Monday, March 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3.12.18

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.

Yikes!  It's been a few weeks since I've posted.  Not much to post - it seems like all of my reading has gone to posts that go up later in the week.  Glad to finally get back to my regular routine!

Picture Books

I See a Cat
I See a Cat
by Paul Meisel
This book was brought to my attention on Award Monday!  It was awarded a Geisel Honor Award and it was one I had not read.  As clearly shown on the front cover, it's a Guided Reading Level A..... with one sentence on a layout and a repeating pattern, it's a fun book for very beginning readers.

The Word Collector
The Word Collector
by Peter H. Reynolds
I've seen this book on lists and blogs and social media and only positive words have been said.  I will concur and say if you haven't read this yet, it's a must.  Beautiful beautiful sentiment and needed right now.  Young kids - your words matter!

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing       Lots More Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing.
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
Lots More Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
written by Judi Barrett
illustrated by Ron Barrett
Looking for mentor texts for cause and effect relationships?  Pull these out!  Fun to read and the visuals will help make connections for young readers.

Who Was That?
Who Was That?
by Olivier Tallec
I really enjoy the other books in this series - Who Done It? and Who What Where? - they are great interactive books that young readers really enjoy.  This one was a bit confusing at first, it doesn't always follow the same pattern, as the others have done.  I think kids will still enjoy it and I'm adding it to my library.

The Rabbit Listened
The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld
This is such a powerful book to own.  It can be used in multiple ways, multiple times throughout the year.  Important to show young readers all of the emotions one can go through when something upsets them.  And the power of listening.  Just listening.  
This was a library book that immediately went into my purchasing cart!

A Busy Creature's Day Eating
A Busy Creature's Day Eating!!
by Mo Willems
Told in a similar vein as 2017's Geisel Honor winning book Oops Pounce Quick Run, the story is moved forward by words told in ABC order.  

written by Junot Díaz
illustrated by Leo Espinosa
A wonderful story about immigration and identity.  This book definitely has a place in your classroom.  
Young Lola must write about where she has immigrated from, but she does not remember since she moved when she was a baby.  After talking to those who remember more, she finds details that help her paint colorful and happy, yet also scary pictures of where she is from.
I did have to do a little research to find out the "island" is the Dominic Republic and the "monster" is the reign of terror of the dictator Rafael Trujillo.
Beautifully illustrated by Espinosa, this is a book I will go back and reread again and again.

Transitional Chapter Books

Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds
Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds
by Abby Hanlon
Dory is definitely one of my favorite characters.  She's the right amount of everything and always makes me laugh out loud.  
Dory loses her first tooth in this one and of course her imagination runs wild with ideas about the tooth fairy and Mrs. Gobble Gracker!

Graphic Novels

March: Book One (March, #1)     March: Book Two (March, #2)     March: Book Three (March, #3)
March trilogy
written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
illustrated by Nate Powell
This was my February #mustreadin2018 selection.  Thank goodness for the #mustread community, it helps me slow down and read books that I haven't been able to get to - often those books that aren't for my middle grade target audience.  They are books that I don't want to miss and this is a way I can make sure I read them.
This series is a must-read.  As someone who didn't learn as much about the civil rights in the 1960s - or at least I don't remember much - this series gives so much depth and understanding to an unknown time period.  And since it's told through John Lewis' voice, I get a perspective a history book certainly is missing.

Middle Grade

by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Steady
Sweet story about an unusual friendship.  Livy and Bob have been apart for five years, and while Bob remembers everything, Livy finds her memories to be sketchy at best.  And it's hard to find out more about Bob seeing as he is a green zombie dressed in a chicken suit!  I can't wait for the finished version to see Nicholas Gannon's illustrations.  Publishes May 1st.

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)
A Wrinkle in Time 
by Madeleine L'Engle
This was my third time rereading this book, and as I've read it I realized it has resonated differently with me each time.  The first time was when I was in middle school.  I loved it.  I remember even back then it was a different genre than what I usually read and I was surprised with how much I loved it.  Then I read it again when I was getting my masters in reading.  I still enjoyed it.  Now over a decade later, I read it again in preparation for the movie.  I still loved it.  
We saw the movie this weekend.  Visually, the movie was amazing.  There were quite a few changes made from the book.  Some changes were great.  Some were cinematically necessary.  Some were unnecessary.  I really liked the young actress that portrayed Meg and I really enjoyed watching Oprah!

P.S. I Miss You
P.S. I Love You
by Jen Petro-Roy
Told in letters, this is one of those books that I kept saying, “just one more chapter”. I liked the choice of the storyline moving forward through the letters, as it gives the reader an excellent way of knowing Evie’s thoughts and feelings. 
The storyline of Evie and June and figuring out who they are as individuals, friends, and more is well done for the middle grade reader.  This is a good storyline about sexual identity for the middle school audience.
For me, had that been the storyline, even with a smaller conflict thrown in, would have made a good story. I thought the other conflicts (Catholicism, teenage pregnancy, amongst others) weighed the story line down too much, and became a very heavy middle school novel.  

The author has found some push backs from the schools due to the topics in the novel.  She addressed that in a letter here.
I’m looking forward to more writing from Ms. Petro-Roy.

Young Adult

In Sight of Stars
In Sight of Stars
by Gae Polisner
Wow.  Gae has outdone herself with this one.  I was fascinated with the way she wrote the book - the writing ebbed and flowed in different chronological paths and came together in just a beautiful way.  I would love to see how she kept track of everything!
This is a book you'll want to have plenty of time to read before you start.  It's near impossible to put down.  Be sure to find this book tomorrow on its book birthday!

Currently Reading

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Simon vs the Honor Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
My daughter really wants to go see this movie and read the book so I felt compelled to read it first.  The verdict is out if she's ready for some of the content, but I'm loving reading this book so far!

The Girls in the Picture
The Girls in the Picture
by Melanie Benjamin
An "adult" book!  First one of the year!  Benjamin is an author I've enjoyed in the past so thought I would try this one out.

Phew.  Lots to get through!  Did you find a new book or two?  Happy Reading!


  1. Love The Word Collector, as I do all of Peter Reynolds other books! The Rabbit Listened sounds like an important book. I sometimes think I could do a better job listening! I'm currently reading Bob. He's such a unique, funny character!

  2. The Rabbit Listened has many, many holds at my library. I may need to purchase it, Michele! I'm glad you liked In Sight of Stars. I thought it was so beautifully done. Thanks for sharing The Girls In The Picture. It sounds good!

  3. So many of these books are on my can't wait to read list! Especially PS I Miss You and Bob.

  4. I just read The Word Collector this week, too. So wonderful! I also have In Sight of Stars on my TBR list and can't wait to read it. And thank you for the reminder of Island Born. I am looking forward to reading it as soon as I can get a copy. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I never get tired of the book Wrinkle in Time! I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. I had a movie DVD that was released several years ago that I used to show my students, and it was okay, but it’ll be fun to see the updated version.

  6. I just loved The Rabbit Listened and how it gently reminds us the importance of just listening. I read for #classroombookaday and the story elicited a great discussion with students.

  7. So much wonderful! And I'm so happy that you read and loved MARCH. It is such a special set of books!
    And thank you for telling me about Word Collector and the series for Trent.

    Happy reading this week :)

  8. OMG! You read Gae's new book! I am SO jealous. I loved Dory and The Word Collector too! Island Born is on my radar. Need to check this one out!

  9. I don't even know which book to comment on! I have so many things to say. I'll limit myself. I loved Simon and am glad you are enjoying it so far. Islandborn...whew. That book took my breath away.

  10. The Word Collector has been receiving a lot of love recently. So nice. I wish we had Islandborn in our libraries - it isn't in yet here in Singapore, unfortunately. My daughter loved the book Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda and she has been nagging me to watch Love, Simon. :)

  11. So many gorgeous books! I'm excited about Bob - Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead!
    There are many picture books here I want to read but not yet available at my library. I really enjoy being retired, but I sure miss my library budget!

  12. I loved Simon, but didn't like her follow up very much.

    The Word Collector was wonderful! Perfect marriage of art & text.

    Can't wait to read The Rabbit Listened