Monday, April 10, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.10.17

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 Weeks' Adventures

I took a couple of weeks off while I vacationed in Florida with my family over Spring Break.  It felt good to relax, read, and be present with my family!

Here is a list of posts since my last IMWAYR update.  Hope you find something to read!


A list of new poetry books to use in April, National Poetry Month!

Two must reads for current happenings written in a way that makes you look at multiple sides.

My spring #mustreadin2017 update.

A wonderful nonfiction picture book mentor text - Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep.

New releases for readers who are on the #road2reading - independent reading!

A new MG my 11yo and I highly recommend - Braced.

What's the rush?  Let's get young readers reading appropriate reading content!

Some books to inspire change makers and keeping Earth clean!

A review of Erin Downing's upcoming MG novel (psst, it's FANTASTIC!)

Books about our nation.

If you teach 1st-4th grade, you'll want these two series in your classroom!

Picture Books

If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed
If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed by Denise Vega
3/5 stars
Very cute - loved the bright illustrations by Zachariah Ohora!  Young readers will laugh out loud at some of the monster antics.

Can I Eat That?
Can I Eat That? by Joshua David Stein
4/5 stars
Stein asks some great foodie questions that will make kids think, or most likely giggle.

Round by Joyce Sidman
5/5 stars
I think this is one of those books that will appeal more to teachers than readers.  It's a quiet, simple book, but the use of language is just beautiful.  I love the way Sidman organizes information, the way she uses descriptive words, verbs, the way she explores complex ideas.  I think this book makes a great mentor text for writing.

Hello Goodbye Dog
Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari
4/5 stars
Make sure you have this sweet, sweet book on your summer TBR list!  I'll have to more to say about this book in an upcoming blog tour post later this summer, but I'll leave you with my favorite quote, "Goodbye was an itch that couldn't be scratched."

Cowboy Car
Cowboy Car by Jeanie Franz Ransom
3/5 stars
Very cute story about a car who just wanted to be a cowboy, even though he kept hearing "you can't"!  Good theme.  Even better as a read aloud - I get to use my Southern accent (I really should have been born in Texas....).

We're All Wonders
We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
I'm not going to rate this book.  The reason is because I find it hard to rate it without having the background.  
I wonder what it's like for readers who have never heard of the story Wonder.  It's going to be even harder by next year with the release of the movie.  I think it has great points to talk about - seeing the wonder in each other, being kind.
But having read Wonder many times, I feel like I know too much, I'm filling in the space the book isn't talking about.  I think new-to-this-book readers are going to have some questions (why is he shown with one eye?) and not understand the significance of certain things (helmet).  
I'm going to share this with some of my students over the next month and see what their reaction is.

Informational Texts

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression
Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford
3/5 stars
I usually really enjoy Weatherford's writing, but this one seemed really choppy.  It went from one idea to another, often not expanding upon ideas.  I wish there had been more pictures of Lange's actual work, whether in the story or in the end notes.

Knockin' on Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates
Knocking' on Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates by Lynne Barasch
4/5 stars
I came across this book on Myra's blog at Gathering Books.  See her post here.  I always find books that feature someone who has overcome a physical disability - turned their challenge into something positive - motivating, as my daughter has her own challenges to overcome.  But just in case you need a visual of this incredible tap dancer, be sure to watch the youtube video here:

Middle Grade

Capture the Flag (Silver Jaguar Society Mysteries #1)
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
4/5 stars
I've been meaning to read this one for awhile and it's been pushed back.  I put it on my #mustreadin2017 list so it wouldn't be pushed back anymore!  The only problem is I need to find time to get to the next two books in the series!  I will though, because I know I have readers for this series at school and I want to get them in their hands.  This is definitely a fun adventure series!

Tournament of Champions
Tournament of the Champions by Phil Bildner
4/5 stars
I've always loved this series because they are so fun to read, they are so fun to share with students, because these books are going to feel familiar to students.  I'll have a longer post about this book in May.

Young Adult

Goodbye Days
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
5/5 stars
What an amazing follow up to a debut novel!  This book certainly shows that Zentner is the real deal - the man can write!
I wrote about the complexity of this book here.

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
5/5 stars
Loved this book, even more than Cinder.  But what I said about Cinder is the same for this one - I love how Meyer is finding a way to keep pieces of the well known tales into her very own stories.

Ramona Blue
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
4/5 stars
Read this book on my Kindle app - review copy from Edelweiss.  I read the book while waiting in lines at Disney :)
I think this book will be important for young adults as they grapple with identity and how they fit into their world.

Currently Reading

Beyond the Bright Sea
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
I can tell you the writing is amazing.  Again.

Lots of books on deck.  Not lots of time to read.  How to fix that problem?

Happy reading to all!


  1. I really like Elizabeth Partridge's Restless Spirit. She was Lange's niece, so it has a great immediacy to it!

  2. I've added Hello, Goodbye Dog to my list. I'm glad there is another Rip and Red book. It is a well liked series. I am eager to read Beyond the Bright Sea.

  3. Much to love that you've shared today, Michele. I'd love to read Round, by Joyce Sidman. And you've intrigued me about Hello, Goodbye Dog! Thanks for all!

  4. Wow - these all look so amazing! Hello Goodbye Dog looks lovely, I love Patrice Barton's soft, gentle art style.

  5. It looks like I am going to have to read The Serpent King if the sequel is as good as you say it is.
    I'm so glad you enjoyed Scarlet and agree with you on Meyer's ability to integrate the original stories. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series as much.

  6. I loved Round when I read it. I'll have to check out the others on your list. We'll be traveling to Florida, too. So I plan to get caught up on some of the books loaded on my Kindle.

  7. Thank you for telling us about Knockin' on Wood - Sounds like an amazing story. Hello Goodbye Dog is going on our summer TBR list.

  8. Other than Capture the Flag, I haven't read any of these! Ack! I need to remedy that soon according to your ratings. I do have Cowboy Car and the Wolk book to read, and I really want to read the Wonder PB.
    Happy reading this week :)

  9. What a thrill to see Hello Goodbye Dog here--thanks, Michele! I'm a big fan of all of Joyce Sidman's books, and I loved Round too.

    Putting many of these others on my to-read list, which keeps growing & growing & growing!!

    I have to agree with you about Weatherford's book. I generally love her PB bios, but this one didn't work as well for me. It wasn't quite as lyrical somehow. Did you read Dorothea's Eyes by Barb Rosenstock? I loved that one.

    Thank you again :)!!

  10. Yesssss! It's so good to hear that Goodbye Days is good! It's on my list, and I love hearing that I will likely love it!