Monday, February 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.13.17

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 weekend had me down and out for the count with walking pneumonia, so missed out on posting last Monday.  Catching up now!

Last Weeks' Adventures

Did you follow the #nf10for10 on Friday?  Here are 10 science books I recommend having in your library!

Make sure you check out Caroline Starr Rose's new book - Jasper and the Riddle of Riley's Mine.  Check out the post, Caroline talks about reluctant readers.

A fun book that infuses nonfiction information into the story - The Polar Bear.

Looking for some transitional chapter books?  Some new ones that should be on your radar.

Teach or work with young readers?  A list to inspire book love with our youngest readers!

Picture Books

Ballet Cat What's Your Favorite Favorite? (Ballet Cat, #3)
What's Your Favorite Favorite? by Bob Shea

3/5 stars
I've been a huge fan of the Ballet Cat books since its beginning.  While this one is still silly and will make a fun read aloud, it's not quite as humorous as the first two.

Love Is
Love Is by Diane Adams
4/5 stars
This would make a very sweet graduation gift for a mother to give their child.  Captures the feeling of taking care of someone, through good times and tough, and then having to be brave when it's time to let them go and explore the world!

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast by Cynthia Rylant
4/5 stars
With the upcoming Disney live-action movie being released, I thought this book would be some sort of retelling.  Instead it surprised me because it contains parts of the fairy tale that I've never heard before.  Sounding more traditional, this version will leave you with a few surprises!  Love the illustrations by Meg Park (from the Anna, Banana series).

The Storm Whale in Winter
The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies
3/5 stars
The stars of The Storm Whale are back and showing us that friendship does prevail.  
Characters remind me of Tim and Sam from Cale Atkinson's To the Sea.

A Bus Called Heaven

A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham
3/5 stars
I love that the conflict was decided over a game of foosball.
Bob Graham stories always have an interesting plot line that is resolved in ways that are unexpected.

Plant the Tiny Seed
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
3/5 stars
While I like her other interactive books a bit better (Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star), I still like the magic these books install within its young readers.  Kids love seeing the change that happens from page to page.  I like how there is some back matter with this book, giving the reader some additional information about growing zinnias.

Graphic Novels

Bird & Squirrel On Fire
Bird and Squirrel on Fire by James Burks
5/5 stars
This series will always be near and dear to my heart because there was a school year where Bird and Squirrel got a lot of kids reading.  This book is going to hook them even more, no matter what their age is.  I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud on every page.  I hope when you read this book you give the characters voices in your head.  This book would actually make a great read aloud on your doc cam!

Transitional Chapter Books

Sticks & Stones (Upside-Down Magic, #2)
Upside Down Magic: Sticks and Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins
4/5 stars
I really love this series for the readers I work with - students in 3rd and 4th grades.  Great length, fun stories - they are easy to get in the hands of readers.  Now that we know our cast of Upside Down Magic kids, our story delves into the problems they have trying to fit in at their school.

Middle Grade

Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
5/5 stars
This was my first #mustreadin2017 read!  It's as good as everyone says.  If you haven't read it, you must get it in your hands!  There has not been as much light shed on slavery during the time of the Revolutionary War, and from what I can tell, Laurie Halse Anderson did some wonderful research and it seemed to me, kept a great historical voice throughout the novel.  I'm looking forward to reading the next two. 

Young Adult

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
5/5 stars
Oh my gosh... can I give 10 stars??  So so so good.
Mystery, intrigue, action, fantasy and holy cow graphic uh hem, romance, scenes.  Not sure how this is young adult.
The back and forth of the story.  So much going on.  I can't believe 624 pages kept my attention, but it did!  I can't believe I have to wait until May for book 3.  If you have not started this series, do yourself a favor.  Start now.

Currently Reading

The Harlem Charade
The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley

Bubbles by Abby Cooper

Happy reading! 


  1. Beauty and the Beast sounds great. Cynthia Rylant is amazing. I just love the Bird and Squirrel books. So funny! I haven't read the latest one yet. Have a great week!

  2. I'm glad to hear that Upside Down Magic is working with your 3rd and 4th graders. I have a teacher who keeps recommending that I buy it, but it felt too young for my 6th graders. Who, oddly, love the Whatever After series.

  3. You've made my To Read list grow exponentially this morning! My kids are obsessed with Beauty and the Beast right now, so I will absolutely have to check out Rylant's version. I'm also excited to check out Bird and Squirrel and A Court of Mist and Fury. Thanks for sharing so many great titles!

  4. I just ordered some Upside Down Magic and the latest Bird and Squirrel from Scholastic for my classroom collection. Love all of your reviews of these picture books!

  5. Ah, your blog is so dangerous for me, Michele! I want them all! But a new Ballet Cat is a huge cause for celebration for me--and then a new Bird & Squirrel as well! One of my fave series for sure. Upside Down Magic sounds like it might work for my son (he's dyslexic, reading at about 3rd grade level right now). Love Is has me tearing up just from the description!

  6. So many good additions to series here, Michele. And I must catch up with Laurie Halse Anderson's series. She creates great historical fiction stories. And Court Mist Fury, new series to me, too. Lots to note here! Thanks!

  7. Oh no - glad to hear you're feeling better! "Love Is" just looks adorable, and I'm so excited to see the new Ballet Cat book!!

  8. I love everything by Cynthia Rylant! So I'll have to look for Beauty and the Beast. Have a great week!

  9. Chains, Forge, and Ashes are all amazing books - we are lucky to be able to have them in our classroom libraries!

  10. Love the Bird and Squirrel series - So glad to see there is another for students to read.

  11. Ah, I loved Chains! It's such a great book. LHA is amazing, isn't she? :) :)

  12. So much goodness! Chains--brilliance! Bird & Squirrel--hilarious! Upside Down Magic--one of my favorite fun series! And Ballet Cat--I need to read this one! And I need to get the Beauty and the Beast book since it has a bart you didn't know. I am intrigued.
    Happy reading this week :)

  13. Glad you are feeling better Michele. At least you got some great reading in. I am a fan of the Upside Down Magic series. It is a fun read that sends a powerful message. I recommended the first one to a classroom in our school for kids with language processing issues. It was perfect for them! We even got a lit circle set.
    I read Chains a while ago, but haven't read any others in the series.

  14. Did you see the new Emily Arrow video to go with Love Is? It's cute. Chains is amazing and I liked the sequel too. I haven't read Ashes yet though. I'll be interested to hear how you enjoy Harlem Charade. I hadn't heard of it.