Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10.25.15

IMWAYR 2015 logo

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 shared some great books to use in your civil rights unit or if you want to share books about the character trait "determination" here.

In the 4th week of #GNCelebration, I talked about how graphic novels are a format not a genre! 

I shared how to use Elwood Bigfoot as a mentor text for opinion writing here.

Picture Books

8: An Animal Alphabet
8  An Animal Alphabet by Elisha Cooper
5/5 stars
This really is an impressive book.  Not sure why I'm surprised, it's by Elisha Cooper.  Essentially, it's an alphabet book.  An animal alphabet book.  But it's a little bit counting book too.  Each page has 8 of a particular animal, can you figure out which animal?  You would think that would be enough, but there's more.  At then end there are some great, fascinating facts about each animal that is mentioned.  There's also a couple of more number puzzles to solve.  And Cooper adds some additional source notes.  What a classy book. 

Informational Text

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear
Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick
5/5 stars
People who know me are always shocked that I read a book about Winnie the Pooh and liked it.  Well, really the books aren't about Winnie the Pooh as they are about the story of the name behind the famous bear.  
I really enjoyed Sally Walker's book earlier this year, but Mattick's book takes the story to the next level.  See, Mattick is related to the man who found the real Winnie.  It takes the story to the next level.
There are also layers to the story that lie within the beautiful illustrations.  Sophie Blackall created sidebar illustrations that depict the author telling the story to her son, while the main illustration unfold the story of the bear.
It's a beautiful adventure.

 Middle Grade

Last in a Long Line of Rebels
Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre
4/5 stars
In present day, Lou is trying her hardest to save her house by solving a family mystery back from the Civil War days.  By reading bits and pieces of a Civil War diary, we see how events from the past influence the story that is taking place in the present.  We also see how racial tensions within her town are causing people to choose sides when a high school coach makes, what seems to be, a racial decision. Tyre does a masterful job weaving these story lines together, linking past and present.

Currently Reading

Lost in the Sun
Lost in the Sun by LIsa Graff
I've had this book for so long now, and I'm finally getting to it.  Such an interesting story since it's hard to bond with the main character.  Graff is an amazing storyteller. 

On Deck

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass by Ammi-Joan Paquette is on my radar as are 500 other books, but I think that one will be next! 



  1. Finding Winnie wasn't at the top of my list to read, but you make it sound like a book I should read. I'll have to look for it.

  2. I liked Last in a Long Line of Rebels and Lost in the Sun more than I thought I would. Princess Juniper had its moments. You had a great reading week!

  3. I'm eager to read Last in a Long Line of Rebels as I just found out it takes place where my best friend grew up! I want to get to Lost in the Sun as well. I love Graff's novels.

  4. Loved your civil rights list. I made one recently, too, because there are so many wonderful ones out there.
    I need to read Winnie--he's everywhere this week!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  5. I may have to purchase Finding Winnie. The holds at my library are at 16! Thanks for Last In A Long Line of Rebels, sounds very good, Michele. Lost In The Sun was a good read, hope you're enjoying it, too.

  6. Thanks for sharing those civil rights texts. I bookmarked it as a reference. I could read a million books about civil rights and never get tired of them. It is such an important, relevant topic!
    Enjoy your week!!

  7. Finding Winnie is getting a lot of book love these days so I guess I will have to find a copy of it. I've got Lost in the Sun on my to read list, but Lisa Graff is hit or miss with me.

  8. We loved reading the nonfiction stories about the Real Winnie the Pooh" and can't wait to read Finding Winnie

  9. I loved Lost in the Sun! Great message to young readers that everyone deserves a second chance. Hope you enjoy it, too!

  10. I am eager to read about Winnie. ;)

  11. Finding Winnie is on my TBR list too. I hope you enjoy Lost in the Sun - it was one of my favourite Graff books honestly.

  12. I so love the look of the Winnie picturebook - I have yet to find the first one, really looking forward to reading both! :)