Monday, June 15, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading 6.15.15

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.

So this week is covering 2 weeks of reading.  Vacations always provide some bigger chunk of downtime that I can get a lot of reading in.  Then it's back to reality where life gets in the way of reading time.  Even though this was the first official week of summer break, I'm already behind in my #bookaday.  I'm hoping this week will provide me with some time to catch up!

Picture Books

I Will Take A Nap! (Elephant & Piggie, #23)
I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems
5/5 stars
I keep waiting for an Elephant and Piggie book to be a dud, but they aren't!  They are always fun!  And that's why I love them and that's why they are an easy sell to kids.  I laughed out loud over and over.  There's a twist, I had not expected.  And it has one of the best ending lines for an E&P book.  Just love.

Billy's Booger
Billy's Booger by William Joyce
4/5 stars
Oh goodness, this one is funny!  You have a story about a booger, it's got to be humorous! This story is {somewhat} of a memoir.  Great mentor text for small moment or memoir writing in a different format.  A mentor text that has you laughing out loud.  And says booger.  You know kids will like it!

Middle Grade

The Great Good Summer
The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Stanton
5/5 stars
This one reminded me a lot of Because of Winn-Dixie.  Certainly there are similarities.  The main character of this story, Ivy, would be great friends with Opal, I think.  The difference between the two books is Winn Dixie is driven by the characters and the relationships Opal has with them.  Ivy certainly has relationships that grow and change, but there is also a plot that moves forward with this great adventure.  By the end, Ivy was a character that I wanted to hug and hold on to.

The Forget-Me-Not Summer
The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland
4/5 stars
It's not an award winner.  It's not a book that will generate lots and lots of buzz.  It's not a book that you will use for a mentor text.  It's just a fun and enjoyable read.  It's one that is hard to put down because it's so likable.  It's a book that I would have devoured as a middle grader.  It's a book I enjoyed as an adult because I know kids will love these three sisters.

Milo Speck, Accidental Agent
Milo Speck, Accidental Agent by Linda Urban
5/5 stars
Milo is a character you will adore, root for and want to know more of his story, long after you finish the book.
Loved the twists and turns and surprises.  The plot moves forward quickly as you meet a cast of characters who are lovable and unforgettable.
This book is going to be a wonderful read aloud.  It's a book that will be easy to hand off to kids - you'll have a waiting list for this one!

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
5/5 stars
I love historical fiction. The way authors make the setting a part of the story - it stays in the background but it's quietly woven into the story so it impacts all the other parts and the story couldn't exist without it. But Wiles goes even farther. The events of the Cuban Missile Crisis are in the forefront of the story, Franny's life is impacted by it - whether because the air raid drill sirens are going off, or how Uncle Ott's is impacted by undiagnosed PTSD, or how her sister is off changing the world, or is she a communist? But then Wiles adds primary sources to make the historical part pop out of the story. The propaganda, the music that was popular from that time, the political images. It just makes the story amazing.  I love how the theme of friendship really is proven old as time in this novel.

Young Adult

Saint Anything
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
4/5 stars
Dessen is an author that you just know you're going to enjoy her books.  I love that this one could have gone down a cliched YA book road, but it didn't.  And I appreciated that.  What an interesting story line - a young girl whose older brother is in jail for doing something quite wrong.  How that affects the family.  How it affects her.  The results is has on the story.  Great read.

Currently Reading

Revolution by Deborah Wiles
Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

How is your #bookaday going?


  1. I think I need to read another Sarah Dessen book, Michele. This one does sound good. A student shared her with me a long time ago, & I've always enjoyed the books. This year, fewer students read her, more into the dystopian books! The Hunger Games has changed some of the reading. Thanks for the middle grade books too. I'll look for those two 'summer' books. Love the Wiles history-so good! See you Wednesday!

  2. I've never read Dessen. I've really just started reading YA Contemporary. I am much more a fan of science fiction and fantasy. That being said, I have heard lots of good things about Saint Anything. You can come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I keep seeing Billy's Booger on people's It's Monday Posts and #bookaday, but I just can't get past a book about a booger. But if you say it's mentor text-worthy, I might have to check it out.

  4. Quite the variety of books this week(s)! I keep meaning to get Countdown and Revolution on my TBR list, maybe this is finally the push I need! Thanks!

  5. I think the booger book looks hilarious!

  6. Countdown and Saint Anything are both at the top of my list! Gosh, I need more time!

  7. Oh My Goodness... I love the idea of Billy's Booger! How funny... and what a great way to teach a memior! LOL Thank you for sharing!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  8. So many 5/5 books in one week. What a great stack you had. I too am always amazed that Elephant and Piggie continue to be fabulous, but that's what happens. :)

    I loved Countdown and Revolution. The bits and pieces of news and pop culture really make the books so much more intriguing for me. Billy Booger seems like one that would be popular with some of my students. Great Good Summer and Milo Speck are two that I mean to read sometime. They get some really good reviews. Have a great week!

  9. I agree with everything you said about Countdown. I loved it and Revolution. I can't wait for the next in the series to be published. I've added The Great Good Summer and Billy's Booger to my list.

  10. I want to read everything on your list except Countdown. I have started and abandoned that book 3 or 4 times now. I have no idea what my block is! I'm hoping to finish Saint Anything this week--really liking it. Dessen is such a comfort read for me.

  11. We have been looking for read aloud to share with first and second graders. Milo Speck sounds like a wonderful book - Thank you

  12. Hi there Michele - I love the summery feel of this post - so apt really. I haven't read any of Deborah Wiles novels yet and the new E & P book sounds hilarious. :)