Sunday, April 12, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.13.15

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.

Reading slowed down just a bit this week.  Read a lot from my MG book, not so much in other books.  
So many times, I'm asked "how do you get that much reading in?"  Reading ebbs and flows.  There are weeks I read a lot, there are weeks that I read maybe a chapter before bed each night.  I don't stress about how much I read (unless I have a lot of library books due)!  I enjoy it when I can :)

Picture Books

I Wish You More
I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
5/5 stars
Gorgeous book.  As I said on my goodreads review, it's like taking a piece of your heart and giving it to someone.  Wishing those things that you want for yourself, but wishing them for others.  
This book reminds me a lot of Robert Munsch's Love You Forever, but you're not going to have an ugly cry or feel sad at the end.  Your heart feels hugged and you want this book to hug someone else's heart.
This book is the perfect end of the year book.  I think young students will enjoy the words and Tom Lichtenheld's illustrations.  Older students will understand why you're reading them this book.
This book is the perfect book to pass on to others.  I'm planning on giving it to my daughter, but including a few wishes of my own for her inside.
This book.

It's Only Stanley
It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee
4/5 stars
I think young readers are going to get a kick out of Stanley.  Stanley is quite preoccupied building something that gets bigger and stranger on each page.  Although the construction is waking up the family at night, "it's only Stanley" seems to pacify all concerns!

Informational Text

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World
Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World by 
4/5 stars
Good narrative nonfiction.  Would pair well with Jean Craighead George's "The ___ Came Back" series.
While it's important to read all types of nonfiction, I think narrative nonfiction does a great job introducing young readers to new facts.


Orangutanka: A Story in Poems
Orangutanka by Margarita Engle
5/5 stars
Borrowed from the library, but I think it's one that will be purchased for the classroom.  
Love this new-to-me form of poetry - it has conventions, yet it's unconventional, it's free-flowing, but follows a set rhythm.  So fun!
I love the author's invitation to young readers to research a subject and then write about it using this format.

Middle Grade

The Riverman (The Riverman Trilogy, #1)
The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
4/5 stars
Oh.  Ok.  I get it.  And I agree.  WHAT?????
I remember that was the common comment from everyone finishing this book last year.  I put off reading it because people said it was really upper middle grade.  Since I have lower middle grade in my school, I read other things first.  I'm kind of glad I did because I have the second book in the series to start now. And that's good because this one left you with a total cliffhanger.  I could see how people were confused before it became known that this is a trilogy.  Starmer's writing is great, the plot is crazy weird and I can't wait to see where this goes next.

Currently Reading

I Was Here
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
I should finish this one tonight or tomorrow.  Quick read.  Very good.  I can see the comparisons to All the Bright Places, although not as strong as AtBP.

Abandoning... for now

Black Dove, White Raven by Elisabeth Wein
Maybe because I was reading an electronic pre-pub book and the font was a bit off... something about it didn't appeal to me and I'm giving it up for now.  Maybe I'll try getting it from the library and read the paper copy.  I just couldn't get into it.

On Deck

The Whisper by Aaron Starmer
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan (I really will get to this!  Library books and a book with too many questions just bumped it a bit)


  1. So glad you shared your thoughts about Riverman - I've been on the fence about this one, now I know to read it. I Wish You More sounds lovely, too.

  2. Looking forward to reading I Wish You More. People have been giving it high praise this week!

  3. Like Beth, I need to find I Wish You More, sounds so sweet. I understand about the Wein book, it was hard to keep going, took me a long time. There was some formatting problems in my NetGalley copy, too. Thanks for all, Michele.

  4. I really want to read I Wish you More. I keep reading nothing but praise about it so I've just bit the bullet and added it to my cart. Thanks so much for your review of Riverman. It's been on my list, but I haven't gotten to it. From your review, I won't try harder as I hate books that leave me hanging at the end.

  5. I will admit that The Riverman had my head spinning. My mind went to some upsetting places so I really look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy and figuring it all out - if that is going to be possible . . .

  6. So many wonderful books here that I want to read! I think I've already ordered the Rosenthal. How I love her work! I liked your words about how reading ebbs and flows. I start getting cranky if I don't make enough time for reading over the course of a few weeks. (Like now!) But overall, I don't stress about it because I know I will have weeks when I read several books to balance the weeks when I don't finish any.

  7. I keep forgetting to bring my Riverman home from school. I want to reread it before I start The Whisper. I am afraid I have forgotten too much! I have heard so many good things about Orangutanka. Trying to write poetry this month and I have not tried a tanka yet.

  8. Hi there Michele, I know what you mean by Riverman - strange, isn't it? I love how it has captivated me from start to finish, and really looking forward to reading the second book in the series. Your description of I Wish You More makes me want to pick up the book right away! Sounds like a keeper.