Monday, May 8, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.08.17

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

It's always fun to see what students are reading.  Here are the books that are in their piles - books for transitional readers!

Ths middle grade nonfiction memoir is an important book about history that would be great to have in upper middle grade classrooms.

Who is ready for May book releases?  So many books to add to my TBR list!

This fractured fairy tale of Cinderella is clever and fun.  Enter the giveaway here.

A new Middle Grade novel that is sure to end up on Mock Newbery lists this fall.  Check out York: The Shadow Cipher.

Picture Books

Caring for Your Lion
Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer
4/5 stars
This is a wonderful book to have in your collection.  First, it's a fun story - you'll laugh!  Second, it's a great "how-to" story.  Third, it's a great mentor text to show how illustrations need to be closely "read" to add to the understanding of the story.  And fourth, you'll love the surprise under the book jacket.  Tammi Sauer and Troy Cummings prove to be a great author/illustrator pair!

A Letter to My Teacher
Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson
5/5 stars
What a beautiful story.  It would make a great teacher appreciation or end of year gift.  
As I read it, it reminded me, as we all need reminders, to look at the whole child.  Remember they often aren't out to cause trouble or be exasperating.  Often if we look hard enough, we'll see something we didn't expect to find.

Rabbit Stew
Rabbit Stew by Wendy Wahman
4/5 stars
I really didn't know where this book was going.  I thought it was going to be completely predictable and kind of sad.  But then you find out the importance of comma placement and how homonyms can really trick you up!

Places to Be
Places to Be by Mac Barnett
3/5 stars
Add this book to your list for the beginning of the school year.  Talk about all the places you'll be throughout the school year.

Product Details
The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder
4/5 stars
Don't miss the author's note at the beginning of the story.  It gave me something to think about as I read.  I love the idea of a forever garden, and the things we do to take care of each other later.

Cy Makes a Friend
Cy Makes a Friend by Ann Marie Stephens
3/5 stars
Another great book to add to your beginning of the year collection and your friendship collection.  Perfect for young readers preK-1st gr.

The Book of Mistakes
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
5/5 stars
Love this book to show a growth mindset, to show that mistakes are ok, to show the possibilities of looking at things differently.  This one is going on my Mock Caldecott.

The Good for Nothing Button
The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper
5/5 stars
Score another hit for the new Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series!  
This one kind of reminded me of a child like Seinfeld episode - a button that does nothing.... or does it???  Made me giggle out loud!

Graphic Novels

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt  (Narwhal and Jelly)
Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton
5/5 stars
If you are a 1st-4th grade teacher, you need this series!  It's funny, it's cute, and it will appeal to all readers.  It has quick, short chapters, which will feel great for your striving readers and be a quick read for others.  I can't wait for more Narwhal and Jelly adventures!

Real Friends
Real Friends by Shannon Hale
5/5 stars
Just like Sunny Side Up by Jenni Holm, even though this book takes places decades ago (hello growing up in the 80s), it is so relevant to right now.  Kids will love this book, because they will see themselves within the pages.  Whether they are dealing with friendship issues or sibling rivalry, there is something that will resonate with someone.  I hope Shannon Hale knows how important this book is.  I would have cherished a book like this when I was growing up.  Shannon speaks about friendship issues that go right to your heart.

Middle Grade

The Shadow Cipher (York, #1)
York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
5/5 stars
Just giving you a fair warning now:  once you get to the last 100 pages, make sure you have time to read.  You won't be coming up for air until it's done!
Be sure to read my review here.

The World's Greatest Detective
The World's Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson
3/5 stars
It seemed to be my week for finishing middle grade mysteries this week!
I liked the second half of this book better than the first half.  It could be because I was reading an electronic copy of the book - I sometimes find it harder to fall into e-books than paper books.
This was more of an old fashion mystery so I wonder how it will go over with readers.  I'll be interested in hearing some kid reviews once this book is published!
I did listen to the author's Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates books and I could still hear the narrator's voice in my ear as I read this one!

Georgia Rules
Georgia Rules by Nanci Turner Stevenson
5/5 stars
Loved this book.  Absolutely loved Maggie, loved the secondary characters, loved the setting.  My 11yo (6th grade) read it first and told me how much she loved it and how much I would love it.  She was right.  This one just published, make sure it's on your TBR!

Currently Reading

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
A Court fo Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I don't want this series to end!!!!

Lots of books are currently on deck.  So much to read....
Happy May reading!


  1. There are some great books on your list! The artwork in The Book of Mistakes is amazing! Caring for Your Lion looks cute. I have a copy of A Letter to My Teacher from the library, but haven't gotten to it yet.

  2. I had no idea that Shannon Hale wrote a graphic novel. I will definitely check that out. I know so many readers that are looking for more. I keep hearing about York and will have to find that one. Court of Wings and Ruin was excellent. It's on my blog this week. I am excited that Sarah J. Maas has promised more stories set in this world.

  3. So much to love here, Michele. I went back to read your Survivors Club review, & will find that one for sure. Lots of praise is out for York, and I will order Places to Be for the granddaughters, sounds great, too. Thanks for sharing these great books!

  4. I love both of these graphic novels. Shannon Hale's is one I have been recommending for everyone with elementary aged girls.
    I'm looking forward to York: The Shadow Cipher.

  5. Cy Makes a Friend is adorable! I definitely need to look for Shannon Hale's graphic novel. My students love graphic novels. Have a great week!

  6. Places to Be looks great. If it's by Mac Barnett, I will read it -- no questions asked.

  7. We just got a copy of The Good for Nothing Button - Love the Elephant and Piggie like series. What a wonderful way to help students find books they love.

  8. Real Friends and the books about mistakes are two I am really excited to read. I might just have to put York on my summer list too.

  9. Lots to say!
    First, I love both of the GNs you shared. Narwhal is super popular, I mean how can he not be, and I look forward to sharing Real Friends with them.
    York is one I really want to read! I love everything Walden publishes.
    Also, Greatest Detective is on my #mustread list. I love Carlson's other series, as you know, so I cannot wait to read this one :)

    Happy reading this week!

  10. I love how there are so many picturebooks and so many novels to check out whenever I visit your blog. The Nancy Carpenter title about the teachers is one that I just put on my Goodreads list - and I am relieved to see that we have the title here in our Singapore libraries as well.