Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.17.17

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

Some ideas for when your youngster is interested in print.

The man behind the Newbery medal - I'm using this nonfiction picture book to kickoff Mock Newbery next year!

This character is all heart - don't miss Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge.

Using voices to better understand characters - an upcoming book that is PERFECT for this!

Picture Books

Frankie by Mary Sullivan
4/5 stars
Young readers are going to relate to the universal themes of wanting what other's have and sharing.  Told through the thoughts of two dogs, this book will absolute delight young readers!

Town Is by the Sea
Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz
4/5 stars
What a beautiful book.  Young children typically work well with routine.  Knowing what is coming next, or having a regular structure to the day.
This book takes place in a mining town where some of the routine comes from working in a mine, generation to generation.  Schwartz tells the story of a young boy and what he does while his father works underground in the mining tunnels.  
The amazing illustrations by Sydney Smith (Sidewalk Flowers) are a standout.

Still a Family: A Story about Homelessness
Still a Family by Brenda Reeves Sturgis
4/5 stars
This book about a family that is homeless is a very important book to share with readers.  This book will hopefully be a window for many readers and hopefully give them another way of thinking about families who are homeless, as it happens to so many more around us than we realize.  For others, this book may be a mirror and the message that even without a home, you're still a family, will be important to hear.  Over and over.

Carrot and Pea: An Unlikely Friendship
Carrot and Pea: an Unlikely Friendship by Morag Hood
4/5 stars
Great book to add to your collection for preK-1st grade.  Perfect to use at the beginning of the school year to talk about how what makes us different can make us perfect friends - that we don't have to all be exactly alike.

The Way Home in the Night
The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi
4/5 stars
If you're not already familiar with Miyakoshi's work, you need to get familiar!  Beautifully illustrated book.  This sweet story is about a young bunny going home with her mom on a night walk.  The young bunny notices all of the people in the city and what they are doing.  As she goes to bed she decides what all of those people are doing now, at night.

Brobarians by Lindsay Ward
4/5 stars
As the eldest sibling, I believe it was my job to antagonize my younger siblings at a very high frequency.  This book compares that age old art by making the siblings...brobarians!  Love the fun vocabulary Ward uses - older readers will understand the hilarious comparisons, younger readers will understand the older brother taking the younger brother's prized items!  Very fun!

Happy Dreamer
Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds
4/5 stars
I hope you had a chance to read the Nerdy post about this book.  If not, here it is.
After reading that and then the book.... I'm thinking this book would be great to use at the beginning of the school year and the middle and the end... I think kids will find themselves within the pages of the book!

Dad and the Dinosaur
Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko
5/5 stars
I read this book at NCTE.  It's hard for me to concentrate on reading picture books when I'm in public.  There is always so much going on around me that I don't give all of my concentration to the book.  Not with this story.  I got lost in it, even in that busy exhibit hall!
I love this story.  I think it's going to connect with young boys, but with it's universal theme of being afraid and having a loved one help you will reach all readers.  As I read it, I thought about the special bond I have with my daughter.  This is a book I will share with her!
Oh, and do I need to mention Dan Santat is the illustrator?  Sold!

Informational Text

Germs: Sickness, Bad Breath, and Pizza
Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes by Lesa Cline-Ransome
3/5 stars
I humorous look at the history of germs, how they survive, and what we can do to conquer them.  While I certainly learned some new facts and I liked the humorous approach, a reader has to infer through some of the tongue in cheek jokes to learn the information.  If a reader has difficulty with inferring, they may also miss some of the points the author is trying to make.

Transitional Chapter Books

Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe
Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe by Tricia Springstubb
4/5 stars
I really love this series.  If you're a 2nd-4th grade teacher, this series is a must!  Important themes, relatable characters, realistic settings.  This one was so fun!

Middle Grade

Beyond the Bright Sea
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
5/5 stars
Wolk is an amazing storyteller and has such a talent with words.  Check back here on Thursday to see my thoughts about this gorgeous book.

Currently Reading

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan
Loving this book and the character so far!

Counting Thyme
Counting Thyme by melanie Conklin
This book is on my April #mustreadin2017 list.  It's a book I've owned since it was released, and I'm glad to finally be getting to it.  I've heard tissues should remain nearby....

I hope you are getting lost in a good book this week!


  1. I love the Cody series, too. It's great for some of my upper grade, struggling readers. I'm really looking forward to Beyond the Bright Sea.

  2. I may need to purchase Town Is By The Sea, too many holds at the library! Thanks for sharing The Way Home In The Night, too. It belongs with all those night books I shared today! Will watch for your review of Beyond The Bright Sea!

  3. You always have such great collections of books every week, I want all of them! Still a Family looks like an important one - I work in a community that's experiencing a lot of economic insecurity, and a lot of my families experience housing problems, so this could be a really helpful book to share.

  4. I'm wondering if the Cody series needs to be read in order.
    Still a Family looks like the kind of book that needs to be shared with adults and children alike. I have too many friends who need a window into the world of people less well off than they are. Counting Thyme is one of my must reads for this year also. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    1. Hi Cheriee! I think a reader would want to start with the first Cody book simply because it tells you the story of how Cody and Spencer first meet. The other two can be read as stand alones, but I'm always the kind of reader that goes in order anyway :)

  5. I liked Dad and the Dinosaur a lot, too! I am unfamiliar with Miyakoshi's work. Thanks for enlightening me. I am off to the library to find some of it!

  6. Balderdash sounds great. I'll be watching for it AND Dad and the Dinosaur. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the recs, Michele! I love Sydney Smith's illustrations so much.

    And I just got Balderdash out of the library today!

  8. Lots of new ones to me Michele. Really interested in Beyond the Bright Sea!