Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.16.18

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.

Last Week's Adventures

Such a busy week after returning from vacation and having a busy back to work week.  Didn't have much time for reading last week to do an IMWAYR post, but lots to catch you up on this week!

Middle School teachers and librarians - don't miss this fun, edgy, girl power book - Love Double Dutch

Looking at 3 IL state reading award lists, lots of great nonfiction reading ahead!

Some new transitional chapter books for young readers here.

Picture Books

My Mouth is a Volcano
written by Julia Cook
illustrated by Carrie Hartman
This book can absolutely be used in a discussion about what it feels like, what it looks like when you have something to say but it's not your turn.  I'm not sure the character or plot develops the way I wanted them to, but it will get the point across.

Rescue and Jessica:  A Life-Changing Friendship
written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
illustrated by Scott Magoon
Oh my, what a powerful book.  Written by Boston Marathon Bombing survivors and illustrated by Scott Magoon who was running in the marathon on that fateful day.  While this book does not make mention of the marathon or bombing, instead choosing to focus on the relationship between young Jessica who has just recently become a double amputee and her new service dog, Rescue.  Young readers will see and appreciate the bond between dog and owner and really get a sense of the power of that bond.
Don't miss the Nerdy post by illustrator Scott Magoon and certainly don't miss this book.

I Got It!
by David Wiesner
A book to add to your baseball collection!  Told in Wiesner's typical wordless picture book style, he captures that feeling of being in the outfield and the what it feels like to just miss catching the ball, and the obstacles you may overcome to get the ball and the elation of catching the ball!

Sleep Train
written by Jonathan London
illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
This is a sweet picture book to read to a young one before bedtime, or nap time, or anytime you need a calming book.
This is another amazing example of Lauren Eldridge's talent - definitely a book to study if you've used her Claymates book to see how her talent really has no limits!  Be sure to read the notes on the title page about how the illustrations were created.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain
written by Nancy Churnin
illustrated by Danny Popovici
My friend Kristen Picone told me I needed this one and she was right!  A book for growth mindset, for keeping at a task when it is hard, for social justice.  You'll want to share this one!

The Magician's Hat
written by Malcolm Mitchell
illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
I liked this one way more than I thought I would!  Love the combination of magic and reading.  And I really want a reading tree like the library had in the book!

Hello Hello
by Brendan Wenzel
As always, Wenzel's artwork is amazing.  I love looking at the details he adds.
Short, easy book to read that leads to deeper conversations about saving and protecting animals.

Sometimes You Fly
written by Katherine Applegate
illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
This will be a a great book to read on the last day of school.  A book that wishes everyone to see all that you can learn and experience.

Informational Texts

The Funniest Man in Baseball: The True Story of Max Patkin
written by Audrey Vernick
illustrated by Jennifer Bower
Max Patkin dreamed of a career in baseball.  But when injuries put him on the sidelines, he did what came naturally... entertained in a comedic way!  Putting on shows by making fun of the players and make spectators laugh became a career for Patkin.
Interesting story about a man I had not heard of before.  I wonder if we had people on the field, instead of mascots, if even more people would enjoy watching the game of baseball!!

Middle Grade

24 Hours in Nowhere
by Dusti Bowling
Bowling has written another amazing book - it's so different from Significant Events in the Life of a Cactus - her talent is really unbelievable.
Set against the harsh, yet beautiful, Arizona desert, Bowling has crafted an entire story that takes places within 24 hours.  Each chapter is another hour in the quick countdown that Gus has to find gold in a deadly, abandoned mine in order to save the dirt bike for a friend from the town bully who has it.  An unlikely group of friends follows Gus into the mine, but after a collapse, they all have to find their way out.  
Another book that will worm its way into your heart, Gus and his unlikely group of friends will stick with you for a long time!
Look for this book on Sept. 4th!

by Kate Messner
You've probably already heard how amazing this book is.  I'm not going to tell you anything different.  I can't believe how Messner was able to weave this story together - using letters, text messages, news reports and other forms of writing - oh, and writing that emulates the beautiful Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Hamilton, an American Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda -  Messner creates a suspenseful narrative that mirrors the real-life breakout that happened in upstate New York.  
As if the way Messner crafts this book isn't amazing enough, let's talk about what the book brings up amongst the middle school characters.  White privilege.  Perception.  Racial profiling.  These are really big topics and Messner tackles them in a way that is so perfect for middle schoolers to understand.  This is a book for those living in all areas and backgrounds to read and discuss.
Look for this book on June 5th!

Currently Reading

Out of Left Field
by Ellen Klages
Baseball and historical fiction?  Perfect time to read this book!  I fell into it quickly, looking forward to more reading time with this one.  Publishes May 1st.

We're having the most horrific spring weather here in northern IL.  At least it's giving me more indoor reading time.  Really, who wants to be outdoors, getting spring planting going?  Ugh, it will be June before that happens!  Hope you've found time to read, regardless of the temperatures!


  1. Rescue & Jessica is in my post this week, too. Beautiful book! Out of Left Field looks interesting. It's one I'll have to keep my eye out for.

  2. I read Dusti Bowling's first book with two book clubs this year. They loved it and are asking already if she has any more books out. So jealous you have your hands on this one already.

    I'm in northern Iowa, so I understand the weather situation. It snowed here all day yesterday. I'm so over it.

  3. I adored Hello Hello! Can't wait to read this one by Messner.

  4. I read and loved Hello Hello this week. I'm such a Wenzel fan. Those animal eyes! And his cats! I'm looking forward to Breakout. Thanks for sharing Manjhi Moves a Mountain--new to me and exactly the kind of story I like to purchase and share.

  5. Looking forward to the ones by Messner and Bowling, lucky you to get them early, Michele. They do sound terrific. I loved Manjhi Moves a Mountain and it's based on a true story! Really great to hear about this feat. Thanks!

  6. Wow, I feel like My Mouth is a Volcano was based on me as a child - waiting for my turn to speak sometimes felt like I was a bubbling volcano about to burst!

  7. What a great stack of reading, this week! I have several of these on my TBR list. I'm especially looking forward to 24 Hours in Nowhere and Breakout! Bowling really captured my reading attention with Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, so I cannot wait until September! Thanks for sharing with #imwayr -- have a great reading week!

  8. I'm spreading the Breakout love all through my classroom! I think the size scares kids, so I have to talk it up, but it deserves it.
    I cannot wait to read Dusti's newest. I loved Cactus.

    Happy reading this week :)

  9. We loved Rescue and Jessica. We got to meet both of them at the Mass. Reading Conference. They even sign the book with a paw print from Rescue. What an incredible story!

  10. I am looking forward to reading so many of the books on your list today.
    My Mouth is a Volcano just because this is still who I am.
    Sleep Train because I loved Claymates
    I Got It! because it's by David Wiesner and it's about baseball!
    24 Hours in Nowhere and Breakout are on my list too.
    So many books - so little time!

  11. Love seeing so many baseball books on this list but I'm especially looking forward to reading Breakout and 24 Hours in Nowhere.

  12. I am looking for more inspirational stories just like Sometimes You Fly that won't prove to be too sappy or trite - hopefully we get that one in our libraries soonest. Is that a new David Wiesner book? will look for it! :)

  13. I'm so impressed with Rescue and Jessica. Such a brilliant way to share a difficult moment in our history with kids.