Monday, August 8, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8.08.16

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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

I love retellings of fairy tales.  The Rat Prince is a unique retelling that I think will appeal to middle grade readers.  Read all about it HERE.

A new Josh Funk book that will absolutely appeal to readers!  This is going to be a fun read aloud for the fall!  Ideas to use it in the classroom HERE.

Picture Books

Wolf Camp
Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill
4/5 stars
Kids will enjoy this silly book.  This would be a fun fiction picture book to pair with the informational text From Wolf to Woof by Hudson Talbott.

Chik Chak Shabbat
Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff
3/5 stars
A diverse group of neighbors come together to share in an ethnic meal and a story about a family custom.  Centers around a Jewish tradition.  There's been a lot of discussion of books being windows and mirrors.  This book could fulfill either category for students.

Heather Has Two Mommies
Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
4/5 stars.
A book about families.  That's how this book should be read.  But I wonder how many classes that do a unit about families but don't have this book, or something similar, included.  We really need to be diligent about the diversity we have in our libraries and read alouds.

Informational Texts

Living in . . . Mexico
Living In... Mexico by Chloe Perkins
4/5 stars
I'm trying to buy more in this series, especially for students who are from that particular area.  I know they'll be excited to share books about where they have roots!

Graphic Novels

Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green
4/5 stars
Fantastic graphic novel for the early crowd.  Has the frames of graphic novels and the story  line you would see in a picture book.  Repeating lines and predictable plot line make this an easy book to sell to young readers!  Hope to see more for this age group from Green.

Middle Grade

Maxi's Secrets: (or what you can learn from a dog)
Maxi's Secrets by Lynn Plourde
5/5 stars
Within a few chapters I knew this was going to be a special book.  I've never owned a dog, but my niece is deaf.  So if you have a member of the deaf community, whether human or animal, I'm going to like you.  Then we have Timminy, our main human character who is short statured.  Plourde never tells us if Timminy has a specific condition, just that it could be genetic since his uncle is short statured.  As many of you know, my daughter has just completed her third limb lengthening.  Many of the patients who are lengthening are short statured.  Many of them go through lengthenings because it helps alleviate pain in the joints.  Although lengthenings are never mentioned in the story, my heart naturally went to Timminy.
This book is about friendship, it's about overcoming difficulties, it's about figuring out who you are.  But mostly this book is about heart.  
At the end of each chapter, Plourde leaves us with a secret, and the secrets are amazing life lessons.  This would be a great read aloud - so much to talk about.
I hope this book is on your fall TBR.  You may want extra copies.

Young Adult

Girl in Pieces
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
5/5 stars
I got this book through NetGalley and it's been keeping me company while I work out at the gym.  Oh my gosh.  It's an amazing book.  Preorder it now.  Put it on hold at the library.  Whatever you need to do to get this book in your hands.  Raw.  Honest.  Haunting.  This is going to be such an important book about mental health.  The main character in the story is a cutter, someone who inflicts self-harm upon themselves in order to feel a "release".  
I do not work with young adults.  My building has Kg-4th grade students.  But that doesn't mean I won't come into contact with someone who is dealing with this.  It's a book that I would want to have in my arsenal should I need to recommend it to someone.
It's a very important book.

Currently Reading

Wish by Barbara O'Connor

We Were Here
We Were Here by Matt de la Peña
My #voxerpeeps decided awhile back this summer we would all read a de la Peña book this summer and discuss.  Since the original decision we've gone on to decide this will be the beginning of something new.  We're going to take turns reading diverse books.  Through literature and open conversation, we're hoping this leads to some insights for all of us.

Only two more weeks left for my summer #bookaday challenge.  How are you doing on yours?


  1. Maxi was good but sad. I kind of saw the ending coming!

  2. Thanks for sharing Hippopotomister. My younger students always want to read the graphic novels I have, but they are more appropriate for the upper elementary students. This would be one that would probably interest them. The life lessons in Maxi's Secret were amazing. I was pleasantly surprised that the book was about so much more than a dog. It definitely would make a great read aloud.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing these! Do you think Girl in Pieces would be an appropriate addition in 7th grade?

  4. Heather has Two Mommies is such a classic, so glad to see LGBTQ family picture books being shared.

  5. I do have Girl In Pieces, Maxi's Secret & Wish on my list-all sound great! I imagine many libraries do not have Heather Has Two Mommies, but they should, agreed. The nicest story I've read in a long time with a family like Heater's is the chapter book The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher-so sweet. I need to read the second one, too. Thanks, Michele.

  6. I just requested Girl in Pieces from NetGalley. Thank you for sharing, friend! You know I trust your reading judgment very much. I am excited to read it and hope I get it!

  7. I hope you're enjoying Wish as much as I did! I loved Maxi's Secret, but needed Kleenex! I also thought the Hippopotamister and Wolf Camp were cute. Hope you have an awesome week!

  8. Girl in Pieces looks so great! I cannot wait to get my hands on it after you told me about it :)

    Happy reading this week! And it was SO SO SO SO SO great to see you so much this summer <3

  9. LOVE We Were Here - I hope you are enjoying it. So jealous that you are reading the new O'Connor's book!

  10. Maxi's Secrets Is not yet available from our local library, but I did put a hold on We were here. I love de la Pena. I don't think I'm quite ready for Girl In Pieces. You are right though, we had a grade 6/7 student who was cutting. It's hard to deal with.

  11. I've heard about We Were Here - and kind of deduced that it is a very powerful book, that is on my radar. But Girl in Pieces is quite new to me, so thank you for that very enthused response - will definitely be on the lookout for it.