Monday, May 27, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.27.19

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

Nonfiction books that encourage you to raise your voice!

Engaging books for the PreK-1st grade reader.

Picture Books

We Are (Not) Friends
We Are (Not) Friends
written by Anna Kang
illustrated by Christopher Weyant
While not a new take on the friendship of three is tough topic, it's still a fun read.  Told through decodable text and sight words, young readers can clearly understand the difficulties these three have with playing a game that is meant for more than two players.

The Magic of Letters
The Magic of Letters
written by Tony Johnston
illustrated by Wendell Minor
Oooh, this is a book you're going to want to read at the beginning of the year to talk about the power of letters and words.  Perfect for intro to Reader's and Writer's Workshop.

Little Taco Truck
Little Taco Truck
written by Tanya Valentine
illustrated by Jorge Martin
Little Taco Truck is used to have the city street all to himself, but what happens when as the city grows, new food trucks arrive?
Great for author's message and to talk about what was this book really about?

written by Deborah Underwood
illustrated by T. L. McBeth
Another great book for what is it really about - and the older the audience, the more in depth the conversation!
Ogilvy the bunny has just moved to a new town.  When Ogilvy hits the park where everyone is playing another bunny lays down the rules - bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks.   Oglivy wants to do it all so quickly decides on playing ball and knitting days, it's a dress and on climbing and art days, it's a sweater.  The other bunnies get upset and demand Ogilvy pick a side.  That's when Ogilvy decides to ask the big question, why are all the bunnies obsessed with what each other is wearing?  Why are the clothes they wear the deciding factor on what they are allowed to play?
See.... what's the story really about, right???
Interestingly enough I noted no pronouns are ever used in the book....

Dear Boy,
Dear Boy,
written by Paris Rosenthal and Jason Rosenthal
illustrated by Holly Hatam
A companion picture book to Dear Girl, which is the final book by beloved children's author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, completed by her daughter Paris Rosenthal, this is a perfect bookend to the first book.  A wonderful book to give as a welcome baby gift, it really is a beautiful guidemap to navigating life as a young boy.

Brave Molly
Brave Molly
by Brooke Boynton-Hughes
A wordless picture book that depicts the feeling of social anxiety in the form of monsters that crowd a young girl when she tries to enter a social situation. 

Home Is a Window
Home is a Window
written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
illustrated by Chris Sasaki
Gorgeous picture book written with a lyrical voice about all the things a home is.  A home is many things, but will it change when you move to a new house? 

The Pigeon Has to Go to School
The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
by Mo Willems
So even though this book does not publish until July, I just want you to all know it's a must read.  It's a must pre-order.  You're going to read it at the very beginning of the school year, so you might a well make sure it's for sure going to be in your hands.
All of the things you expect to see in a Pigeon book by Mo Willems is in there.  And it will make you laugh out loud.  I promise!

MIddle Grade

A Wolf Called Wander
A Wolf Called Wander
by Rosanne Parry
I didn't know what to expect with this one, but what I got was an amazing survival story that is full of heart.  Swift, a young wolf, is separated from his pack and must survive on his own.  He ends up on a journey where he learns to survive and live on his own, but he never gives up on finding his own family.  The book does not shy away from animal instinct and survival (some blood and gore described especially in the hunting for food parts), but is very respectful about the circle of life.  
With a writing style that was reminiscent of Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan, not a word was wasted in this first person narrative told by the wolf.
I am very much looking forward to holding a finished copy so I can see the backmatter (it was not in the published ARC).  This story is based on an actual wolf's journey and I'm interested in reading about the parallel's of the two wolves.
This is a must have for your readers who love animal stories.

Silver Meadows Summer
Silver Meadows Summer
by Emma Otheguy
I really enjoyed this coming of age story.  Otheguy does a wonderful job capturing that in between time - when you know you're supposed to be growing up, but want to stick to the joys of childhood.
Carolina has just moved to upstate New York from her home in Puerto Rico.  Moving in with her aunt and family is challenging, especially when everyone, including her own Mami, want her to hang out with her older cousin and try to be more New York than carry on her traditions from Puerto Rico.
The only problem I have with this book, and I know it won't be a problem for many, is there is a huge Tooth Fairy spoiler.  It is an important part of the story that has to do with the main character's struggle of balancing two cultures.  The main character is 11, so I understand that many kids already "know", but for those who still believe (and yes, I had a 5th grader who absolutely believed), this book would be a spoiler.  Again, know your readers......

Currently Reading

The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2)
The War I Finally Won
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I know, so late to the party.  I held off reading this one because I loved TWTSML so much.  Having a daughter with physical disabilities, this book hit home.  Not because I'm like Mam (please, no) but because I see these kids and I want nothing but the best for them.  I was hesitant to start it because I didn't want to ruin that first reading experience.  But, it's time!

I hope you get some great Memorial Day weekend reading done!  This weekend has been filled with books, but not with the reading part.  I had a shelf collapse a year ago and I've been meaning to clean out, weed, and reorganize my books.  Finally started that this weekend.  What a process it's going to be!  I will be so glad when it's done!


  1. There are so many books here that I want to read. I just added about 5 of them to my Goodreads list. ;) I had a class Skype with Emma Otheguy and I have been looking forward to reading this one for sure.

  2. I am now really interested in reading Ogilvy. I sure hope my library brings it in soon! I purchased Dear Boy, to give to my son and his son, but want to read it first. Of course it is sitting in a pile. I must get to it! Regarding The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!, isn't any Mo Willems book a must preorder?

  3. I'm also hoarding my (unread) copy of TWIFW. I know I'll like it, but I like the anticipation.

  4. I'm looking forward to reading Home is a Window and A Wolf Called Wander. And I'm going to have to check out Ogilvy! I loved both of Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's war books SO much, so I'm excited to hear you're getting into book #2. Good luck with your book weeding! We've started that process and it's tough.

  5. So many awesome-looking picturebooks right here. Spent the better part of my morning today just reading a whole stack of picturebooks! So comforting, always.

  6. I placed library requests for 6 of your picture books: The Magic of Letters, Little Taco Truck, Ogilvy, Dear Boy, Brave Molly and The Pigeon Has to go to School...Thanks for sharing all of these awesome titles. Have a great week!