Monday, May 2, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.02.16

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

Are you ready for May book releases?  Here's a list of them!

I celebrated a successful surgery for my daughter here.

I love using interactive books to reel readers in!  I have used these books to get kids to open books and wanting to read more!

What an amazing woman Adelaide Herrmann was.  Haven't heard of her?  Check out this book and find teaching ideas here.

My reading really slowed down this week, but with good reason.  I have relocated to South Florida with my family while my daughter recovers and rehabs from her 3rd lengthening surgery.  The surgery was successful and now she enters the rehab phase.  I have lots of middle grade and YA books to read.  I'm looking forward to finding our local library and resuming some more picture book reading.  In the meantime, I'll cover the ones I preordered!  I have lots of reading time ahead!

Picture Books

Explorers of the Wild
Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson

4/5 stars
I love anything Cale Atkinson does.  I've been anxiously awaiting this book because I loved his To the Sea so much.  
This book is beautiful and is going to be a great book to use, especially for the beginning of the school year.  The colors are vibrant and eye catching.  They are perfect for the story line, which is about two explorers who are enjoying the wild - the things they find, learn and discover.  But they are doing it separately, until they find each other.  And while scared and nervous at first, meeting someone with appeared differences - they quickly learn that there is more under the surface to both of them.  And there is so much more they can do together!
I think this book would be perfect to use at the beginning of the year.  Talk about how we can learn from each other.  How meeting new people can lead to new experiences.  How there is joy in learning and exploring and discovering.
I hope everyone finds their way to this picture book!

Middle Grade

All Four Stars
All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

4/5 stars
This is a book I've been wanting to read for a long time.  My daughter loved it, my fellow reader friends loved it, students I know loved it.  Now I love Gladys and the way she follows her passion.  This story about friendship, about believing in yourself, about following what you love is one that will sound familiar to many kids.  There might be a few risks that Gladys took that are daring and crazy, and that's exactly what will draw kids to this book!  I have book 2 waiting for me and book 3 is preordered!

Somewhere Among
Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
3/5 stars
I enjoyed this novel in verse.  I think it was a good story to write in that writing style.  I liked the characters, especially the main character, Ema.  The intergenerational conflicts rang true.  
I bought this book because it sounded like it was going to be about a conflict for Ema living in between two worlds - Japan and New York during the time of 9.11.  It's one chapter of the book, since the book is really a year in the life of this character.  I was confused as to where Ema had been living before moving in with her grandparents, it sounded as if it had been another part of Japan.  I should have gone back and checked, but just never did.
As I said, I liked this book, but I'm not sure how middle grade readers will feel about it.  I can see some sticking with it, but others abandoning it.

Currently Reading

The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
I like it so far!

Have to settle in to our new place still, but hoping to find some good pockets of time to read!


  1. I didn't realize you moved, Michele! I hope you are enjoying your new home and hometown.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed All Four Stars. I really need to read that one soon!

  2. I hope your daughter continues to heal and recover through therapy. Enjoy the reading time. It looks like you have lots of good books.

  3. Healing thoughts during your daughter's rehab! Thanks for posting some great books as usual! I will be checking out All Four Stars and Explores of the Wild for sure!

  4. I haven't read any of these books, so I am glad to read about them. Explorers of the Wild looks good! I haven't read To the Sea, so I am in the dark, here. I will have to catch up!

  5. Explorers of the Wild is on my list, and will look for All Four Stars, Michele. I hope everything is going well, and best wishes to your daughter in her rehab! My daughter who broke her leg skiing about 5 weeks ago is just staring her rehab too. I imagine it's a simpler thing, but still not easy to return to the normal way of things. Happy Reading, too.

  6. I'm so excited for Explorers of the Wild! I shared To the Sea with a co-worker, and she loved it so much she just wanted to frame all the illustrations and put them up on her wall! Beautiful stuff.

  7. I'm glad to know that your daughter's surgery went well and that you're spending time in a beautiful area while she recovers. You have several books that I need to check out. I'm looking forward to having time to read this summer, too! Only 22 days of school left!

  8. I hope everything goes ok with your daughter. I also loved All Four Stars (I just convinced a reader to check it out today) I've got the next two on order for the school. I can see that Explorer to The Wild will be an excellent beginning of the year title.

  9. All of these are new titles for me. Thanks Michele!

  10. Your IMWAYR took me forever to get through because I HAD to visit all of your posts (thank you for the releases, so glad K is doing well, and I didn't know who she was!), and I didn't know any of the books.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  11. So happy to hear that your daughter's surgery was successful - We are sending our thoughts your way as she enter srehab.

  12. Explorer's of the Wild looks so fun! Thanks for the May releases post. And, wow, your daughter is so brave and determined and amazing! I wish her lots of patience over the next little while!

  13. All these are unfamiliar titles to me. It also sounds perfect for our reading theme in July-August as we highlight travels and explorers.

  14. I'm glad the surgery went well. Enjoy the reading time!