Monday, March 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3.23.15

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 love my on-line life and it has certainly added to my reading pile.  I try to get as many books as possible from the library so my budget isn't absolutely ruined by my book buying.  As soon as I see a book I am interested in, unless it's already in my must-be-purchased-immediately-without-even-looking-at-it-first pile, I put it on hold at the library.  But why is it when you have as many books on hold as I do, they all seem to come in at once?  And if you have any longer chapter books, say some young adult or even adult reads on hold, well. that really dents your reading time!  So, not a ton read, but some good longer reads to recommend!
I also just got back from seeing the new Cinderella movie.  While I am definitely Disney-biased, I do highly recommend this movie.  It was beautiful!

Picture Books

In Mary's Garden
In Mary's Garden by Tina and Carson Kugler
5/5 stars
I quickly read this book at ALA this winter, but I was thrilled to have more time with it this week.  Art can be so many different things and I love that Mary Nohl saw something so unique and special.  I think this book is going to touch the hearts of many readers.

In by Nikki McClure
4/5 stars
I think this book is going to go on my Mock Geisel unit at the end of this year.  Simple words, but I love what you can talk about the writing.  This book reminded me of Lizi Boyd's Flashlight but with text.  The things you can find when you use your imagination...

Informational Texts

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker
4/5 stars
For those who know me, they know I love all things Disney.  However, I detest Winnie-the-Pooh.  Not a popular opinion, I know.  I've never liked Pooh Bear.  Too whiny for me.  I don't care for any of the Hundred Acre Woods characters.  But I thoroughly enjoyed this book that gives some of the history behind the bear.  Maybe because it's history, I can look past my detest for Pooh and love his story!

Middle Grade

The Question of Miracles
The Question of Miracles by Elana K. Arnold
4/5 stars
My heart broke for the main character.  To want something that in your heart you know cannot happen... to ask the impossible questions.  Thought provoking book, especially at the end.  While I loved the emotion and big questions it asked, I thought the author could have gone a bit deeper, it seemed that she got into the shallow water... almost at the deep end... but came up a little too soon.  

Adult Read

Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles, #5)
Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer
4/5 stars
I love historical fiction and this family chronicle has fed that part of my book soul.  This was another good addition to the Clifton family story, and as usual, it ended with a cliffhanger.  Since I know the next one won't be out for another year, this time I wrote down what was happening with all the main characters.  I'm hoping that will help me remember the major plot lines.  It seems like I spend the first part of each book going, oh yeah!  Now I remember!

Currently Reading

Yellow Crocus
Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
Loving the story - told in the 1800s, about the relationship between a young daughter of a plantation owner and her nurse, a slave the family owns.  Fantastic story.  It's gripping, and I always want to return to it when I have to put it down.  It's a debut author and I think there are certain writing techniques that need to be improved upon (better editing??), but the story is so strong, you can get through the writing.  Highly recommended.

On Deck

It's Spring Break reading time!  I have a lot of picture books to get through.  The 2016 IL Bluestem  and Monarch Reader's Choice nominees just came out and I'm trying to get through some of them.
Some other books in the pile:
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
RollerGirl by Victoria Jamieson
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean
Amulet #1 by Kazu Kibuishi
Lulu's Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst

Here's to #bookaday!!!


  1. The same thing happens to me! All the books I put on hold come at once - same thing with audio books! I'd love to see Cinderella - I'm glad you said it was good. My spring break is next week, so I hope to have a long "On Deck" list, too!

  2. It is a juggling act with library holds and due dates, that's for sure! I hope you love A Dog Called Homeless - my daughter and I wrote about this book on my blog: The Alex Crow is also in my pile. I have my own signed copy as Andrew Smith was here in Vancouver so I may put it to the side while I get some of these library books read! It was really great to meet Andrew Smith. I love that he still teaches.

  3. I hadn't heard of In Mary's Garden yet. Looks like one I'd really like--thanks for sharing. Spring break reading is a delight. I know just what you mean about the hold list. It's one thing when I do this with PBs. But it's quite stupid when I do it with YA or adult titles. There's simply no way I can get through more than one longer title in a week. Enjoy your reading!

  4. I too have the overwhelming piles of library books that must be read. Our Spring break came and went and this year I only read 5 books during the 2 weeks! I'm thinking I might have to forgive myself and just send some back unread. In Mary's Garden looks like a delightful book. Unfortunately, or fortunately, our library doesn't yet have it.

  5. All these look good! Enjoy your spring break reading.

  6. We just got the Winnie book today. I have always been a Winnie fan. I read the books first though I think. I'm not as big a fan of the movies. Mary's Garden looks wonderful. I'll have to watch for it. Have a great spring break!

  7. I have quite a pile too, but spring break is coming next week! I hadn't heard that there was still another Andrew Smith book, wow! Love the look of In and Yellow Crocus, Michele. You've shared a lot of good ones today!

  8. OOOOO! Amulet! I love the series. You will see why so many students fall in love with it.
    Looking forward to hearing what you think about The Alex Crow. I am reading 100 Sideways Miles, but I plan on reading Alex Crow soon.

    Enjoy your break! Happy reading! :)

  9. Some great books this week Michelle. I have heard great things about Winnie and I love Nikki Mclure. I am interested in reading A Question of Miracles - sounds like a good one, although you seemed to have felt it could have had more depth. Mary's Garden looks great and perfect for spring! Thank you!

  10. Yellow Crocus looks wonderful. The cover is stunning. I think I will try it, despite the flaws you mention. Thank you for your honesty! I am excited to hear your thoughts on The Alex Crow. That is on my #mustreadin2015 list!

  11. Great titles you have here. I was amused at your description of Winnie the Pooh - was not a fan either haha, but perhaps it's a generational thing? I love the Kenny Loggins' songs about them though. And I've been seeing this title make the rounds, so I'd definitely check it out. Just received my review copy of Alex Crow! Very excited to read it.