Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10.16.17

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 have quite a stack going of early readers and chapter books.  Here's what jumped out.

I continued my What's in my Nonfiction Pile series with animal books.

The last few months have been full of some awesome middle grade.  Paper Chains is another one to add to your list.

Some great books that have math connections here.

Picture Books

A Different Pond
A Different Pond
written by Bao Phi
illustrated by Thi Bui
I've seen this book on a few lists now and I'm glad I finally got to read it.  It's another great book to add to your refugee collection.

Give Me Back My Book!
Give Me Back MY Book!
By Travis Foster and Ethan Long
You know how kids read what we praise?  Perfect example right here!  It's funny and kids will have a good giggle over this one.

Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He's the Favorite
Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He's the Favorite
written by Stacy McAnulty
illustrated by Edward Hemingway
This book is just super fun!  Perfect for siblings, perfect for everyone.  And the ending made me smile.  A lot!

A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
written by Penny Parker Klostermann
illustrated by Ben Mantle
Very fun fractured fairy tale.  The endings were unique and perfect for the story.

I Have A Balloon
I Have a Balloon
written by Ariel Bernstein
illustrated by Scott Magoon
This is a must have.  Young readers are going to love this book, adults will love reading it out loud.  A book that sums up sharing and wanting.  Isn't it funny how kids (and adults) want something right at that exact moment, yet once the moment passes, or once you get that thing you want, there's a new want you want??  This book is it.  I want it.  Now.  

Hooray for Books!
Hooray for Books!
by Brian Won
Another fun story in the "hooray" series!  Turtle is searching for a missing book and along the way he finds his friends and together they have quite a collection of books!

Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna, The Very First Chicken
Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna The Very First Chicken
written by Douglas Rees
illustrated by Jed Henry
Have you ever wanted to know why there are no tyrannosaurus rexes today, yet plenty of chicken?  Well, this book sets out to tell us why!  And while it's definitely a made up story, the laughs you hear will not be!

Middle Grade

by Supriya Kelkar
Oh this book!  So beautifully written.  This book taught me about a time in history I really did not know about.  I had to concentrate as I read it because the author uses culturally rich vocabulary and because I read an e-copy, I did not know there was a glossary at the end of the book.  Instead I really had to focus on the context to figure out words that were new to me.  
I think upper middle grade classrooms and libraries would benefit from this diverse and historically rich text.  Upper elementary readers who enjoy historical fiction may need some support, but will also benefit from this book.  No doubt readers who find this book a "mirror" text and can relate to the culture in the book will treasure reading this story.

Young Adult

Turtles All the Way Down
Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green
Let me first get this out of the way.  I am the only person I know who did not like TFioS.  I didn't like the way the characters spoke.  Although I've been assured, teenagers do get all philosophical like that, I just felt it was forced and not real.  
I had read the premise of this book when it was first announced and thought it sounded interesting.  I knew I would read it as soon as it came out, before there was too much hype so I could make my own decision about this book.  Having not liked a majorly well loved John Green book made me really want to have my own opinion and not be influenced by others.
Then before I read it I read the background about it.  That John Green, like the main character of the book, also suffers from anxiety and OCD.  And I read about what that is like and where his mind takes him and how debilitating it could be.  
And then I read it.
It took about 50 pages or so.  The first part I really didn't know where he was taking us in this book.  And then it got amazing.  
I don't know what it's like to suffer from anxiety.  I've been anxious plenty of times.  I've broken down because of stress and being overwhelmed.  But it's not the same as someone who suffers from true anxiety.  
I have a OCD tendencies.  But not like this.
The writing is amazing in this book because it comes from a very true place.  Everything about the character of Aza felt true and right.  
After reading this book I still don't really get what it's like to suffer from anxiety and OCD.  But like what other diverse books are doing, it's shining light onto this issue and making all of us think just a little more.

Currently Reading

Greetings from Witness Protection!
Greetings From Witness Protection!
by Jake Burt
Looking forward to starting this one this week!

Happy Reading!


  1. I've heard a lot of good things about Ahimsa, but just haven't gotten to it yet. I don't read too much YA, but Turtles All the Way Down is on my list. It sounds fantastic.

  2. Turtles All the Way Down is in my stack and I really need to get my hands on Greetings from the Witness Protection!! I have seen only good things about that novel!

  3. A Different Pond is a title I want to get to. Ah - this new John Green book. Putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for the other links - so much goodness on your blog!

  4. I ordered Turtles from Scholastic but am not looking forward to it. Witness Protection was great. I requested Mr. Fuzzbuster from the public library.

  5. Two new picture books about books - We can't wait to read Hooray for Books and Give Me Back My Books. Ahimsa is going on our TBR list

  6. I cannot read I HAVE A BALLOON often enough to suit my kids. The comic timing is perfection.

  7. My foodie self loved A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale :)

  8. I loved A different Pond so much I ended up reading Thi Bui's memoir, The Best We Could Do. I've got a hold on Thousand Star Hotel by Bao Phi. I love when one book sends me off into reading so many other jewels.

  9. I have read Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He's the Favorite about 3,000 times to Henry. He loves that book.

    I'll definitely be back to read your review of Turtles. I don't want to read anything about it from anyone because I am worried I might spoil something for myself. I am just trying to quickly finish up some ALAN reading first. I look forward to reading your thoughts!!! :)

  10. Turtles All the way Down is all over the place. I saw a huge display of it at Target the other day. I definitely need to get caught up on all my other reading sitting on my table, so that I can check it out! Have a wonderful week!

  11. What a relief to find out that I am not alone with my thoughts about John Green's novels - I read two (Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns) - which I thoroughly disliked. I acknowledge, though, that it may be where I am now with my life, perhaps my age, my jaded views of the world and teenage boys and damaged/broken girls that seem to need fixing by said thoughtful nerdy-type boys. So I am glad to see that you enjoyed his new novel - this one, I would most probably give another try. :)

  12. I am looking forward to reading Ahimsa. I'm hearing great things about that book. I loved Witness Protection. Hope you enjoy it!