Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8.14.17

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

Some new transitional chapter books from Scholastic.

I love the blend of narrative nonfiction and expository facts in this book about koalas!

This book is a MUST for middle grade collections.

And it was #pb10for10 day!  I had no idea how relevant this list was going to be when I put it together, and I think it will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future.  A list of books to share with students and other teachers - 10 books about perspective

Picture Books

Monster's New Undies
Monster's New Undies by Samantha Berger
4/5 stars
Oh this is such a fun read aloud!  Read this book so you can hear giggles.  Read this book so you can have kids fighting over it when you're done.  It's pure fun!

The Only Fish in the Sea
The Only Fish in the Sea by Philip C. Stead
4/5 stars
Sadie is one of my favorite characters.  She's strong-willed and strong-minded.  It's always fun to see the adventures she goes on.  I love the partnership between author Philip Stead and illustrator Matthew Cordell.

I Like, I Don't Like
I Like, I Don't Like by Anna Baccelliere
5/5 stars
I included this book on my perspective #pb10for10 list.  So important for children to read outside of their own walls.

Informational Texts

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White
A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider by Barbara Herbert
5/5 stars
Anything Lauren Castillo illustrates is a book I'm going to love.  
After reading Melissa Sweet's biography of E.B. White last year, I feel like this one really does a great job getting the important details of his life in a picture book.  Her sentences are concise and to the point.  Not a wasted word.
And the illustrations.  Sigh.  Just beautiful.
This will be on my Mock Caldecott and Mock Sibert.
publishes October 24th

Middle Grade

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
5/5 stars
For me, this book is so important.  It gets disabilities right.  It gets all the different feels kids who have them just right.  I hope kids read this and they learn to accept and understand.  Please come back on August 31st for my full post.
publishes September 5th

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
4/5 stars
I really like this book - it reminds me of Dash by Kirby Larson and Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.  It takes place during World War II in California when there was racism present because of events taking place overseas.  This book covers the sentiment towards Germans and people from India - which is something new.  I like how the book brought in females playing baseball!  
I think the cover of this book doesn't do it any favors.  It looks very young and I think it will turn off some readers.  I believe the characters are in fifth grade, yet the goodreads summary says they are nine years old.  I think kids in fifth and sixth grade would enjoy this book and be able to handle the historical background.  I wish the characters were just a bit older and it was a different cover.  With a good book talk, teachers will be able to get readers for this book.

The Great Treehouse War
The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff
4/5 stars
What happens when a child has had enough?  They find a secret loophole to live in a tricked out treehouse, of course!  I like that Winnie finds a way to say it's too much - too much ridiculousness by her parents.  Although the scenario might not be the same, we do put too much on kids at times.  Good for them for speaking up!
The use of multimedia in this book (emails, sticky notes, comics, directions, drawings, etc.) make this book unique and fun.

Posted by John David Anderson
5/5 stars
I don't think I could have read this at a more relevant time.
Powerful, powerful read.  
For me, and my background experience, this book felt very very realistic.  I always have hope that it's not like this everywhere.  I have no doubt that this book will be a mirror book for far too many kids.  
I hope for those seeing it as a mirror, they find this as something they can hold on to.  For kids who are seeing this as a window, I hope they see this book as a catalyst to do something.  To see the power of words and the power of kindness.

This book should be required reading for both teachers and students.

Currently Reading

The Running Dream
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
I've owned this book for a very very long time.  But it kept getting pushed off so I put it on my #mustreadin2017 list.  It's my designated August read!

It's the last week before school starts so I'm trying to cram in as many reads as possible while getting all of those last minute things done.  We're also returning home from our summer in Florida and I have the maximum amount of books on hold at my library - 30 - so lots of picture book reading coming up!  Let me tell you, not all libraries are created equally! While I am already going in withdrawal from the lack of palm trees in the midwest, I'm very happy to be back at my local library!

Happy reading!


  1. I love Things That Surprise You! Middle grade readers will totally be able to relate to the problems Emily faces. I can't wait to read Insignificant Events. Posted is an important book. I thought The Great Treehouse War was fun but also w/a serious message. I have two weeks before school, but also trying to cram in a lot of reading!

  2. I loved The Great Treehouse War and look forward to finishing Posted. Thanks for letting us know about the cover of Step Up to the Plate. I will definitely have to find that one.

  3. You read some spectacular-looking picture books this week! I need to add Monster's New Undies to my to-read list, but all the other ones were already on there.

    I'm so glad that you're reading The Running Dream. It's one of my favorite YA novels of all time. I still vividly remember the line "Running aired out my soul" at the beginning of the story, which has stayed with me all these years (I probably read that book 8 years ago) and is why I wanted to start taking up running even though I have hated it ever since I could walk.

  4. I'm really interested in The Only Fish in the Sea! Thanks for the rec..

  5. I adore Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus! The story has everything-humor, grit, struggle, friendship, family, mystery, compassion! Aven is such a fabulous role model for children and adults alike!

  6. I'm excited that Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus is on order at my library. I'm even more excited that I am the first one on the reserve list!

  7. Monsters New Undies is hilarious! I can totally relate to trying to find that perfect-fitting pair! I'm also really looking forward to reading A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider! Have a great week!

  8. I Like, I Don't Like is one I want to read for sure and Posted. I can't wait for the Castillo book! Step Up to the Plate is also catching my eye. It sure seems like a great week of reading.

  9. I just requested I Like, I Don't Like from my library. It looks amazing!

    I love The Running Dream! It's on my syllabus this semester. I hope you love it, too!