Monday, May 21, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.21.18

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

Check out the incredible work these 4th grade teachers and students are doing with nonfiction books and media!

If you are a primary grade teacher, don't miss these books published by Penguin!

Some absolute must have picture books!

Picture Books

Niblet and Ralph
by Zachariah Ohora
I love Ohora's illustration style and his use of bold colors in this one are no different.  
Two cats who look very similar are aware of how close they live to one another.  While they talk on the phone everyday, they want some more in-cat time.  Unbeknownst to the other, thy sneak away from their owner and go visit the other.  Of course that's a recipe for disaster, but sets everything up for the perfect ending!

Big Tree Down!
written by Laurie Lawlor
illustrated by David Gordon
I think I found this title through another #IMWAYR blogger.  I really loved it - story about what happens after a large, local tree falls after a bad storm.  It goes through the process of removing it, securing and replacing power lines, and how parts of the tree can be recycled for other purposes.
Living in the midwest, kids see their share of bad storms.  This would be great to have in a library.

If I Didn't Have You
written by Alan Katz
illustrated by Chris Robertson
Sweet back and forth story between a father and his son - each trying to outdo the other with all of the things they could have/be doing if they didn't have the other.  All is in jest because really they don't want those things, they just want each other.  Until the mom comes home.  And in a realistic mom answer, she would rather have the 2-seater hot rod car than her husband or child :)  Funny.

New Shoes
by Chris Raschka
Perfect for the primary reader - a young child sets off to get some new shoes because his old ones have a hole.  Each page usually has one sentence on it so great to read to the younger crowd and for a young reader to give it a go on their own!

Informational Texts

The Truth About Dolphins
by Maxwell Eaton III
I really enjoy this series.  Even though there is some fictional information, the humor within the true facts make it so fun to read.  There are several text structures used throughout the book so this will be a fun read aloud to use when identifying structures and thinking about why the author chose them for that part of the book.
Plus it's about dolphins.  Who doesn't like dolphins these days?

The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar
written by Margarita Engle
illustrations by Sara Palacios
A loosely written biography (there is an author's note but no sources, quotes credits) about Aída de Acosta's desire to fly in an airship (a very early form of a blimp or hot air balloon).  Readers see her determination and will to succeed.  Readers also see how people perceived a girl trying to do something that was unheard of at that time and how views changed over time.  I will definitely use this book to introduce perspective and how they can change (sometimes over a very long period of time)!

Middle Grade

You Go First
by Erin Entrada Kelly
Middle grade friendship is a tricky thing.  It makes it that much harder if who you are doesn't conform with those around you.  Writing about middle school bullying, middle school friendships, and just existing in middle school can easily become cliche', but Kelly deftly crafts stories that exposes the rawness of that time.

Young Adult

Tyler Johnson Was Here
by Jay Coles
Another powerful book centering around the Black Lives Matter movement, racial profiling, police brutality.  However, I appreciate the way this book is written - it's different from the other books in the way the plot is written out.  This make the book stand out from the others.  It's another powerful book to read and share.

Currently Reading

Daring Dreamers Club: Milla Takes Charge
by Erin Soderberg
I am loving this new series by Erin!  Of course, I've loved everything she's written, but this one is so fun - I can't wait to get it into the hands of readers!

Leah on the Offbeat
by Becky Albertelli
Just starting this one but I already can tell it's going to be good!

Looking forward to a 3 day reading weekend!


  1. I enjoyed the Daring Dreamers Club. I can think of some students who will enjoy the series. Niblet and Ralph is one I'll have to look out for. Love O'Hara's illustrations!

  2. I haven't tracked down Daring Dreamers Club yet, but I do love Soderberg's work. THanks for all of the good titles!

  3. Sure wish I could have had Big Tree Down a couple years ago when our HUGE front tree (which shaded most of our two story house) was demolished by a blizzard. The tree removal process was very interesting and took more than one day, but the kids watched with such fascination. And I'm so glad to hear your thoughts on Tyler Johnson Was Here. I just got my hands on a copy and haven't yet started it. We'll see how this week plays out since I've already committed to another read for now (and I'm terrible about reading multiple books at once). Leah on the Offbeat is receiving so much attention -- definitely looking forward to this one! Thanks for all your shares and have a wonderful reading week!

  4. Looking forward to You Go First and New Shoes. I liked the bio of Aida de Acosta, love hearing about people that have been ignored in our history books. Thanks for all, Michele.

  5. Like Linda, I am looking forward to reading New Shoes and You Go First. I am also grateful that you reminded me about Niblet & Ralph, as I had that book marked a while ago. Thanks for the post!

  6. I’m looking forward to You Go First. It’s on my summer must read list. We

  7. Yay Tyler Johnson!!! I am texting you right now!
    I haven't read any of the others :( I should probably fix that.

    Happy reading this week :)

  8. We'll be blogging about You Go First in June. What a wonderful book to help kids navigate the tricky parts of friendships in grades 5 and 6. Perfect read aloud for middle grade readers

  9. Of course, Zachariah OHora is always a favorite! I recently read Hello Universe and am looking forward to reading Erin’s latest novel, She creates dynamic characters.

  10. I really liked Big Tree Down! I forgot about that book! Kellee is insisting that I read Tyler Johnson was Here, so I think I'll be reading that one soon. She can be so demanding. ;)

  11. My daughter just asked me that she wants a copy of Leah On the Offbeat for Christmas. And I've already reserved The Flying Girl on our library - totally forgot about this one, and is absolutely perfect for our current reading theme on biographies!