Monday, October 12, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10.12.15

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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.

Last Week's Adventures

I love finding new pb biographies that spotlight people who you might not have heard of before.  Try this one on Chicagoan Jane Addams.

Have you been following along with the weekly #GNCelebration posts from everyone?  If not, search for it now, it's a great celebration of all things graphic novels.  Find some new to you ones!  Have you seen the new book Secret Coders?  It's awesome!

Rebecca Kai Dotlich has a wonderful new pb, One Day, The End.  Find ways to use it as a mentor text during your next narrative writing unit here.

Picture Books

Lenny & Lucy
Lenny and Lucy by Philip Stead
5/5 stars
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book.  I've enjoyed Philip Stead books but can't say I've loved loved loved any of them.  This one goes into the loved loved loved category.  
First, loved the story of young Peter, who took charge of his fear and built something to make it go away.
Second, the illustrations are gorgeous.  Erin Stead has outdone herself, in my opinion.  I love these illustrations even more than Amos McGhee.  The soft, simple palette, the little things she adds to her illustrations, the way that there is more to the story in the illustrations than the text sometimes, the creamy texture of the pages.
Gorgeous book.  Hope it's honored with a shiny sticker this January.

What in the World?: Numbers in Nature
What in the World? Numbers in Nature by Nancy Raines Day
4/5 stars
Thank you to Carrie Gelson for mentioning this text.  The illustrations are divine.  What a wonderful book to use when talking about math in the real world.  

Informational Texts

Luna and Me: The Story of Julia Butterfly Hill
Luna and Me by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
5/5 stars
I enjoyed the story of Julia Butterfly Hill and her fight to save the redwood tree.  She lived in one special tree that she named Luna for two years to protest the destruction of the redwood trees by people who wanted to clear areas for development.
What stood out to me in this book were the illustrations.  Simply gorgeous.

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Poet:  The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
5/5 stars
I've heard many wonderful things about this book and they are all accurate!  Don Tate does a wonderful job retelling George Moses Horton.  And I love how it comes down to how important words are and what they can do for someone.  Don't miss this book!

Transitional Chapter Books

The Story of Diva and Flea
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
4/5 stars
I'm excited to see Mo jump into the world of transitional chapter books.  We know he has amazing talent writing books that all young readers (oh, who are we kidding, regardless of age we all love reading his books) love to read.  To see him take that talent into a longer book, what a welcome pleasure.  
I thoroughly enjoyed this first transitional chapter book.  Diva and Flea remind me of the great Lady and the Tramp.  An unlikely friendship showing us that we can find camaraderie in all walks of life.
I really enjoyed reading the author's note, where Mo reminds us you can find stories anywhere.

Middle Grade

Moving Target
Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
4/5 stars
So excited for this book.  It reminded me a lot of Dan Brown's books for adults.  Where the excitement never stops.  Where you find it hard to put it down because there are no breaks in the action.  The writing is solid.
Kids are going to love this book.

Currently Reading

The Key to Extraordinary
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
I adore Natalie's writing.

Hope you found some time to read this long weekend!


  1. I'm always looking for transitional chapter books. I'm greatly looking forward to Mo Willems newest!

  2. I'll have to add Lenny & Lucy and Mo Willems new book to my next order. They sound great. Here is my week. Happy reading!

  3. I picked up The Story of Diva and Flea at Kidsbooks last week but haven't had time to read it yet. Lenny and Lucy are in a shopping cart, and now I want the rest of these picture books too! I too adore Natalie Lloyd and look forward to reading The Key to Extraordinary!

  4. Michele--I want to read ALL of these! Especially the new Mo Willems and the new Natalie Lloyd. Can't wait!!

  5. Hi Michele -- As an author of picture book biographies, I was thrilled to read your words -- "I love finding new pb biographies that spotlight people who you might not have heard of before." Yes! That's exactly what inspires me to write and why I focus my blog on those books. Thanks for your post!

  6. So glad to read your review of Lenny & Lucy. Sick Day for Amos McGee is possibly my fave PB of all time, and I'm nervous about Lenny & Lucy not measuring up to my expectations. I would agree with what you say about Philip Stead's other books--I admire them, but they don't entirely work for me. Lenny & Lucy is sitting at home unread--will take the leap this week! I'm so eager to read Diva & Flea too--and Poet!

  7. You are the second person who wrote about Lenny and Lucy this week. We have to get this book. We are also big fans of Natalie Lloyd and will definitely be reading The Key to Extraordinary.

  8. I didn't know that Natalie Lloyd had a new book out...hooray!

  9. 1. So sad I didn't take part in the GN Celebration. They are my favorite, but it just got by me somehow (I saw it, but time caught up with me).
    2. LLOYD'S NEWEST?! Nice!
    3. Thank you as always for sharing to thoroughly amazing books.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  10. There is so much to talk about here! I am going to follow Kellee's lead with numbers.
    1. I want the Lloyd book. NOW! :)
    2. You and Earl both loved Lenny & Lucy. This means I need to get it!
    3. Please read Salt to the Sea. I promise you that you will like it. And I need to talk about it with someone!

  11. I can't wait to pick up Lenny & Lucy! When the Steads do their thing, I am in! Glad you liked the numbers book. I had to buy it. Excited to share.

  12. Oh wow! Another Natalie Lloyd book! I enjoyed A Snicker of Magic - and I have a feeling I'd like this one too. Great to see it featured here. Now I know what to look out for before the year ends. - Myra from GatheringBooks

  13. So many 4 or 5 star reviews this week, must've been a good reading week! Lenny & Lucy is on so many lists right now, I really need to get my paws on it! Thanks for sharing!