Monday, May 15, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.15.17

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

Being intentional - making sure we have books for all range of readers in our libraries, not just what is popular.

I love the slogan "strong is the new pretty" (even bought a t-shirt for my daughter that has it proudly stated on it).  Check out these books that highlight women in sports.

This is a new chapter book series that will be a surefire hit!  Check out The Wish List: The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever.

This book is so needed right now - to talk about compassion, to talk about kindness... Don't miss the book Flowers for Sarajevo.

Picture Books

Sea Monkey & Bob
Sea Monkey and Bob by Aaron Reynolds
3/5 stars
This will be a great story time book.  There will be laughter and a fun story about friendship.

Shorty  & Clem
Shorty and Clem by Michael Slack
3/5 stars
Written in the vein of Elephant and Piggie, this book will please a lot of young readers.  Read this one then go read Waiting is Not Easy!

Rulers of the Playground
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler
4/5 stars
First of all, wow the illustrations!  Just beautiful.
A good story - one that should be shared and discussed.  
Playground issues always come up in every school I've ever worked in or heard about.  My daughter faced her own round of issues at recess.  I think a lot of readers will see themselves within the pages of this story, but it's one I would choose to talk about with readers and not let them just sit and ponder the message.  You want to make sure they understand the message of not being the dictator on the playground.  You want to encourage the sense of community and belonging.
Sounds like a book to give and discuss with elected officials....

Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel
Dragons Love Tacos 2 - The Sequel by Adam Rubin
3/5 stars
Another fun read aloud.
I think all of Adam Rubin's books are meant to be used as read alouds.

Shine! by Patrick McDonnell
4/5 stars
Great for primary teachers to use for central message.  Kids will be able to pick up themes of being happy with what/who is around you, find your own happiness.

Prince Ribbit
Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett
3/5 stars
Add this to your fractured fairy tale collection.  I wish it didn't have a typical ending, but there are some different twists and turns.
This would also be good to use to discuss how you should be critical of everything you read.

Middle Grade

The Stars of Summer (All Four Stars, #2)
The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman
4/5 stars
One of my #mustreadin2017 books since I read the first one last year!  I really love Gladys and her adventures.  If you don't have this series in your library, please go find these books and add them.  All readers love Gladys' spirit and funny adventures.

When My Sister Started Kissing
When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost
5/5 stars
I am more familiar with Helen's picture books - the beautiful nature poems that are so brilliantly photographed by Rick Lieder, but I know she has other middle grade books written in poetic form.  I absolutely loved this coming of age story.  Told in three different voices - both sisters as well as the lake they visit - the reader gains a unique perspective on how each character grows, changes and is affected by the other.  Both girls are grappling with changes - how their family is changing (the arrival of a new baby after their father remarries) and how their own likes and things they focus on are changing.  I think early middle grade readers will relate to the younger sister's voice.  Upper middle grade will relate to the older sister's voice.  Beautifully done.

Currently Reading

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
I am reminded by how much I love this series.  So sad it's only going to be a trilogy.  I do not want to leave their world.  I know Maas is working on some spin off tales, but I'm going to miss these characters.

The Door in the Alley (The Explorers #1)
The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress
I will have a review of this book next Monday.  I think it's going to make a great addition to middle grade libraries!

As always, lots of books on deck!  Never a lack of books to read :)  Happy Reading!


  1. Sound like I need to pick up Rulers of the Playground and Shine for my classroom library. I'm half way through The Wish List and I love the main character. Hope to finish it up this week.

  2. Rulers of the Playground sounds good. There are often those conflicts that need some help in learning how to navigate the social aspects. I'll look for Shine, too, and I have the Helen Frost book ready to read. Thanks, Michele!

  3. Lots of titles here I am not familiar with! Thanks for highlighting them here. Rulers of the Playground is one I really want to read.

  4. I was happy with ACOWAR. My experience was not the same as it was for ACOMAF, but I was really happy with what Maas did, and I look forward to the next book. Have some tissues handy for that final battle. It was tough.
    Sam @ WLABB

  5. I have to agree with you about The Stars of Summer. That whole series is just fabulous. I think I might have to find a copy of When My Sister Started Kissing. Rulers of the Playground does sound like a good book for a classroom read aloud and conversations.

  6. Rulers of the Playground sounds like one I would have loved to have for 3rd grade. Our school is so small that friend dynamics eat up a LOT of time and attention.

  7. Lots of great looking books this week! Thank goodness summer is coming soon, so I can finally have some time to read! Have a great week!

  8. I have The Explorers to read also, but I keep having holds from the library popping up that get pushed ahead!
    I just received Dragons Love Tacos 2--I need to read it :)

    Happy reading this week!

  9. I enjoyed the Frost book too. Applesauce Weather was also sweet. I have to catch up on some of her older verse novels.

  10. I've enjoyed Helen Frost's poetry in the past. I'm glad to hear she has a new novel in verse. Thanks!

  11. We BOTH read Dragons Love Tacos 2, and we BOTH rated it the same way. Our book tastes are always aligned!