll have to settle for both started in January, but that's ok!  Really enjoying them.

Happy Reading!


  1. I keep hearing about The Siren Sisters, but haven't read it yet. It seems to me that I had a similar book years ago... will have to take a look!

  2. One Last Word sounds beautiful. Nikki Grimes is always amazing. Quite a list of illustrators, too! I didn't realize Jonathan Fenske had a new book coming out. Students loved Barnacle is Bored.

  3. Oops Pounce Quick Run does sound clever, will find it! I have One Last Word, looking forward to it. Thanks, Michele.

  4. Can't wait to get One Last Word. I know I'm going to love it. And that list of illustrators! My library should have the Geisels (all new to me except the winner, I think) in a couple of weeks--looking forward to catching up.

  5. Our library rule was that you had to check out at least one book that you could either read, or would help you become a reader. Go Otto Go! book got a lot of love from the younger kids. I'm now looking forward to reading One Last Word.

  6. Thanks for telling us about Plankton is Pushy - Sounds like a book many means will love. Can't wait to read One Last Word.

  7. I'm looking forward to checking out Oops. I'm a big fan of Nikki Grimes work so I will need to find One Last Word. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I picked up One Last Word at NCTE, but I haven't read it yet. Thanks for all your recommendations.

  9. Definitely looking forward to reading One Last Word as I love Nikki Grimes work. Have a great week!

  10. One Last Word seems like the perfect book to read right about now - I will have to find that one. :) - Myra from GatheringBooks

  11. Both started in January is just fine! Can't wait to get my hands on One Last Word.

  12. You'll love the Seeds of America trilogy! I re-read both Chains & Forge this year before I read Ashes. Such amazing books, heartfelt/heart-wrenching, exciting and so well told! Enjoy, Michele!

  13. One Last Word is one I need to get! I cannot wait to devour it.
    Enjoy Chains--I just finished Ashes, and it reminded me how much I love Isabel and Curzon.

    Happy reading this week :)