Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7.07.14

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 hope everyone enjoyed the (hopefully) long holiday weekend with friends and family!

I had a pretty good reading week.  I'll describe some of my favorites and note others that I read.  You can always check my Goodreads page for more description!

Picture Books

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)
My Teacher is a MONSTER! by Peter Brown
5/5 stars
Peter Brown can do no wrong as far as I am concerned.  I love his illustrations - Creepy Carrots and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild are some of my favorites.  This one is just as good.  And the story?  I was laughing out loud. I love when the kid is out in public and he runs into his teacher, and what does he do?  Raise his hand before he talks to her.  So many good parts.   I can't wait to read this with students in the fall.  Great for point of view and characters changing.

The Change Your Name Store
The Change Your Name Store by Leanne Shirtliffe
4/5 stars
Wilma Lee Wu wants a new name.  Where do you get one of those?  The Change Your Name Store, of course!  But before you walk away with a new name, you have to "try them on gently, then go for a ride" in the name's country of origin.  Great book to use in a social studies unit and talk about cultures.  Great book to share in a primary classroom.

Zoe's Jungle
Zoe's Jungle by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
4/5 stars
Imaginative play at a park is at the center of this book!

Mister Bud Wears the Cone
Mister Bud Wears the Cone by Carter Goodrich
3/5 stars

Five Trucks
Five Trucks by Brian Floca
3/5 stars

Informational Texts

Food Trucks!
Food Trucks! by Mark Todd
4/5 stars
I read this book in preparation for day 2 at nErDcampMI next week - 3 food trucks are coming our way for lunch!  This book was great - I loved the fun illustrations, they were very detailed.  Short verse that gives a little bit of information about the food truck and additional info is offered in captions around the illustration.  

I am Rosa Parks
I Am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer
4/5 stars
I like this series, but I have some difficulties with it as far as it being used as informational texts.  I know they are drawn in a comic book style, but I don't like how the main character is always depicted as a younger character - dressed in an older style but drawn younger.  Also, there has not been any source notes or info about how the author got his information.  This book, while still showed Rosa as a young girl even during the infamous bus scene, had text that was more rich in information than Meltzer's previous books.  There was a clear theme and clear understanding of what Rosa Parks stood for.  At the very end of the book there are some original photographs of Rosa.  I'm glad those were included.  I think this series has the potential of being a good introductory biography series, but with maybe a couple of tweaks.

Middle Grade

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied
How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied by Jess Keating

5/5 stars
My Goodreads review:  This has been the year for debut authors.  It seems that I've read several this year that have just stuck to me in different ways.  This one was no exception.
Jess Keating gets middle school right.  It's hard.  It's full of kids who get pleasure from cutting down people.  It's full of times of your friends being the ones to bring you up.  It's full of times of your parents embarrassing you, but also times when your parents show you who you really are.
And Jess Keating shows all of that in her book with plenty of witty comments.  Here are some of my favorites, I laughed out loud to all of these:
pg. 49 "I swear, if there were a place called Bright Side, my mother would be queen.  Complete with a little crown of stars and glitter and happy unicorns of opportunity."

pgs. 70-71 "Next year's students getting to see my work?  That would be like someone seeing inside my doodle notebook.  That's practically like seeing someone in their underwear."

pg. 73 "For the first time in my life, I didn't even want to draw, which probably meant I was dying from some awful disease that I'd picked up from crummy math class.  I always figured integers were contagious." {I am so with you, Ana!!}

pg. 86 "You can't stay anonymous and stand in front of a crowd of people at the same time.  That's like vanilla ice cream wanting to be mint chip.  And I am so sticking with Team Vanilla."

pg. 149 "I bit my lip to keep from saying anything.  I was still too emotional, and there was no way I was going to get all Sweet Valley High on her." {oh, how I laughed at that one.  That had to be meant for the teachers and parents - a SVH comment???  Love it!}

Currently Reading

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
I am more than 1/2 way done and am loving this book so far!  And she has a new one coming out in August, yippee!

for different cyber PDs, I'm reading:

Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits          Read Write Teach: Choice and Challenge in the Reading-Writing Workshop
Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller
Read Write Teach by Linda Rief

and I'm going to really make an effort and get through
Readers Front & Center: Helping All Students Engage with Complex Text
Readers Front and Center by Dorothy Barnhouse
She has some great thoughts in this book!

On Deck

The Enchantress Returns (The Land of Stories, #2)
The Land of Stories:  The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer
I need to plow through this one - my daughter and I are going to meet him on Friday!

So many books.  Just need time :)
What are you reading?


  1. So glad to see that you are getting so much out of Readers Front and Center, Michelle - it's on my PD list, too.

  2. I just bought My Teacher is a Monster at the bookstore yesterday. Can't wait to read it!

  3. Seeing lots of My Teacher is a Monster today! :-) I need to get my hands on Read Write Teach. I've heard lots about How To Outrun a Crocodile!

  4. I guess I need to find My Teacher is a Monster. I am also very interested in How to Outrun a Crocodile. The food truck book looks really intriguing, everyone loves food trucks!

  5. I must have missed the memo to read MY TEACHER IS A MONSTER this week. It seems to be blowing up blogosphere! I am glad it is a great book! I will have to find a copy of it. Thanks for sharing these books with us, Michele!

  6. So many books Michele! This reminds me that I really need to get to my PD reads - but it feels a little depressing when I don't ever know when I am going back to work because of this strike . . . Sigh. I saw My Teacher is a Monster at the bookstore and can't wait to read it - but saving it for another time. The Change Your Name Store looks very cute. I will also be looking for that one.

  7. Great books again. I've bookmarked Food Trucks-a big deal here in Denver! This Journal Belongs to Ratchet is one I'll be sure to find-love the idea of the format. Thanks for all, & enjoy NerdCamp! Looking forward to hearing from you about the PD books, too!

  8. Wow! An amazing collection of books! The Food Truck book has been featured on a few posts this week and I am excited to read it! My Teacher is A Monster is another one I've seen recently. Mr Bud Wears a Cone - so cute and I can so relate to the image of a dog with a cone! Change Your Name Store - I LOVED this book when I saw it and have put it aside as a great book to share with my new class this fall. Thank you!

  9. :) Loved so many of your shares this week! How to run... I have that in my TBR pile, risen higher after your thoughts, thanks. Quite excited that Cavanaugh has a new book coming out soon, just love her writing...

  10. I need to read more of Peter Brown. I tend to like his books but I have no real desire to read them all. They sell well on their own without my help anyway! Chris Colfer is super popular at our store with our customers.

  11. I so loved Reading in the Wild which was just plain inspiring. I couldn't stop reading it. Love Donalyn Miller's prose - so accessible and so heartfelt and so practical too when it comes to providing tips to educators. Lovelove Peter Brown - will have to find this new book. I'm so glad to hear that Chris Colfer's books are doing so well. One of my book club participants love the series to bits.