Monday, February 4, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.04.19

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

Last week I shared a roundup of some new nonfiction I've read.

Looking for ways to get some books into hands of readers - especially those who need assistance picking books - try #FirstChapterFriday!

Picture Books

Dress Like a Girl
Dress Like a Girl
written by Patricia Toht
illustrated by Lorian Tu-Dean
A rhyming story that flips some gender and clothing expectations for what a girl is "supposed" to wear.  
I was fortunate to hear the author talk about the book at Anderson's Bookshop last weekend.  The book is written as a set of "rules", although it wasn't originally set up like that.  I think it was a good choice - it sets up a way to talk about gender expectations and how some rules don't hold up over time.
Fun story!

Under My Hijab
Under My Hijab
written by Hena Khan
illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
YES!  Loved this book.  The storyline shows the many way to wear a hijab, the different colors and styles of a hijab.  On the opposite side, it shows the same character in the privacy of their home or location without the hijab.  I think for many readers, it's the mystique of what is under the hijab that causes some questions and misunderstandings.  But then the author includes a note at the end that further explains why a Muslim may choose to wear one.
I also love the illustrator is still a college student - love that Lee and Low is giving opportunities to a young debut illustrator!

Where Is My Balloon?
Where Is My Balloon?
written by Ariel Bernstein
illustrated by Scott Magoon
This one leaves off right where I Have a Balloon left off.  Owl and Monkey are perfectly happy with their respective sock and balloon, until, as what always happens, the balloon pops.  From there we go back to the hijinks of finding many different object to replace the balloon.  This is another story that will induce lots of laughter from its readers!

Graphic Novels

Tiger vs. Nightmare
Tiger vs Nighmare
by Emily Tetri
Thank you Geisel Award for making me read this one sooner than later!  I've only had it since it was published!  Ugh, oh well, at least I got it read!
This one is so sweet.  Tiger doesn't have to worry about nightmares because he has his own (invisible) monster-nightmare scarer that comes at night to make sure all the nightmares stay away.  But what happens when a nightmare comes that even scares the monster under the bed?  
Our students loved Peter and Ernesto (although it was too long to be considered for the actual award, oops, my bad) so I know those same readers will love this one.

Middle Grade

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
by Dan Gemeinhart
I think this is Gemeinhart's most heart felt book yet!  I have enjoyed his books so far, and some have been more emotional than others, but I know this one is my favorite.  I loved meeting Coyote and the rest of the characters that ended up on this bus trip around the country.  The stories of each character will not only stick to your heart, but also give readers a reason to talk about them later.  They are compelling, real and each have important stories.
The relationship between Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, is equally heartbreaking and reassuring.  You can feel the love Rodeo has for Coyote, but as their backstory is fleshed out, you can see the layers of pain these two have gone through.
A perfect upper middle grade story, I'm glad we have Coyote and friends to share with readers!

The Last Kids on Earth (Last Kids on Earth, #1)
The Last Kids on Earth
written by Max Brallier
illustrated by Douglas Holgate
I finally was able to snatch this book away from readers (well I waited for it to be checked in then I grabbed it before it could be checked out.  Again.).
This is one of those series that is rarely checked in.  It has a lot of book things that appeal to readers - the hybrid of illustrations and text, the humor, zombies, and you know, a book without parents!!!  I can see why it is well loved in our school.  This is a must own series.

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess
by Shari Green
I finally got to this 2018 Schneider Award winner.  It's been in my possession since the ALA Awards last year, but it was moved to the infamous "piles" in my house.  Glad I finally got to it, it was worth the wait.  I enjoyed meeting Macy and especially her neighbor, Iris.  I liked that it was a novel in verse - the voice was just right for this story.
This is a book that is not an #ownvoices story.  I feel like there is a lot of questioning - does the author have the right to tell the story?  Is there an #ownvoices author out there who has not been able to tell their story?  I found an interview with Shari Green and she explains she has some family members and close friends who are Deaf.  So can someone who doesn't have direct experience, but has researched and done their due diligence, not tell the story?  It's a discussion I am still listening to and thinking about.

Well, it's now February.  It is a crazy month for us because it is championship season for swimming.  That means just about every weekend through the beginning of March has some kind of swim meet involved.  My posts may be sporadic throughout this month.  I'll see what I can get done!  For everyone else, happy reading!


  1. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is amazing. Many of my students have really enjoyed The Last Kids on Earth series, too. Good luck to your daughter during the busy swimming season!

  2. I really enjoyed Macy McMillan (and it's a popular one in my classroom library as well) but I had the same questions as you about #ownvoices and I appreciate your raising them here.

  3. Under My Hijab sounds like a book I need to get my hands on. I agree with what you said about questions and misunderstandings and I'm glad there are books like this that can help bridge that gap. I've not yet read Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, but I've had the same types of questions about #ownvoices -- I'm still learning so much about this topic.

  4. I really enjoyed Coyote Sunrise, it's an good emotional road trip book. I just requested Dress Like a Girl and Under My Hijab from the library. Can't wait to read them. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

  5. Happy you loved Coyote Sunrise, too. I have Under My Hijab coming from the library, know many have enjoyed it. Interesting question about the #ownvoices writing. Perhaps it depends on each story & who is writing? Best wishes with the swimming competitions!

  6. I'm hoping to read Dress Like a Girl, but wonder about how much change we can make if we don't address the kinds of rules about what boys can wear. Maybe that is for another book.
    I'm looking forward to reading Tiger vs Nighmare and The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise.
    I appreciate your questions around Macy McMillan. They are the ones I also end p having when I read a title that is not #ownvoices.

  7. This Dan Gemeinhart book certainly rekindles the debate in my room about which of his books are his best. I usually have a Honest Truth camp and a Some Kind of Courage camp. Everything is up in the air for my students now, this book was so good.
    I have a similar experience with Last Kids on Earth. It is usually out. I think I have to buy a second copy in order to be able to read it.
    I am also trying to get Tiger after the ALAYMA.
    Thanks for the great post!

  8. I'm looking forward to Under My Hijab and Dress Like a Girl. Thanks for all of the other recs too, Michele!

  9. Oh how brilliant to have paired Under my Hijab and Dress Like a Girl - I have put both in my Goodreads to find list, since both are still unavailable in our public libraries here in Singapore. They both fit our #WomenReadWomen2019 reading theme! :)