Monday, April 30, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.30.18

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

I love this book so much - The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl - be sure to check it out and enter the giveaway!

And the new Lou Lou and Pea is such a fantastic book for young readers who are looking for a longer read.  Don't miss the author interview with Jill Diamond!

Picture Books

Joseph's Big Ride
written by Terry Farish
illustrations by Ken Daley
Do you have an immigration collection?  If you do, you'll want to add this one to the list.  I love how a bicycle is the common item that brings kids of different languages together.

by David Ezra Stein
A book that celebrates summer?  I always love those!  
Apparently this is part of a series with Bear as the MC doing something during a season (the first one about fall, titled Leaves).  I love the vocabulary - a book that uses "aromatic" is always fun - and the humor - Bear gets stung in the nose for bothering busy bees.
Perfect book for young readers.

If I Had a Horse
by Gianna Marino
Absolutely beautiful - words and illustrations.  Themes that run throughout the book - bravery, strength, listening to others, friendship.  Hmmm, possible Mock Caldecott contender here.

Small Things
by Mel Tregonning
Whether you classify this book as a wordless picture book or a graphic novel, the important thing is having this available to readers.  An amazing book to start the dialogue about anxiety, this is a book that could save a reader, this is a book that is meant to have a dialogue with kids.

Goldfish on Vacation
written by Sally Lloyd-Jones
illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Cute story about goldfish pets being placed in a neighborhood fountain for the summer.  This encouraged kids to come together and play.  What made it an even more interesting story was reading the author's note at the end that explained the origin and background of the story.  
Since Islandborn, I am a huge fan of Leo Espinosa's illustrations!

Friends Stick Together
by Hannah E. Harrison
I think this is my favorite Harrison book!  Looking at friendships that really are opposites - this is a book I'll be adding to my #classroombookaday rotation in the beginning of the school year.

Big Bunny
by Rowboat Watkins
This is one of those books that grows on you as you read it out loud to a young audience.  And add this one to your collection for narrators - this one has a surprise in it!

Hello Lighthouse
by Sophie Blackall
This book is absolutely gorgeous, I think this may be her best work to date.  
However, I wonder how the story will resonate with young readers.
I loved the inclusion of information at the end of the book (actually the end pages!) about lighthouses.

Words and Your Heart
by Kate Jane Neal
I am so glad my friend, Kristen Picone, told me about this book.  It's such a perfect book to read at the beginning of the year, in the middle and at the end.  It's one of those books you want to pull out throughout the year to remind them the power of their words!

Informational Texts

She Persisted Around the World
written by Chelsea Clinton
illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
I may have liked this one even better than the first one.  As I mentioned in my review of the first one - read these stories and share them so their names are known, so their stories are the norm.

Middle Grade

The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue
by Adrienne Kress
I hope you read the first book in the series, it really is fun!  This one picks up right where the first one left off and then be prepared because the action doesn't stop!  Come back tomorrow for my full review.

Prisoner B-3087
by Alan Gratz
I read this book because my child is reading it (and annotating for signposts... right in the book.... she's writing in the book.... does anyone else see a problem with this?  It hurts my book loving soul) and I thought it would be good to be able to talk through the book together.  It's well written but one of the saddest and hardest books I've ever read.  I don't understand how people could have treated people like this.  Of course, I know outside of my own privileged world, things like this continue to happen.  There are people out there who place no moral value on another human's life.  Gratz said it well at the end that we can't even begin to understand what life was like unless you lived it.
Interestingly my daughter said she does not like the book.  After talking to her more, I think it's more she is upset by the events, but in her 7th grade world, saying it's "boring" is less of a social giveaway than it's hard to read.

Currently Reading

After the Shot Drops
by Randy Ribay
I haven't gotten too far but I'm really enjoying this book!

On Deck

My plan is to read Cress by Marissa Meyer and then Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed next.  Cress is my April #mustread title so I need to get cracking on that one!


  1. My TBR list explodes every time I visit your blog! Glad to see several of these at my library. I didn't know Sophie Blackall had a new one out--love the topic.

  2. I've noted so many here, Michelle, loved If I Had A Horse & The Lighthouse, too. Allen Gratz' books are wonderful, still need to read Prisoner. . . I will look for The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, read that post!

  3. I have She Persisted Around the World on my list this week, too. It's a pretty good follow up to last year's book. I definitely need to check out the rest of the books on your list. Have a great week!

  4. WOW did you have some great books this week. Some of these are already on my TBR list. I'm very much looking forward to reading Amal Unbound. I've heard so many wonderful things about it and I hope you enjoy it this week! I'll be reading my first Alan Gratz book this week (Refugee), so Prisoner B-3087 may be next on the horizon for me. Thanks for all the wonderful shares, Michele!

  5. So many books we want to read - She Persisted Around the World, Words and Your Heart, If I Had a Horse. We heard Mr. Schu book talk Hello Lighthouse and we are waiting for that one to arrive in the mail. Thanks for all of the suggestions!

  6. Am happy that The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl is on order at my library.
    The cover of Small Things had me hooked, but it isn't in the system yet.
    I think I also liked She Persisted Around the World better than the first one.
    Prisoner B-3087 has been on my to read list since it was published, but I have deliberately avoided it. It isn't like I don't know the kinds of things that happened, but that Alan Gratz is a stunning author and I just can't handle feeling the emotions I know he will fill me with. I even had a hard time with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

  7. The cover of Small Things alone is compelling so glad to read your review. I just borrowed Honey from the library but have not read yet. Joseph's Big Ride is new to me and always looking for more diverse books.

  8. I love Hannah Harrison's newest book but Extraordinary Jane is still my fave (but that's cuz it made me ugly cry).

  9. I am really excited about After the Shot Drops! I have heard such good things!