Monday, July 9, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7.09.18

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

Don't miss these July sequels/follow-ups.  They are perfect for readers who are becoming more independent with their chapter book reading.

Do you know what you're reading in July?  Don't miss these July releases!

Picture Books

Mixed: A Colorful Story
by Arree Chung
This is a picture book that you can use for a wide range of ages because every age will get something different out of it.  Younger kids will see the mixing of colors and how it's great to get different colors.  Older readers will see the theme of how we all have our unique qualities and when we join together we really can create something wonderful and different.

Sugar and Snails
Sugar and Snails
written by Sarah Tsiang
illustrated by Sonja Wimmer
An important book to read to show the importance of gender breaking norms.  This book takes a look at the old saying of what "boys and girls are made of" and showing we no longer should compare genders to any singular conformity.

Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me
Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me
written by Danielle Marcotte
illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
Add this to your beginning of the year reads - I like this because it talks about the love of reading and it also talks about all the different ways you can read, it's not just pages in a book.

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War
Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People and War
translated by Tomoko Tsuchiya Dykes
illustrated by Ted Lewin
Thanks to my Twitter friends I found this story.  Absolutely heartbreaking, but after reading it and having a conversation, I think it would be interesting to hear the thoughts.  
A story of how zookeepers had to put down the animals in a Tokyo zoo during the bombings in WWII.  

Perfectly Norman
Perfectly Norman
by Tom Percival
I am so glad Kristen Picone told me about this book - love it!  Norman is perfectly normal until... he grows wings.  As much fun as they give him, he knows this is not normal.  So he hides them with his coat, but that just makes him miserable.  He's worried his friends and family won't accept him anymore.  
Wonderful book to use to talk about what we perceive as "normal".   I think this picture book is a good ladder to Wings by Christopher Myers.

Middle Grade

City of Islands
City of Islands
by Kali Wallace
Share this book with kids who enjoy reading books where the author has carefully crafted new and different worlds.  
Mara lives in a place that is made up of different islands and mages control the different areas.  Having knowledge of magic is special, and as always, it can be used in dangerous and wrong ways.
Because of the world building and many characters, I think students in the upper middle grade range will enjoy this story the most.

Young Adult

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
by Kristin Cashore
This was my May #mustreadin2018 book... you can see I'm running just a bit behind!  Still working on my list.
I know many of you loved this book.  It took me a really long time to fall into it.  I enjoyed it, but wouldn't say loved it.  I do feel compelled to read the next two books.  I'm guessing they will be on my #mustreadin2019 list!


The Lost Family
The Lost Family
by Jenna Blum
I don't read many adult titles anymore.  I have found them to be long and tedious.  I feel like they throw in more plot twists than necessary or have extra long descriptions just for the sake of making a longer book.  But I still like to read a couple each year, especially ones I know I might enjoy.
I picked this one because it focuses around some of my favorite decades to read about - WWII and after.  I find this time period fascinating and Blum does it very well.  Definitely an adult read, but it was one that I didn't tire of.

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next!  I have so much to choose from, I may need to close my eyes and just choose!


  1. Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me, Sugar and Spice, and Perfectly Norman all sound like great back to school books. It might be interesting to pair Perfectly Norman with Normal Norman by Tara Lazar. I haven’t read Graceling in years but it was one of my favorite books when I read it. I am sorry you didn’t connect with it but I will say that the rest of the series has a slightly different flavor so I will be curious to see what you think when you read them next year.

  2. Mom, Dad, Our Books And Me is a new title for me and immediately reserved at my local library. Thanks for the recommendation! And Perfectly Norman is a favorite of mine too! Have a great week!

  3. There's a few picture books on this list I'll have to check out. The Lost Family is not one I've read, but I'll have to keep it on my radar. That time period is one I reread about a lot when reading grown-up novels.

  4. I love Mom, Dad, Our Books and Me. I read it to my littles in the library at the beginning of the year last year.

  5. Lots of variety on this list! Loved following the link to sequels and follow ups - Jasmine Toguchi became very popular in my classroom this year!

  6. I'm glad to discover a few new books from your list, Michele, like Sugar and Snails. I know the granddaughters will love that one. I have used Faithful Elephants in my classroom, and had a tough time reading it aloud without tears. It is heartbreaking, like the stories from the Warsaw Zoo, too.

  7. I just added a lot of picture books to my list and I can see reading Mom, Dad, Our Books and Me as well as Mixed to groups of little people. Thanks for the post!

  8. Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me looks so good! I have a number of these titles on my TBR list and your reviews are making me even more excited to get to them. I'm adding Faithful Elephants to my list. Sounds heartbreaking, but important, especially in light of the history. Thank you for sharing, Michele!

  9. I'm excited that Sugar and Snails is in my library and have put a hold on it. Mixed is now on my list. Luckily, Perfectly Norman is on order.
    I can't read Faithful Elephants without tearing up.
    I also thought Graceling was ok, but didn't feel inspired to want to read anymore of the series.
    Thanks for all the reading ideas and happy reading next week!

  10. I just borrowed Perfectly Norman from our library - I have to catch up on my picturebook reads soonest. Mom Dad Our Books and Me is on my radar along with Sugar and Snails - both from fave authors/illustrators. Sonja Wimmer is awesome!

  11. Norman is coming to me--I can't wait!
    And I am so glad you read Faithful Elephants! I pair it with Endangered.
    I'm still sad about Graceling, but I am glad you read it.

    Happy reading! :)