Monday, June 5, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.05.17

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

I reviewed Kate Messner's upcoming early chapter book here.

This book is a must have Two Truths and a Lie.  We need to teach readers to be critical of what they read and this is a PERFECT mentor text for it!  Plus it's really fun :)

My thoughts on Laurel Snyder's new middle grade novel Orphan Island.

Let's get you ready for summer reading!  Do you have these June releases on hold at your library or preordered?

Picture Books

On the Spot: Countless Funny Stories
On the Spot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
4/5 stars
Oh, this book is going to be so fun for kids!  A sweet rhyming story, but on every page there is at least one spot where a missing word goes.  In the spot is where you place an item... it could be a real item (suggestions are a penny, paperclip, button, etc) or there are reusable stickers included in the back of the book.  The idea is for children to read the story over and over again, mixing up the items used each time so it's always a new (and funny) story.  Love that this encourages reading the same book over and over.... something readers do!!
My one complaint with this book is in one of the illustrations, there is a painting of a Native American girl in a very stereotypical ensemble.  I don't understand why that even needed to be included.

Trains Don't Sleep
Trains Don't Sleep by Andria Rosenbaum
4/5 stars
Young train enthusiasts will love this one!  I enjoyed the rhythmic patterns of the words that lyrically described three trains as they journeyed to different places.  The illustrations by Deirdre Gill are absolutely gorgeous!  I read the back flap and learned that she is married to Jason Chin - wow, two very talented artists!

7 Ate 9
7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar
4/5 stars
A whole punny tale about the joke "7 ate 9".  Young readers will like how silly the story is, savvy readers will pick up on the puns.

Colette's Lost Pet
Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault
3/5 stars
So this one was a little strange for me.  First of all, the illustrations are just gorgeous.  But the story line is a bit odd.  Colette gets all of the neighborhood children helping her look for her lost pet - the problem is this pet only exists in her mind.  Colette is constantly making up new details about her pet until it ends up being a completely fabricated story.  But what is strange is all of her new friends go along with it.  It felt strange.  I think the story is trying to show the importance of friendship, but I feel like it missed the mark with what was really lies that Colette told.  Hmmmm.....

I Got a New Friend
I Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards
3/5 stars
A very basic how-to book about caring for your new puppy.  With about one sentence per page, young readers will like reading about the relationship between the puppy and girl.

Families by Shelley Rotner
5/5 stars
One of the best books about families I've seen.  I love the diversity, I love that it's photographs - seems more realistic.  I love the note at the end talking about the importance of talking about families with your family.

Secrets I Know
Secrets I Know by Kallie George
3/5 stars
Just beautiful illustrations, but the story did not seem to flow for me.  I know each page lead into the next one, but it seemed disjointed.

And Then Comes Summer
And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner
4/5 stars
Want to know what to read on the last day of school?  What a great book to segway into some conversations (or writing) about what their summer vacation will be like!
I really loved the illustrations by Jaime Kim, then I realized that's the illustrator of the upcoming Kate DiCamilo book La La La.  As if I wasn't already anticipating that book!

Middle Grade

14 Hollow Road
14 Hollow Road by Jenn Bishop
5/5 stars
Loved this upcoming middle grade novel - the second effort from Jenn Bishop!  This author knows her audience and delivers the type of books they want.  Return on Thursday for a longer review.
publishes 6.13.17

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth
Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
4/5 stars
A very quirky, yet heart-warming story, about the importance of home and understanding what home is.  But it's also a coming of age story and figuring out where you fit in this universe.  And it's also about having to see a loved one fight Alzheimer's/dementia.  I have a longer review of this one coming out next week.
publishes 6.20.17

Young Adult

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
5/5 stars
I cannot begin to express how much I loved this series.  Every time I closed a book in this trilogy, I only wanted to immediately return to this world, these characters.  I can see how this world is not for all readers - the faerie world, magic, spells - are not always loved by all readers, but if you've liked this kind of fantasy in the past, you don't want to miss this series.  
I'm excited that Maas is going to continue to write stories about this world, just sad that the main characters won't necessarily be in them.
And again, I think this series is definitely more adult than young adult!  Lots of racy scenes!

Currently Reading

Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland, #1)
Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel by Chris Grabenstein
I've had this book since it came out and book 2 is already here!  Getting them both read in time for a blog tour for book 2!

I have a lot of upcoming releases to read and share over the summer months.  Happy reading to you all this week!


  1. I felt similar when I read Colette's Lost Pet. I finished it and immediately read it again because I thought I missed something. I have had Welcome to Wonderland forever, too, and still haven't read it. It'll be on my summer reading list!

  2. It's wonderful to see a new Amy Krouse Rosenthal book out, and Here Comes Summer looks delightful, Michele. I've put the longer books on my list, so thanks for them, too. Have a wonderful week!

  3. YAY! I'm glad you liked Families - isn't it just wonderful?!?

    And wow, Trains Don't Sleep is just going to make so many young train enthusiasts very, very happy. You have no idea how many times I get requests for train books that "aren't Thomas"! ;-)

  4. Thank you so much for your lovely review! You made my day 😊

  5. I've ordered several of these books from my library, so hopefully I will be enjoying them soon! Have a great week!

  6. Lots of exciting reads here Michele. Fergus and Zeke looks delightful. I'm looking forward to 14 Hollow Road because nothing is better than a really well written middle grade novel. I plan to pick up Families when I am next at the library.

  7. Messner's new book and 14 Hollow Road are going on my summer TBR list - I'll be back for the longer review when you post it, too!

  8. We have a collection of books about diverse families and we are always on the lookout for new titles. Thank you for telling us about Families by Shelley Rotner!

  9. Thanks for the review of FAMILIES. I'd never heard of it before but I definitely want to check it out now.

  10. On the Spot looks like so much fun! I will have to save that for when Trent is a bit older :)
    Two Truths and a Lie is on my TBR for next week--I cannot wait!
    Orphan Island is a must TBR too, but I need to get it!
    And I need to get Trains Don't Sleep, but I need to weed my books first--I am just out of room!

    Happy reading this week :)

  11. Looking forward to your upcoming reviews on a few middle school books that are on my to read list! Connecting with #IMWAYR

  12. Karl Edwards is coming to the store this weekend. I need to read the picture book. I wonder if it would have been better like an Elephant and Piggie format.