Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.12.17

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 shared books that I read throughout the month of May that are great for readers who are on the #road2reading.

Picture book biographies are always popular!  This past week I turned the spotlight on the boys.

Tomorrow is the release day of a wonderful new middle grade.  Check out my review for 14 Hollow Road here.

I shared a must-have mentor text What's Your Favorite Color?

Picture Books

Garcia & Colette Go Exploring
Garcia and Colette Go Exploring by Hannah Barnaby
4/5 stars
A fun look at the similarities between space and the depths of the ocean.  Features lovely illustrations!

Don't Blink!
Don't Blink! by Tom Booth
3/5 stars
Loved the illustrations in this one!  Cute story that kids will like - everyone is involved in a staring contest with the reader.  Everyone loses except for perhaps the turtle.  I thought something else was going to happen, but the ending fell just a bit flat.

Bertie Wings It!
Bertie Wings It! by Leslie Gorin
3/5 stars
I really liked the theme of the book.  This would be a good book to use at the beginning of the year to talk about trying, experimenting, and figuring out what feels right.

Informational Texts

Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy
Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy by Ann Ingalls
3/5 stars
I am having trouble figuring out where to put this book.  It's the story of how/where cotton candy make its appearance and who make it.  However, it's narrated by a young girl and there is plenty of dialogue that has clearly been invented, which to me makes it fiction.  Ahhh, tough to categorize.
I enjoyed learning about the origins of the candy, but I wish there had been more information about it and how it continued to evolve in the backmatter.

Middle Grade

Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland, #1)      Welcome to Wonderland #2: Beach Party Surf Monkey
Welcome to WonderLand: Home Sweet Motel by Chris Grabenstein
4/5 stars
I would put this up there with Masterminds by Gordon Korman and The Explorers by Adrienne Kress and Moving Target by Christina Ruiz Gonzalez- fun and exciting books that have high appeal with their audience.  I'm just sorry I got to this book now, and not sooner.  I will happily be book talking this one when school starts up in the fall.  I would definitely say if you have not read this or if you don't have it in your library, it's one I would remedy for next year!

I also read book 2 - Beach Party Surf Monkey.  I'll have more to share about that book on Thursday!  For now, make sure this whole series is on your TBR and/or shelves!

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth
Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Do you have readers who like quirky, humorous books?  This is a book to hand to them!  Come back tomorrow for a review!
publishes June 20th

Stealing Our Way Home
Stealing Our Way Home by Cecilia Galante
5/5 stars
Oh, how Ms. Galante always writes stories that steal my heart!  If you have readers who love powerful, pull on your heart strings kind of stories, you must introduce them to Cecilia Galante.  This book is worthy of its own post - coming soon!
publishes June 27th

Currently Reading

This Is Just a Test
This is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
I haven't read a historical fiction in awhile, looking forward to this one!

You'll see more and more middle grade books mentioned on my IMWAYR posts as I try to get lots of middle grade read over the summer!  Hope you're starting your summer reading.

Are you finding new opportunities to read this summer?  Follow the #opportunity2read hashtag started by Twitter buddy Scott Fillner and add how you're finding opportunities to read this summer!


  1. Love these middle grade books, although now my own young adult years are historical! Beach Party Surf Monkey is just fun to say. The covers are happy, too!

  2. Thanks for reminding me that I have the ARC for Stealing Our Way Home! (buried on a shelf- but I'll read it next, on your recommendation). Absolutely adored This is Just a Test. Hard to believe it's the work of TWO writers. You truly couldn't tell where one began and the other ended. Such a great voice, that kid.

  3. So many books to enjoy, Michele! I'll look for Stealing My Way Home and 14 Hollow Road, both new titles to me. Have a great week!

  4. I'm moving into a new position working with school-aged kids this week, and since I've spent the past year working with babies and toddlers, I have a lot of catching up to do! Thanks for sharing so many great MG titles!!

  5. I don't really understand this, but Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth is already available at my library here in Canada.
    I am very much looking forward to reading Stealing Our Way Home.
    Home, Sweet Motel is on my device ready to listen to. I'm excited.

  6. You've got a whole pile of books for me to look for this week! As the weather heats up to sizzling, I'll be in the air conditioning READING! Have a great week!

  7. The cover of Just Blink is so adorable. I am a sucker for illustrations, so I will check it out!

  8. Galante's book sounds like a perfect read to me!! Thanks for all of these recs, Michele :)!

  9. I'll have to watch for Stealing Our Way Home. Thanks! Also, Hamilton was fabulous.