Monday, February 8, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.08.16

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 spotlighted a great new transitional chapter book series here.  Check out The Dino Files!

Love this new historical fiction, Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban.

Do you want a nonfiction picture book that all kids will want to read?  Then be sure to check out Jess Keating's Pink is for Blobfish.  Check it out here.

Picture Books

Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
3/5 stars
I liked the lesson of the book, but it was a bit slow in getting to it.  This book would be paired well with Ish by Peter Reynolds.

What This Story Needs Is a Hush and a Shush
What This Story Needs is a Hush and a Shush by Emma Virjan
3/5 stars
I like this series for beginning readers.  They are fun, quick, they rhyme and have cute illustrations.

Big Friends
Big Friends by Linda Sarah
3/5 stars
What drew me in to this book was the illustrations by Benji Davies (The Storm Whale).  I love his work, and these illustrations are beautiful!  The story was good - how it's hard to go from 2 friends to 3.  I see it all the time, I wish more kids in real life were as accepting as the kids in books.

When Spring Comes When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
5/5 stars
I was so happy to see an early copy of this book at our book fair!  It is beautiful!  I love that Kevin Henkes works with his wife, Laura Dronzek.  What a team!
This book shows the signs of spring - we see the outside change from dull to beautiful.  The illustrations are just gorgeous - soft colors as the world begins to change!  The text, in true Kevin Henkes style, are softly spoken and show the slow excitement of winter to spring.  
I think this book would be great for first grade teachers to use when talking about patterns and see the changes that happen as we go from winter to spring.
The Henkes family lives in Wisconsin and I love the layout that shows how us midwesterners see signs of spring one day, and then get a snowfall....  So true!

Transitional Chapter Books

Dino-Mike and the T. Rex Attack (Dino-Mike)
Dino-Mike and the TRex Attach by Franco Aureliani
3/5 stars
This will be a fun chapter book series for 1st-3rd grade readers who like adventure and fun!

Middle Grade

The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson
4/5 stars
This was a fun, happy read.  What a nice family story.
Written by Jackie Robinson's daughter, she tells the based on real life events story about their former neighbor, Stevie Satlow and his dream come true of living right by his real life hero.

Pilfer Academy: A School So Bad It's Criminal
Pilfer Academy by Lauren Magaziner
4/5 stars
I have a full review coming at the end of the month, but for now, put it on your TBR list!  This is a book that reminds me a lot of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and Masterminds.  It's a book kids are going to love reading!  Fun, exciting and great characters.

Looking forward to seeing what you're reading.  Will you add to my TBR pile?


  1. Ooooh, I'm always on the lookout for fun early chapter books, Dino-Mike looks great, and I've just recently been seeing stuff around about Pilfer Academy, I'll have to add that to my list. Thanks!

  2. Excited to read When Spring Comes and Big Friends, Michele. I'm sure I'll love them both. I like the looks of Two Doors Down, love learning about Jackie Robinson. Lots of good books coming out!

  3. Thanks for the introduction to so many exciting new books. I just put When Spring Comes into my shopping cart. I love Kevin Henkes! Dino-Mike looks interesting for those new to chapter book readers.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I am now on the look out for this Dino-Mike series. When Spring Comes looks so lovely. Can't wait to find it

  6. I loved Red by Hall (and had a great experience reading it with my students), so I am looking forward to his newest. And that it ties with Ish makes me want to read it even more.

    Happy reading this week!

  7. One of my students is reading The Hero Two Doors Down right now. She checked it out from the city library. I read the dust jacket of it out loud, and I was ready to steal the book from her and take it to my desk! It looks like an awesome book.

  8. Wow, how awesome that you have a diverse set of books here from picturebooks to middle grade - what a productive reading week for you!

  9. Ah, I had high hopes for Frankencrayon. I will be sure to manage my expectations. I absolutely love Red. Thanks for sharing these reviews!

  10. Big Friends sounds like one our guidance counselor would like to have around. I'll have to look into getting it. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for sharing The Hero Two Doors Down--looks like one my son would love.