Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.22.16

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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

Last Friday was #nf10for10 day!  I hope you had the chance to see all the great nonfiction picture book ideas out there!  I'm still going through blog posts! If you are a primary educator or have primary children visit your library, here are some must-haves.

Have you heard about the book The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price?  Here is my review.

There are some amazing animal books out there, but we don't teach too many animal units. Here are some other ways to use these wonderful mentor texts.

Picture Books

A Bear's Year
A Bear's Year by Kathy Duval
4/5 stars
Beautiful illustrations and rhyming text make this a perfect book to add to a bear unit.  Great text for young readers.

Nanuk the Ice Bear
Nanuk The Ice Bear by Jeanette Winter
4/5 stars
I've read many polar bear stories but this one had its own unique qualities.  The illustrations were centered in a rectangular box in the  middle of each page, with simple yet informative sentences at the bottom of the page.  Giving enough information about the polar bear, we also learn a little about what global warming is doing to the Arctic and how it is affecting polar bears.

Arctic White
Arctic White by Danna Smith
4/5 stars
I've read a lot of books about the Arctic, but they are usually about animals or how global warming is keeping our northern most tip, too warm.  This book features the beautiful Northern Lights.  I loved how the illustrator, Lee White, kept the color palette in blues, whites and browns until the young girl and her grandfather arrive in time to see the beauty of the Northern Lights.

That's Not Bunny!
That's Not Bunny! by Chris Barton
4/5 stars
I bet there are going to be some good belly laughs when I read this one out loud!
Who is the wise one - the hawk or the bunny?  It's the wits of a hawk vs a vegetable wielding bunny.  Who will win?

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
4/5 stars
Pat Miller had a great Nerdy post last week about how she wrote this story.  I thought it was a nice mix of believing in yourself, working hard, teamwork, and a little Wilma Rudolph history.  Nice author notes in the back giving just a little background info for young readers.

If I Had a Gryphon
If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki Vansickle
4/5 stars
Very fun picture book with delightful illustrations from Cake Atkinson.  A hamster seems like a boring pet when you compare it to mythological creatures like a gryphon, hippogriff or unicorn.  But when you think about the needs of those animals, maybe a hamster is just what you need!
Love the different mythological creatures that were included in this book!

Bloom by Doreen Cronin
4/5 stars
I really like the theme and message of the book.  I'm not sure if young readers will pick up on the lesson of the story, but older readers will.  It would be a great discussion - ordinary vs. extraordinary, what it is, what it looks like.

Middle Grade

Summer of Lost and Found
Summer of Lost and Found by Rebecca Behrens
4/5 stars
Nell is not having the summer she thought she would have.  Instead of having sleep-overs with her best friend at home in New York, she's having to spend her summer with her mom on the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  And it's a trip that's minus her dad, who is across the ocean in London.  Having to navigate what is really going on with her parents with having a miserable vacation, is not a good start to summer.  But things start to pick up when a mystery presents itself to be solved.  With a little help from a new friend, who is mysterious in his own way, Nell may end up having a good summer after all.
My favorite part of this book was the setting.  Having visited OBX myself, it was fun recognizing places that were mentioned (especially the nod to Duck Donuts!).  The mystery surrounding Ambrose, the friend, was pretty easy to figure out, but the historical mystery was fun to read about.

Read With My Ears

The Terror of the Southlands (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, #2)
Terror of the Southlands: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #2 by Caroline Carson
4/5 stars
If you haven't listened to this series yet, run to your library now!  It is one of the best narrated audiobooks.  So fun and enjoyable!
I am so sad that book #3 is not at either library I go to.  I ordered the book, but I really want to listen to it!  I'll have to keep the narrator's voice(s) in my head!

Currently Reading

Hour of the Bees
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager

Looking forward to seeing your week in reading!


  1. All of these titles are new to me. Summer of Lost and Found sounds like a good read and I will definitely need to find the audiobooks of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So many of these are new to me. I really need to read more from our picture book collection. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I love A Bear's Year, a lovely look all year round. And Nanuk, the Ice Bear is new to me, will find that one, too. I agree about Bloom, a bit abstract for the younger children. Loved Arctic White, just beautiful. Thanks Michele. Have a great week!

  4. So many new titles for me too! My TBR list is exploding once again. Oh well--never a bad thing! I had a busy/crazy week last week and ended up entirely forgetting about Nonfiction 10 for 10. I love that event and felt very sad when I realized I'd missed it. I've been out of the blogging loop lately and need to get my blogging mojo back. Thanks for sharing all of these! I've got the first League of Pirates book to read aloud to my son--if we ever finish Magnus Chase.

  5. I need to read The Quickest Kid in Clarksville. I've heard such great things about it.

  6. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville, Bloom, That's Not Bunny and The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price are all going on our TBR list. We love the way you compared Journey of Charlie Price to A Wrinkle in Time - Thank you

  7. I've requested A Bear's Year, Nanuk the Ice Bear, Arctic White, and The Quickest Kid in Clarksville from my public library, so I should have my hands on them soon. I loved A Wrinkle in Time and a few years ago I read it aloud to my class. As a read aloud, they loved it, too. I'm really looking forward to reading Journey of Charlie Price. Have a terrific week!

  8. So many new titles, so little time! I've been seeing If I Had a Gryphon on a few posts recently, I really want to get my hands on it. Thanks for this, so much inspiration!

  9. I'm so glad that you love the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates books!!!! They are my favorite!
    All of these picture books look like must reads! I specifically love any book about the Artic and Antarctic.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  10. Goodness! You are on a roll! There are so many books here that I haven't heard of. Thanks for sharing them all with us! I am really interested in the Northern Lights, so I will have to get that one!

  11. If I Had a Gryphon is one I am very interested in And love the look of Arctic White. Wasn't NF 10 for 10 wonderful?

  12. The Quickest Kid looks like a lot of fun. And If I had a Gryphon - you've read a lot over the past week! :)

  13. I read several of these picture books this week too, and have really enjoyed reading your thoughts about them. I particularly like your point about Arctic White and how, although there have been many arctic picture books, this one deals with an aspect of the arctic we don't see very often!

  14. Charlie Price sounds good. I enjoyed The Quickest Kid yesterday when my order arrived. Looks like a great week of reading.