Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1.09.17

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

Alyson Beecher and I have started a new challenge - on Tuesdays we will be writing about books that get kids on the #road2reading.  Share and stop by on Tuesdays!

Looking for your students to be civically active?  Be sure to check out The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson.

Teaching the concept of drawing conclusions can be tough, but here is a book that is perfect for your next chapter book read aloud!

Do you have a #mustreadin2017 list?  I shared mine here.  I hear I have some great reading ahead of me!

Picture Books

Pug Man's 3 Wishes
Pug Man's 3 Wishes by Sebastian Meschenmoser
4/5 stars
It seemed like an innocent enough book.  Grumpy pug.  Happy fairy trying to award the pug 3 wishes.  I did not see where this book was going but I loved it!

Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation
Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat
5/5 stars
I can't remember where I first heard about this book - I think maybe it was in a Nerdy post?  
What an important book to have in today's age, when it seems like the word "immigrant" is used as a derogatory word - or at least some in power may believe....  
Important to show students that their words have power.

The Darkest Dark
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield

4/5 stars
I read this book for the first time in a bookstore, but it's one I needed more time with.  I'm glad I was able to get it from the library and give it the time it deserves!
I like this book for theme - working towards a dream, overcoming fears.

The Cat From Hunger Mountain
The Cat From Hunger Mountain by Ed Young
5/5 stars
I know Ed Young is known for his Caldecott winning work.  I cannot speak to his other books, but the illustrations in this book did not appeal to me.  However, the story did.  Really important story about taking only what you need, not being wasteful, and not living to excess.

I Am Pan!
I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein
I don't know enough about the mythological creature, Pan, in order to rate this book.  In the author's note, Mordicai Gerstein admits to some embellishing.  I thought the format of the book was interesting - similar to a graphic novel with frames, drawings and talk/speech bubbles with some narration.  Stories about Pan are told in a chapter format, which will appeal to young readers.  The word "jackass" is used in a couple of stories.  Since mythology comes up in the common core standards in 4th grade, I think there are a lot of school and libraries who wouldn't be able to add it to the collection because of use of this word.
I think this book had an interesting format, but I didn't fall in love with the story.


Amazing Places
Amazing Places poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
4/5 stars
Poems about different places, people and events that are paired with an illustration.  All are part of a geographical landmark or place of interest in the United States.  This would be a great book to have when studying the regions of the United States.

Graphic Novels

Dog Man Unleashed (Dog Man #2): From the Creator of Captain Underpants
Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey
4/5 stars
Love this series because it engages kids.  It has a plot line.  The humor is spot-on funny.  And it called the Apple Watch obsolete.  Seeing as I just got one for Christmas, maybe not, but I still get the humor.  Even if kids don't.  There's plenty other jokes they will get!  I'm glad to see more are coming.

Young Adult

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
5/5 stars
I'm not sure whether to put this book under young adult or adult!  This book will definitely appeal to the adult crowd as well!
This book was on my #mustreadin2016 list and while I didn't finish it in time for that challenge, I'm glad it was my first completed novel of the year.
I liked how it had threads of Beauty and the Beast woven through it. The book didn't scream Beauty and the Beast, just had pieces  - girl leaves family behind to go with the "beast", overtime sees the person behind the mask, "beast" makes girl leave in order to save her, girl returns to save the beast.  
But this was no sweet fairy tale or Disney movie, by any means!  It was raw and magical and mystical and in parts - R rated for sure!  I cannot wait to see where this series goes and I'm glad the next book is on my #mustreadin2017 list!

Currently Reading

The House of Months and Years
The House of Months and Years by Emma Trevayne

Happy Reading this week!


  1. I need to get serious about YA this spring. I think I will look for Court of Thorn and Roses--looks engaging and interesting! Thanks for sharing. I am excited for Mama's Nightingale--just got it off the Hold Shelf last week but haven't gotten to it yet.

  2. I loved Mama's Nightingale and The Darkest Dark, both good for the intended audiences.Wow, will look for A Court of Thorns and Roses. It sounds intriguing, Michele. I just got The Cat From Hunger Mountain, excited to read it! Have a great week!

  3. Mama's Nightingale sounds really interesting. I will definitely check it out and add the other books here to my TBR list. I enjoyed Court of Thorns and Roses and liked the second book even better than the first. I'm looking forward to the third book which is coming out in May.

  4. I haven't heard of Mama's Nightingale and The Darkest Dark - they do sound good.

  5. I keep hearing about Pug Man--must read it! I enjoyed Mama's Nightingale. Very touching.

  6. I always find it disappointing when either the illustrations or the story don't work for me, yet the other does. It makes me long to have it re-illustrated or re-told. I can think of a few books that are this way. It shows just how important that match is! Thanks for sharing all of these books for us! Happy reading this week!

  7. The Darkest Dark sounds really interesting to me. I also have the Sarah Maas book on my list for this year I hope. Great list. I'm going to try to come back tomorrow for your reading post. It sounds really interesting!

  8. I just put a hold on Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation after reading your comments and those of others here. I also enjoyed The Darkest Dark. That list continues to grow since I just added A Court of Thorns and Roses to it. I need either more days in the week or more hours in the day!

  9. One of my students is already asking me for the 3rd Dog Man! I picked up The House of Months and Years a few days ago, but I only got a few pages in. Hook's Revenge ended up arriving later that day and I got interested in that!

  10. I really need to check out The Dog Man books. I sure they would be popular with my students. Have a great week!

  11. Oh, the new challenge sounds good! I love participating in challenges, I always discover so many incredible new-to-me books!

  12. I think it's safe to say that I MUST read Pug Man's 3 Wishes. :)

  13. I am so relieved to see that you are liking the Sarah Maas novels - I received her other series for review (not this particular title), and I am very excited to start reading soonest.

  14. I really enjoyed Mama's Nightingale. I want to find The Cat from Hunger Mountain. Sounds great.