Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.23.14

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.

I read a couple longer books this week, so slower volume than usual.  I'm enjoying having more reading time!

Picture Books

The Lion and the Bird
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc
5/5 stars
Loved this beautiful tale of friendship.  Lion learns the lesson you have to let something you love go free, if it loves you in return it will come back.  The illustrations are just beautiful. I'm going to add this book to my friendship list and central messages list.

Duck, Duck, Moose!
Duck Duck Moose by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
3/5 stars
Simple text but illustrations that tell a lot more!  Young readers will love seeing Moose's accidental antics.  Fans of No David! will like this story.

Edgar's Second Word
Edgar's Second Word by Audrey Vernick
5/5 stars
This one took me by surprise.  I figured that young Edgar would have a sweeter second word than his first word - "No!" - but I was surprised what it ended up being.  I loved that books and reading played such a big role in this story.

Middle Grade

Absolutely Almost
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
5/5 stars
I couldn't even start another kid lit book after reading this because I needed time to let it soak in.  This book was amazing.  As I said on Twitter, this book does for kids with learning difficulties that Wonder by RJ Palacio did for kids with physical disabilities.  Graff shows how a kid who may have trouble learning has more to them than just that.  They're a kid, navigating through life.  And life can be tough for everyone.  Young Albie has friendship issues, with both bullies and with his best friend (his best friend is on a reality TV show, that's a first for a book!).  Albie has helpful teachers and teachers that don't help him.  Albie has an amazing supporter in his not-a-baby-sitter baby-sitter, Calista.  Unfortunately, not everyone sees what she is doing for Albie.  And Albie has parents that can be great, and can be frustrating because they don't see the great things in his son.  I loved the ending and just wanted to hold the book close to my heart for a little while.

Books for me!

China Dolls
China Dolls by Lisa See
I've been a fan of Lisa See for awhile and I've seen her write some great books and some that are ok.  I really enjoyed this one.  This book centered around 3 women and told their story during World War II.  See's characters are usually Chinese-Americans and are great historical fiction novels.  You can tell See has done her research and it shows in the details.

Currently Reading

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
I've heard so many things about this series, but it's taking me a bit to get into the book.  Sometimes it's hard to start a book or series when it's been hyped up so much.  I won't give up!  Especially since I own all 3 books :)

Listening with my ears

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
The Land of Stories:  The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
I read this book over a year ago and loved it.  I have the second and the third is coming out in a couple of weeks.  I want to get reacquainted with the series, so thought I would listen to the first one.  Chris Colfer reads the story - I think it's neat when the author reads the story.  I feel like I hear the emotion the author wanted us to be using when reading!


  1. I think paired with his third word, Edgar's second word was quite sweet. :)

  2. I really need to read The Land of Stories. Chris Colfer is coming to Portland next month. I was so curious about Edgar's Second Word I skipped right through the end to find out what it was. Cute!

  3. I am excited to read Absolutely Almost after reading your review! I hadn't come across this title yet. I have to admit though, The Land of Stories is one of my least favorite books...ever. But, many of my 4th graders love it, so I know there is an important place for it with middle grade readers...just not so much with me.

  4. Love how you broke your book reviews into genres :0) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Will have Absolutely Almost soon! And will look for The Lion and The Bird, Michele-sounds like one to read. Thank you!

  6. I like your detail for Absolutely Almost. This lets me know that it had an impact more than simply reading a good book. I tend to read the authors I like and Lisa Graff is definitely on that list.

  7. Hearing lots of buzz for Absolutely Almost! I definitely need to get ahold of that one. I have China Dolls waiting for me at the library! Keep going with The False Prince! You won't be sorry. :-)

  8. I just ordered Absolutely Almost yesterday after reading another Lisa Graff this week and loving it. My son has reading difficulties, and this sounds like a story I might enjoy sharing with him. I ultimately got very hooked by False Prince and found it to be quite a page-turner, though I didn't finish the series (I also own all of them). I had a couple of students who raced through the entire series this past semester--totally shocked at themselves for making so much extra time for reading books off my syllabus JUST FOR FUN. Yay for series!

  9. I, too, am hearing a lot about Absolutely Almost. It is definitely the book of the week. I'll have to find it.
    Glad to hear the Chris Colfer book is good. I'd always thought it look interesting, but hadn't heard anything.
    Happy reading this week! :)

  10. The Lion and the Bird looks so good! I was bummed that none of the CT libraries has it, so I will just have to buy it myself! Thank you for sharing!!!

  11. Absolutely Almost- I am absolutely in! thank you for such a wonderful review. I can't wait to lay hands on The Lion and the Bird!

  12. Thank you for sharing about Absolutely Almost. It sounds like a book I need to go find. Also, I had not heard of Lisa See before but I am intrigued. I am always happy to hear about another author to look for. Have a great reading week!

  13. One of my book club participants (9 year old girl) just can't get enough of Land of Stories and would unfailingly booktalk it as a potential read for our book club. Loved hearing about Absolutely Almost - I'm slowly collecting MG/YA titles that look into various forms of disabilities, so I'm glad to see another title added to that list. It's my first to hear of Lisa See as well, so thank you for highlighting her works.