Monday, September 14, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.14.15

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 have two weeks of reading to report, but not a lot of reading happened.  Beginning of school happened instead :)  Last weekend I ran 19.3 miles through "The Happiest Place on Earth", aka Disneyland, which cut into my posting!  Although the long plane ride helped with getting some reading done!

I'm putting this post together late Sunday night, so here's just a few highlights:

Picture Books

Penguin's Big Adventure
Penguin's Big Adventure by Salina Yoon
4/5 stars
I love Penguin stories.  Some are stronger than others.  This one made me smile.  It's no Vacation or meeting Pinecone, but it's a keeper!

Waiting by Kevin Henkes
4/5 stars
I read this book over the summer, but was so happy to hold this book in my own hands and have time to pour over the illustrations.  I think the illustrations are stand-out, gorgeous and worth multiple viewings.  The story was ok for me. Sweet, easy and calm.

It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon
it's tough to lose your balloon by Jarrett J Krosoczka
4/5 stars
Fantastic way of looking at life.

Two Mice
Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier
3/5 stars
A fun way to use the numbers 1, 2,  3 in a clever and fun way.
This book has been getting some Mock Caldecott love, and I'm putting it on my Mock Geisel list!

Middle Grade

A Night Divided
A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen
5/5 stars
Wonderful historical fiction.  I vaguely remember learning about the Iron Curtain.  I really didn't understand the implications or what it meant for citizens.  I think books like these are really important to get in the hands of students - they get to see historical events from the point of view of someone their age.

Firefly Hollow
Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee
5/5 stars
I'm not a big animal story fan.  Talking animals usually do not do much for me.  But this book is so full of heart, I absolutely adored it.  Reminded me a lot of Cricket in Times Square.

Graphic Novel

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick
4/5 stars
Great new superhero!  I found myself smiling as I read this book.  Hilo is a great, fun new character and this series is going to be one that will appeal to many children.

Currently Reading

Paper Things
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Oh wow, what a powerful story!  Loving it.  My heart goes out to the characters.

Can't wait to find out what you're reading!


  1. I loved Hilo and Paper Things, but Firefly Hollow-- I'm with you on the talking animal thing. I wanted A Night Divided to move more quickly than it did, though-- it's a tough time period to sell to begin with. Probably buy a copy, though.

  2. I don't think I've read any of Yoon's Penguin stories! Must remedy that soon. I'm looking forward to the new Kevin Henkes. Hoping the library will get it so I don't have to purchase, but you never know when I might lose hope and click click. You know how it is. Hope you enjoyed your time at Disneyland!

  3. I read the Penguin book this week too, but did not realize it was part of a series! I will definitely check the rest of those books out. I thought it was a cute little picture book.

  4. I enjoyed Paper Things but parts of it irritated me. I just couldn't get over Gage taking his sister out of a safe place to live homeless. I'm dying to get my hands of a copy of Waiting and HIlo!

  5. I NEVER learned about the Cold War/Iron Curtain in school. For the longest time I thought the reason there was an East and West Berlin is because the cities were on the border of East and West Germany. I didn't actually learn any of these things until I visited Berlin and began learning about the Cold War and how Germany and Berlin had been divided into sections after World War II. That experience of being educated on world history I never learned in school as a result of traveling is why I am in a permanent state of wanderlust (even though I am also a home body). I want to see and learn as much about the world as I possibly can while I'm here. As Mark Twain once wrote, "Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime."

  6. New penguin!!!!! I love Yoon :)
    A Night Divided and Hilo are definitely titles I want to read. I hadn't heard of Hilo, so thank you for sharing.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  7. I have a mild obsession with Jennifer Nielsen, and I plan to read that book! I am glad to hear that you liked it so much!

  8. I too loved Paper Things and am currently in the middle of Hilo - so great so far!

  9. I'm really looking forward to reading Paper Things - I did borrow it for a class I am teaching this semester but one of my students is doing a book talk on it, so I had to let it go - but it does sound like a powerful read.