Monday, June 29, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.29.15

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've been plugging through some of my #mustreadin2015 books.  Participants are updating their list this Wednesday.  Check back and see what I've checked off.  Have you been meeting your reading goals?  We ask students all the time to set goals and reflect on them. But what about us?  What are your goals?  What do you want to achieve as a reader?  I'll be talking about mine this Wednesday, check back then!

Here's my reading for this week:

Picture Books

One Word from Sophia
One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck
4/5 stars
Every once in awhile, the perfect mentor text for writing comes about.  This is one!  Do you find yourself teaching persuasive or opinion writing?  Then you'll want to use this at the beginning of your unit.  Sophia needs to convince members of her family to get her an outrageous birthday present.  She goes about it the right way - she tries to persuade each person based upon their occupations - she researches her target and approaches them in a way best to persuade them of her goals.

I Yam a Donkey!
I Yam a Donkey by Cece Bell
4/5 stars
Such a fun fun read aloud.  Especially if you use an Eddie-Murphy-as-Donkey voice.  Just saying.

Duncan, the Story Dragon
Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll
4/5 stars
This book reminded me of the beginning of a book club.  Would be fun to share with students to introduce them to book clubs!
Fun interview from Mr. Schu with Amanda Driscoll here

Middle Grade

Rules by Cynthia Lord
5/5 stars
You haven't read that book yet???   Yes, I've heard that a few times.
I knew I would probably love it, but there was always something getting in the way.
I finally got to it, and yes, I loved it.  But not because it was an amazing story, but because I saw me in the book.
It's enough that I will be writing a separate post about this book.  Not for a little while because I want to read this book with my daughter first.

Young Adult

I'll Give You the Sun
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
3/5 stars
I am 100% in the minority with this book.  I expected to have immense book love for this book, but it just didn't happen.  The first 2/3 of the story didn't have me interested at all.  I'm not sure why.  I have learned that YA can be iffy for me.  I either love them or I am completely disinterested.  Usually it's the way characters talk to each other.  Sometimes YA books have characters talk in this philosophical way.  This one wasn't like that, so I'm not sure what my problem was.  Maybe it just wasn't the right time for me and this book.  However, I enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book.  The way Nelson brings all of the strands of the story together, had me finally involved in the story.

Currently Reading

The Impossible Knife of Memory
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Another one from my #mustreadin2015 list!  Trying to finish it by Wednesday.

On Deck

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

What are you reading next?


  1. Hi Michele, I just requested I Yam a Donkey from the library. Cece Bell is a genius! So glad you loved RULES. I use it as a reading group book so I am able to enjoy the story again each year. I have not read I'll Give you the Sun, but I totally understand what you mean about being "in the minority". This happens to me with books sometimes as well. Enjoy your week!

  2. Nice variety of books! I haven't read Rules yet myself or I'll Give You the Sun. I seem to be missing most things that weren't sent to me to review. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I Yam a Donkey and Duncan the Story Dragon sound like two books that I must find and read. I will be interested to see that blog post about Rules. I really enjoyed In the Unlikely Event. I hope you enjoy it as well. Have a great reading week!

  4. I am very impatiently waiting for my hold of I Yam a Donkey to come in at the library. :)

    I completely understand how you feel about I'll Give You the Sun. I listened to it for a long time wondering what all the hoopla was about, but I persisted because my friends kept telling me there's a moment when things start to make sense. Sure enough, they were right. It's definitely a beautiful book and amazing writing, but I don't think it will go down as one of my all-time faves.

  5. Both the Nelson and the Anderson were too YA for me. I find that when I read books that I can't recommend to my students, I don't care as much about them! This would also explain why I have come to like football books more than I ever thought I would!

  6. I am wa-a-ay behind in my goals, & I assume my teacher (if I had one) would talk to me seriously. But will try to do some major catching up this month now that I'm back home. Love the picture books here, Michele, will look for One Word from Sophia. I have "Impossible Knife" on my list too-know it will be good, but just have so many I want to read! Have a great week!

  7. YA is also iffy for me. Middle-grade is definitely my home! I need to get One Word from Sophia--I really appreciate your detailed reviews because I always know how I might use a book in my classroom after reading what you say about it. I didn't realize CeCe Bell has a new PB out. Off to order, LOL. Mondays are so expensive!

  8. Rules is one of those books that gets rediscovered and loved by new readers every year. I mostly enjoyed reading the Nelson book, but wouldn't purchase it for my elementary library. Otherwise, I now want to get One Word From Sophia and I Yam a Donkey for us.

  9. Oh,I loved The Impossible Knife - Anderson takes such a difficult topic and writes about it so beautifully.

  10. So much goodness to talk about.
    First, I added all the picture books to my TBR on Goodreads. Sadly I haven't read any.
    Second, I am SO happy you loved Rules. It is such a special book!
    Third, I am sorry you didn't like I'll Give You the Sun. I loved it, but I can see how the beginning can make it or break it.
    Fourth, enjoy Impossible Knife and Hum--both very, very, very good!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  11. Glad to read your enthused thoughts about Rules - which I recommended to our institution's librarians for purchase - I think we have two copies now available in our library so I really am looking forward to reading it. I just received a review copy of I'll give you the sun - sad to see that it didn't resonate with you that much. Hope you have a great reading week!