Monday, November 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11.27.17

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.

Two weeks ago's adventures!

I took a week off of blogging so I could spend time with family.  
I've got some great posts coming up this week!  Lots to share from the NCTE expo hall!

Here are the posts from two weeks ago in case you missed them:

Here's a roundup of winter and Christmas stories.

The list of books our students are using for Sibert Smackdown.

The list of books our students are using for Mock Geisel.

Graphic Novels

According to Aggie
According to Aggie
written by Mary Richards Beaumont
I picked this up at my Scholastic Book Fair.  I was surprised that it was a graphic novel so I knew it was one I wanted for my library.  It looks like a book that will appeal to my BSC readers.  
It's a cute story about a friendship that starts going in a new direction.  Reminded me quite a bit of Jamieson's Roller Girl.  
I was very disappointed with the lack of diversity within this book.  There are a few characters that are sprinkled into the illustrations or have very minor roles in the book that have different racial backgrounds.  There is no mention of any characters coming from single parent homes, just parents that work full time jobs.
If this is going to be a series, I hope American Girl (the publisher) choses to represent more cultures, races and family representation in their stories.

Middle Grade

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass (Princess Juniper #1)
Princess Juniper of the Hourglass 
by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Loved meeting Princess Juniper and I'm glad to have two more books in front of me to read.  Juniper is tough, smart and kind.  She welcomes adventure and wants to be a fair and kind ruler.  Which is perfect because she is getting the chance to practice all of this when her father grants her her own kingdom!  Of course figuring out how to lead and do it well is more tricky than she thought.  This first book in the series was a joy to read and I'm looking forward to seeing what she is up to next!

Escape from Aleppo
Escape From Aleppo
by N.H. Senzai
review copy from Edelweiss
I read this book on my kindle while I exercised on the bike twice each week, so it's taken me some time to get through it since I had such limited reading time.  Even with reading it in small bursts, I can see what an important and timely book this is.  Senzai takes us into war-torn Aleppo and we follow Nadia as she attempts to escape Aleppo into Turkey in order to be reunited with her family.  Through the use of flashbacks, the reader understands how Nadia's life has changed from being more carefree to one where she can mathematically calculate how far the bombs/gunfire is.  
I really don't know as many details as I should about what is happening in the Middle East.  This helps fill in some gaps.

by Lauren Magaziner
publishes March 6, 2018
If you aren't already familiar with Lauren Magaziner and her stories, then you need to change that now!  Magaziner consistently writes books that get kids excited about the stories they are reading.  This one is no exception.  
Lennie comes from a magical family and it's now time for her Poppop to step down and pass on all of his magical powers to one of his grandchildren.  To avoid just selecting by himself, he holds a Wizardmatch for them to compete in and win his powers.  But, this wizardmatch isn't without rules - and discriminatory rules at that.  
This book has so much in it - gender and racial equality, sibling and family rivalry, and fighting for what you want most of all.  Make sure this book is on your preorder!

by Jarrett Lerner
I try to read all of the books, especially the first in a series, before I put them on my shelves. Since the oldest students in my building are 4th graders, I try to be very careful of the content in middle grade books.  It helps me know what to book talk, but I can also be sure that I'm putting the right books in the right hands.  I'm just sorry I didn't read this book faster.  See I've owned it since it came out.  I'm thinking of all the lost reading weeks.... At least I'll be able to get it into hands as soon as we're back from Thanksgiving Break!  This book is going to be well loved with all middle grade readers.  It's smart, funny, quick, and it's full of engineering!  Can't wait for more in this series!

The Problim Children
The Problim Children
by Natalie Lloyd
I read this for the first time a couple of months ago.  I read it so quickly in order to get something done for that particular book.  I enjoyed it, but lost out on getting lost in Natalie's world, her words.
I put it aside for a second read.  This time I knew I would have large chunks of time to read it.  I could read it slowly yet have time to get lost in the world of the Problims and I loved it so much more on this read!  I had time to pour over Natalie's words, and if you are a fan of Natalie Lloyd, then you are a fan in her ability to say something so profound in a perfect sentence.
I have another post coming out closer to The Problim Children's publication on Feb. 6th.  Come back and learn a little more about why you want this book for your readers!

Appleblossom the Possum
Appleblossom the Possum
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Animal fantasy stories have never really been my thing, but there are so many young readers out there for them!  Hand this one over to your readers who enjoyed Firefly Hollow or The True Blue Scouts of Sugarcane Swamp.  
I really enjoyed the illustrations by Gary Rosen.  They were reminiscent of Garth Williams' work!

Currently Reading

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava #1)
Aru Shah and the End of Time
by Roshani Chokshi
I am so excited about this new Disney imprint called Rick Riordan presents.  Riordan knows there are many more mythological stories from other cultures and he's found authors to tell them.  This is the first in what will be a quartet.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this adventure takes me!

Happy Reading to All!


  1. Hope you are rested after NCTE. It took me a few days! The Problim Children is fantastic! Such a quirky, but charming family. I'll have to keep an eye out for the Rick Riordan presents books. Sounds interesting.

  2. Great list of middle grade reads this week. I’ve been looking forward to Enginerds and Princess Juniper. Escape from Aleppo sounds powerful and timely.

  3. Looks like a great stack of middle grade fiction books to dig into! Have a terrific week!

  4. Enginerds looks like a great new series. We will order from the library ASAP!

  5. I've seen The Problim Children another time today too, and thanks for sharing Escape To Aleppo too, Michele. Books that sounds good today!

  6. I had the privilege to read an ARC of Escape from Aleppo and learned so much from Nadia and her journey.

    I already lent my copy of EngiNERDS to a student who cannot wait for the sequel.

  7. I am waiting for a copy of Aleppo - an important book, for sure, along with Refugee, and Amina's Voice.

  8. Escape from Aleppo is on my TBR list. I read Refugee about a month ago and I think it is so necessary to be reading more of these stories.

  9. I might have to read Appleblossom because I loved The True Blue Scouts of Sugarcane Swamp, but that could have been because it was narrated by Lyle Lovett. Problim Children will have to go on my mustread for next year!