Monday, February 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.12.18

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.

I have not chosen a One Little Word for a few years now.  I find that the word I need most changes month to month, week to week, day to day.  But one word that I've thought about a lot lately is Balance.  I'm pretty sure I do not do a good job of balancing my life.  It gets way too stressful at times, to the point where is makes me not feel well - in the head, mind and spirit.  I got a cold a couple of weeks ago and I'm positive it was from being run down.  
I am on my state's reading committee for one of our awards.  I love having a say in the kind of books we are encouraging the children in the state of IL to read, but it's definitely a commitment.  As we were getting close to our big meeting, I had many books I needed to read, and not much time.  Rather than stress about it, I made the decision to not blog for a week so I could get the reading done.  It was the right decision to make, and I know I will have to make more in the future.  But I didn't feel as much stress, nor did my family, and that's a good thing!
But, onto this week!  As I write this post, it's Sunday, there is snow on the ground, and I'm in a warm house binge reading some picture books.  It's a good day.

Last Two Weeks Adventures!
Did you see these posts?  Some books you may want to have on your radar!

If you are a 4th-6th grade teacher, you'll want copies of Arlo Finch on hand!

Lots of great books coming out in February.  Open up your library browser to get your hold lists ready while reading this post!

If you are a kg-2nd grade teacher, you'll want these early readers on hand!

Some nonfiction picture books you will want to know.

Onto this week's reading!

Picture Books

The Perfect Pillow
The Perfect Pillow
written by Eric Pinder
illustrated by Chris Sheban
Sweet book - I imagine this being a great bedtime story selection.

by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Sweet ode to the middle child!

Festival of Colors
Festival of Colors
written by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal
illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Gorgeous picture book, one I am adding to my collection!  An important book to have so children who celebrate this vibrant holiday can see a familiar tradition in a book.  The author's note is quick and to the point - a good length for the readers of this book.

Nope: A Tale of First Flight
by Drew Sheneman
Told in just a minimal amount of words, a young bird has unfounded fears about its first flight.  Mama Bird gives her young one some tough love and of course the bird faces its fears and finds out flying is pretty special after all!  Readers will enjoy the graphic novel-like frames in this story.

Tiny and the Big Dig
Tiny and the Big Dig
written by Sherri Duskey Rinker
illustrated by Matt Myers
Great for the young crowd - this little dog shows you can do anything you want when you put your mind to it!  Fun rhyming story.

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind
Kate, Who Tamed the Wind
written by Liz Garton Scanlon
illustrated by Lee White
This book surprised me.  Ended up being a book I'll want to share when we talk about conservation or on Earth Day or Arbor Day...  I liked how once we get to the problem, the solution ends up being something that helps in many ways.

The Nian Monster
The Nian Monster
written by Andrea Wang
illustrated by Alina Chau
This book was brought to my attention by Debbi Michiko Florence on World Read Aloud Day.  A tale about some of the traditions from Chinese New Year, the beautiful colors and folktale-like story was delightful to read.

Peep and Egg: I'm Not Using the Potty
Peep and Egg: I'm Not Using the Potty
written by Laura Gehl
illustrated by Joyce Wan
Oh my goodness, how my students love this series - and I'm talking kids in 4th grade, too!  I told them about this one in the fall when I'm Not Taking a Bath was first published, they are going to be so happy on our read aloud Friday!  Don't miss this series, it is so fun to read out loud to kids!

The Boy and the Blue Moon
The Boy and the Blue Moon
written by Sara O'Leary
illustrated by Ashley Crowley
Sara O'Leary always writes such quiet and peaceful books.  They make me feel serene after reading one!
I wish I had this book when we had the blue moon a couple of weeks back!
Don't miss taking a peek under the cover of this beautiful book!

Vincent Comes Home
Vincent Comes Home
by Jessixa Bagley and Aaron Bagley
Good book to use to start the discussion on what our perceptions of home and family are.  Jessixa always has books that start amazing discussions!  
First time this husband and wife have teamed up for a picture book!

Middle Grade

The Oceans between Stars (Chronicle of the Dark Star, #2)
The Oceans Between Stars
by Kevin Emmerson
This is a science fiction series you absolutely need for your middle grade readers.  It really is full of science and space information, but the story!  The story!  The adventure and suspense is amazing (I was going to say out of this world, but that just seemed like such a bad pun....).  This is the second book in the series, it publishes tomorrow, and I'm already dying for book 3!  Seriously, make sure this series is in your library!

Young Adult

Love, Hate & Other Filters
Love, Hate, and Other Filters
by Samira Ahmed
Oh my goodness, I loved this book!  I devoured it in about 36 hours, it was so hard to put down.  An #ownvoices book, Ahmed does a fantastic job giving us a window, or for other readers, a mirror, into what it is like living in white American for a Muslim-Indian-American teenager.
I think it's so important to have books like this, written by authors who represent that culture/heritage/race for kids today.  I can only imagine how they can help the conversations teenagers are having and the way they will impact our future.

Currently Reading

The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, #1)
The Serpent's Secret: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond
by Sayantani DasGupta
I've had to put this book on hold for so long because of so many commitments!  I am more than 1/3 of the way done and I can tell you I love this book so much!  It's smart, funny and clever.  Kids are going to love the character of Kiran.  I'm so glad to know this is already going to be a series.  I cannot wait to get this book into the hands of readers!  Make sure you preorder it (Feb. 27th publication date) or order it in this month's Scholastic catalog!

Can you believe it's Awards Monday?  Because of the time difference, I will have to watch the replay of the awards instead of watching them live.  It is bothering me big time, but I know in the grand scheme of things, it'll be ok!  Looking forward to finding more books to read!


  1. So many great picture books! The Serpent's Secret is one to get in kids' hands for sure! I'm eager to find out the award recipients!

  2. Oh dear, snow... Thanks for sharing the picture books, a category I often miss these days!

  3. Okay, you've sold me on The Oceans Between Stars. I'm putting it on my TBR list. It never hurts to have a new great series to look forward to! And I just got notification that Love, Hate, and Other Filters is ready for me so I'll hopefully be starting that soon. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Love seeing all that you've read, Michele. I will look for Vincent Comes Home & have a few already bookmarked. Hope you are excited about the winners this am!

  5. Kate who tamed the Wind intrigues me. Love this author!

  6. Your description of NOPE is so intriguing - can't wait to read it. So glad you were able to take a break from blogging and find a bit of balance. We all need that at times :)

  7. I reviewed Tiny and the Big Dig too! I loved its message that determination not size is what is important. I had a chance to read an ARC of The Boy and the Blue Moon and loved the serenity of the text and the illustrations.

  8. It sounds like focusing on balance in your life is a good thing Michelle. I want to read The Boy and the Blue Moon, but my library doesn't have it yet. You have also sold me on The Oceans Between Stars.

  9. I am feeling a bit run down lately as well - so I have decided to drown out pretty much most things and my husband and I play badminton first thing in the morning every week day - and I also try to run as regularly as I could - that helped a great deal. I find it cathartic. And yea to binge-reading on picturebooks, been doing that a lot lately too! I hope things ease up for you in the coming weeks! :)

  10. Hooray for THE NIAN MONSTER!!! Andrea is my good friend & critique partner & it just won an APALA Award too :).

    The Boy and the Blue Moon looks like my kind of book! It keeps popping up everywhere too--can't wait to read it, Michele :)