Monday, February 3, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.03.14

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.

"Holy Bagumba!"  I read a lot of books this week!  Thanks to 2 "Cold Days" of no school earlier in the week and a swim-meet free weekend, I read!  I'm going to enjoy it because next week my daughter has a swim meet and she's swimming all 3 days, and I'm timing 2 of the 3 days.  No reading then!  That's ok.  This week will hold me over!

Here are categories of books I read this week.  For more thorough reviews, please visit my goodreads page (see the link on the right side of the page).

2014 Award winning books:

Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me                                        Journey       The Watermelon Seed           Ball        
Knock, Knock:  My Dad's Dream For Me      Journey                       The Watermelon Seed    Ball
Daniel Beaty                                                  Aaron Becker              Greg Pizzoli                     Mary Sullivan
5/5 stars                                                        5/5 stars                      4/5 stars                          3/5 stars

I actually had read The Watermelon Seed last August.  Glad to see that I liked it back then too!
Knock, Knock is an amazingly well told story, will really make older readers sit up and notice.  Should have great discussions following a read of this book.
I had read Journey sometime last year but never got around to reviewing it.  It's such an amazing book.  I would love to read it with my 1st graders, and then again with my 4th graders just to see how the conversation evolves!

Picture Books for this week:
This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration        Groundhog Weather School                    Paul Meets Bernadette             Boot & Shoe 
This is the Rope          Groundhog Weather School     Paul Meets Bernadette       Boot & Shoe
Jacqueline Woodson  Joan Holub                                Rosy Lamb                         Marla Frazee
5/5 stars                      4/5 stars                                    4/5 stars                             3/5 stars

 Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?                                      Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great                            Once Upon a Memory  
Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?       Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great     Once Upon a Memory
Audrey Vernick                                              Bob Shea                                           Nina Laden
3/5 stars                                                        4/5 stars                                             4/5 stars

 The Mischievians                    Brimsby's Hats                       Sophie's Squash   
The Mischievians                      Brimsby's Hats                             Sophie's Squash
William Joyce                            Andrew Prahin                             Pat Zietlow Miller
4/5 stars                                    4/5 stars                                       4/5 stars

Wordless Picture Books:
Hank Finds an Egg
Hank Finds an Egg
Rebecca Dudley
4/5 stars

Graphic Novels:

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute (Lunch Lady, #1)                                     Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians (Lunch Lady, #2)                                      The Big Wet Balloon: Toon Books Level 2
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute      Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians   The Big Wet Balloon
Jarrett J. Krosoczka                                    Jarrett J. Krosoczka                                     Liniers
4/5 stars                                                      4/5 stars                                                       2/5 stars

Informational Texts:
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker              Harlem's Little Blackbird            
Josephine                          Harlem's Little Blackbird:  The Story of Florence Mills
Patricia Hruby Powell        Renee Watson
5/5 stars                             4/5 stars

  The Man With the Violin                Where Do Polar Bears Live? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
The Man With the Violin         Where Do Polar Bears Live?
Kathy Stinson                        Sarah L. Thomson
5/5 stars                                5/5 stars

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace
Peaceful Pieces
Anna Grossnickle Hines
3/5 stars

Middle Grade:
One for the Murphys
One for the Murphys
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
5/5 stars
This book was so amazing!  My daughter and I read it for our first unofficial Mother/Daughter book club.  We each have a copy of the book, we set a certain amount of chapters to read per night, and then come together to talk about what we read.  I loved doing this with her!  When I ask her about what she read, her usual response is, "I liked it."  I'm working with her to try and get her to understand how you talk about a book, how you can mark something you like that you want to talk about.  
My favorite quote was when Carley was talking to Daniel about being brave.  He said it was, "not being afraid of something."  Carley's response, "No!  It's being afraid and doing it anyway!"
Do you use Beers' and Probst's Notice and Note lessons?  Could that be a Words of the Wiser lesson???  I'm thinking that would be worth discussing!
And here's a perfect Aha Moment, pg. 154, last two paragraphs - main sentence, "And as I listen, I realize that Toni and I feel the same way about things."
I'm sure there are tons more, but those are 2 I noticed :)

A Snicker of Magic
A Snicker of Magic
Natalie Lloyd
5/5 stars
This book was so amazing it's deemed worth of its own post!  I'll hopefully have that up later this week.
You know how you know a book is THAT good?  When you pre-ordered it months ago, but were able to get it in paperback via Scholastic but you still don't cancel your pre-order because you know you need to own it in hardcover.  That's when you know it's THAT good....

Books I'm Continuing:
Eleanor & Park

And Books I'm Starting This Week:
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
Kathi Appelt
This is our next Mother/Daughter Book Club book!  My daughter has it checked out from the library and I already owned it.  We've decided upon 6 chapters/night.  That will have us finish in time for the 3 week check-out period is over.  I've heard great things about this book so I'm looking forward to starting it!

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Flora & Ulysses
Kate DiCamillo
Yes, the 2014 Newbery Medal Award winning book!!!  I bought this book back when it first came out.  We went on vacation in December and I brought it with me to read.  And then my daughter took it from me.  This happens frequently.  When we sat and watched the 2014 ALA Awards live, we were both excited to see this book win.  My daughter loved the story.  I was a little jealous that she had read it and I had not.  But that's ok.  I'm glad she has such a love for reading.  Now it's my turn.

So, wow.  Quite a few books this week!  Won't see this amount again for awhile!  So, what did you read??


  1. Hank Finds an Egg reminds me a bit of The Lonely Doll. Hmmm. Hard to go wrong with the Lunch Lady books, but I'm still scratching my head over Flora and Ulysses.

  2. Wow! Yes indeed, you read a TON! Lucky you! My class loved Hank Finds and Egg. You have so many of my favorites here. One For the Murphys is heartbreakingly good. I am glad to hear about Snicker of Magic. I am starting a book club with it soon. Thanks Michele.

    1. I was just thinking last night of doing a book club with SoM! You'll have to let me know how it goes!

  3. Whoa! So much reading Holy Bagumba indeed! I'm reading Flora & Ulysses aloud right now and enjoy saying that! So glad you loved The Man with the Violin. This is a favourite of mine!

  4. This is an amazing number of books that you're sharing this week! Wow indeed. I love all the picture books you shared, some I read and love, some I haven't yet. I actually borrowed This is the Rope from the library but I haven't read it yet. Hopefully this week. I'm very intrigued by Snicker of Magic. I hope I can read that one this year. :)