Monday, September 4, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.04.17

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

Check out the new books from Bloomsbury's Read and Bloom series.

Predators and gentle giants - some wonderful new animal books for your collections.

This book is very personal for me.  I hope we many many readers for this book so disabilities can be looked at in a new understanding.  Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

September is going to be an amazing reading month.  Do you know about these releases?

Picture Books

Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True
Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True 
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Brigette Barrager
Everytime I pick up an AKR book, it's always a bittersweet moment.  But then you read her words and are always transported to a new place.
I like the Uni the Unicorn story even better than the first one.  The storyline moved a little better and had a stronger conclusion than the first one (that one felt rushed to me).  Kids who love unicorns and magical fantasy stories will love this one.
As always, I really enjoyed Brigette Barrager's illustrations.  They are so reminiscent of Mary Blair's Disney works, I imagine Barrager's time with Disney had to have influenced her!

Nothing Rhymes with Orange
Nothing Rhymes With Orange 
by Adam Rex
I always like when a character talks back to the text.  It's something Adam Rex has done in some of his books and he does it so well!  Adds a lot of humor!
This book is structured as a rhyming book but it changes throughout the book - sometimes the rhyme is carried across layouts, sometimes its on one page.  It made it trickier to read.  I think if you are doing this as a read aloud (and it would make a very funny one), practice reading it ahead of time so you know when to keep the rhyme going.

The Scariest Book Ever
The Scariest Book Ever 
by Bob Shea
Loved this one!  When a scary book makes you laugh, you know you have a book that you can use to talk about perspective.  I like the comparison of what is scary to the ghost and what is scary/funny for the reader.
And can I also mention how I had to touch the clear ghost on every page?  Apparently I have a thing about texture in books!
This was a library book that I immediately purchased so I have it for our #classroombookaday rotation!

Mighty Moby
Mighty Moby
text by Barbara Dacosta
art by Ed Young
Based on the story Moby Dick, this book takes young readers on a journey in the ocean, which turns out to be a bathtub adventure.  The author's note lets us know how the text was put together, using words and verses that can be put to song, all pieced from the original Moby Dick text.  It also gives us further information about the artwork.  
I'm interested in seeing how young readers approach this text.  I think it will be better appreciated by adult readers, but I'll be interested in seeing if I'm wrong!
I can see how this book has appeared on Mock Caldecott lists.

written by Sarvinder Naberhaus
illustrated by Melinda Beck
A concept board book that explores the lines that make up our world.  I like seeing more nonfiction in board book format and this is a concept book so it breaks down the idea of how lines make up shapes in our world.  However, the bigger idea this board book explores that shapes are all around us - in our town, in our world, in our universe - is going to go way over the heads of the book's young readers.  Beck's artwork will appeal to them, so even if they don't get the big idea, they'll enjoy the bright, bold colors!

BB-8 on the Run
BB-8 on the Run
written by Drew Daywalt
illustrated by Matt Myers
This story takes place in the time when BB-8 leaves Poe and finds Rey.  
It's a sweet story about helping people in need.  
If you aren't familiar with the movies, you'll enjoy the story about helping.  If you're familiar with the movie, you'll enjoy filling in that gap of time for BB-8.

Little Elliot, Fall Friends
Little Elliot Fall Friends
by Mike Curato
Another sweet Little Elliot and Mouse story.  This time Elliot and Mouse need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and take a trip to the country.  Beautiful fall colors are used to depict the country life in autumn!
I'm still waiting for Mike Curato to get some love from the Caldecott committee.  I love his beautiful artwork (see All the Way to Havana as well).

My Beautiful Birds
My Beautiful Birds
by Suzanne Del Rizzo
If you have a text set on refugees, this is a must add.  Also, amazing artwork with polymer clay and acrylic.

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His Daughter
Yo Soy Muslim
written by Mark Gonzales
illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
Wow, this is beautiful.  Both the text, which is lyrical and thought-provoking and the amazing illustrations.  The colors.  The ideas.  Great text.

The Bad Seed
The Bad Seed
written by Jory John
illustrated by Pete Oswald
Just a funny, funny story.  Made me laugh and made me think about the accents I'll be using when reading this one out loud!

Middle Grade

Chasing Augustus
Chasing Augustus
by Kimberly Newton Fusco
I've loved Fusco's writing since Beholding Bee.  I read that one when I jumped in feet first to the Nerdy life!  
This one features a tough character, Rosie, who has a lot going on in her life that she cannot control.  But what she will control is finding her dog that has been given away by her mom.  Nothing comes between a kid and their dog.
Come back on Thursday for a longer review
publishes September 19th

Ban This Book
Ban This Book
by Alan Gratz
In usual fashion, Gratz takes a tough topic and tackles all sides of it.  
When books start getting banned from the school library, fourth grader Amy Anne decides to fight back.  Installing a banned books library in her locker for other students to check out is a way to keep the books in circulation, but what happens when she gets caught?
Gratz takes the subject of banned books and really does a great job of looking at all sides of it.  It's easy to take a stand and agree that banning books is wrong, but what about when one of those books is about sex?  Should that be in an elementary library?  It made me really be reflective about my own thinking.

Currently Reading

The Jumbies (The Jumbies #1)
The Jumbies
by Tracey Baptiste
I'm way overdue reading this one.  Especially since I already have book two ready to go!

Hope you all got some reading in over the long weekend.  I loved having some extra time.  I needed a break from the craziness of the beginning of the school year!

* you may have noticed that I am starting something new with this IMWAYR posts.  I am taking out the book rating system I've used since I started blogging.  As the years have gone by and I've read more and really seen the bookmaking process, I think it's hard to rate a book, knowing the immense work that happens when writing a book.  It's something I have no aspirations towards because the idea of choosing every word so perfectly makes me exhausted!  If I share a book on this blog, it's because I want to celebrate it.  It's a book I want to share with others in hopes that they make their way to your students and readers.  I will continue to rate books on goodreads.  Please use the side button above to follow my reviews there if you would like further rating information on the books I read.  I add all of the books I've read on goodreads, not always on this blog.  As always, happy reading!


  1. Ban this Book sounds like my next read. Thank you!

  2. Chasing Augustus and the new Alan Gratz book sound good, Michele, and O ordered The Insignificant Life of A Cactus, know that it will be wonderful. Thanks for all the picture books, too. Many are coming this fall! Thanks!

  3. The Jumbies has me intrigued. I'll have to check it out.

  4. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus was already on my list of books to read, but even if it wasn't your introduction would have made me want to read it.
    I'm looking forward to reading many others on this list as well.

  5. I'm excited to read Nothing Rhymes with Orange. Adam Rex is one of my favorite authors.

  6. As I keep hearing more and more about Ban This Book I'm thinking I should read it soon. I have not read The Jumbies yet, but it's been on my radar for a while.

  7. I thought The Scariest Book Ever was adorable! I've requested The a Little Elliot book from my library, so I'm definitely looking forward to reading it!

  8. Nothing Rhymes with Orange is going on our TBR list - It will be great to add to our collection of books where a character speaks to the reader.

  9. I want BB-8 On the Run so bad! It is in my Amazon cart--just waiting :)
    I'm presenting with Adam Rex at NCTE about Orange--I cannot wait.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  10. Ban This Book sounds intriguing. Yo Soy Muslim is so gorgeous! I didn't know about that AKR book. It's lovely & heartbreaking to read her books at this point.

  11. I feel lost without your ratings! I usually look at those first and then read all of the descriptions, ha ha! I will read anything by Bob Shea. That book seems like a perfect fit for Halloween!

  12. WOW - that cover of Mighty Moby looks incredible!

    I've never enjoyed rating books - I hate the idea that someone might pass on a book that didn't work for me, but that might be perfect for them, just because I gave it a certain rating!

  13. Thanks for reminding me about My Beautiful Birds! I had meant to have our library order that one back in the spring!

  14. Yo Soy Muslim looks absolutely gorgeous - I have put it in my To-Read stack in Goodreads. :)

  15. Thank you for another great list. I always enjoy looking for all of these titles.