Monday, June 17, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.17.19

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

I shared some nonfiction picture books that were in my stacks.

I shared my first "Chapter Book Summer" post - this is a series that will feature chapter books targeted for 1st-5th grade.

Some future Mock Caldecott selections, as chosen by 4th grade students.

Picture Books

When Sadness Is at Your Door
When Sadness is at Your Door
by Eva Eland
Definitely a purchase for your SEL section of your library.  This book does a good job naming sadness, describing what it might feel like, and giving some tips on how a child might deal with those feelings, acknowledging that sadness might not always be around.

Bilal Cooks Daal
Bilal Cooks Daal
written by Aisha Saeed
illustrated by Anoosha Syed
Instead of food shaming, before judging food, first invite everyone over to try it!  
Bilal and his father, Abu, are making daal.  As described by Bilal, it's a delicious food but it takes a long time to prepare.  Because it's probably a new-to-them food, Bilal's friends are skeptical and make some not-very-nice comments at first.  But after participating in the preparation part, everyone gets a little anxious to try the new food.

I'm Worried
I'm Worried
written by Michael Ian Black
illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Another book for your SEL collection.  I've read quite a few books that are written about this emotion and this one has a slightly silly take that lightens the discussion just a bit.  A perfect Words of the Wiser moment if you're looking for books for signpost lessons.

Trains Run!
Trains Run!
written by George Ella Lyon and Benn Lyon
illustrated by Mick Wiggins
Train enthusiasts are going to love this rhyming text picture book.  Celebrating many different kinds of trains and the work they do, the rolling text and beautiful illustrations pair so well together.  Fun read aloud.

Leila in Saffron
Leila in Saffron
written by Rukhsanna Guidroz
illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova
Young Leila is trying to figure out who she is when a weekly trip to her grandmother's house helps her get perspective and understanding.

Middle Grade

The Clockwork Ghost (York, #2)
York:  The Clockwork Ghost
written by Laura Ruby
I think this series is THE smartest mystery series for middle grade readers.  Ruby writes to them instead of just about them.  There is an understanding that middle grade readers can follow well-written and well-developed storylines that sometimes is assumed they can't.
Theo and Tess and their friend, Jaime, are back at trying to solve the mystery of the cypher.  With complicated puzzles and clues laid out all over New York City and surrounding areas and unknown people on their trail, the trio of friends must work even faster to figure out the mystery.  
Ruby leaves us with quite the ending and definitely makes me want the next installation now!

All of Me
All of Me
by Chris Baron
This is a book that is so needed.  Books about body images, body shaming, and identity are needed.  This is a book I needed when I was growing up.
I've always had body issues.  No matter how hard I work out, how hard I diet, I've never been thin.  It's not in my genetic makeup.  But it was never harder to deal with than when I was in middle school and high school.  I absolutely was bullied about it - and back then I never would have said bullied, I would have just shamed myself into thinking it was my fault, I shouldn't look like that.  I never would have been able to look within myself and figure out who I wanted to be and figure out how to like myself.
While I dealt with this many years ago, kids are still going through it and that is why this book is so needed.  Baron deftly weaves a story that introduces us to Ari, who as an overweight middle grader, he definitely has body shaming issues and he uses it as a way to focus on the bad things about himself, to the point of self-harm.  The way Baron allows his character to grow throughout this novel in verse is beautiful and touching.  I also appreciated the way he brought other parts of Ari's identity (being Jewish and studying for his bar mitzvah - was it because his dad wanted him to or because it makes up who he is?) that all come together in this novel.
Some sensitive content in this story make it perfect for middle school and above.

Midsummer's Mayhem
Midsummer's Mayhem
by Rajani LaRocca
I really enjoyed this one - devoured it in a couple of days.  Mimi is an aspiring baker and has found a local contest that will connect her with her favorite celebrity baker!  But just when things start cooking for her, havoc starts within her family.  Between feuds, over-the-top affectionate suitors, and self-indulgences, her family is going to worry Mimi and not allow her to concentrate on her baking.  Luckily she has a new friend in Vik who helps her think more clearly... or does he?  With threads of Shakespeare's infamous story woven through, readers will love meeting Mimi and cheer for her as she tries to make her goal.
I was a little worried about the Shakespeare part, since I really don't know his work other than some Shakespearian allusions!  However, the author has placed enough information about the real story so even those without the background can figure out the connections.
Readers who enjoy stories about families and friendships, and especially those who love all of the reality TV baking shows, are going to love this book!

The 12th Candle
The 12th Candle
by Kim Tomsic
A coming of age novel you will want for your libraries!
A story about friendship and enemies, positives and negatives.
Two families are under a Contrarium Curse - if a positive happens to one, the opposite will happen to the other.
Young Sage is usually on the negative side of this curse.  But what if she could wish it all away?  After receiving a special candle, Sage gets to wish some of those positive things her way.
But sometimes it's all about perspective.  What is seen as a positive to some people, is not to others.  Sage learns a lesson in kindness along the way and understands the real power in reversing a curse.
You'll have to wait a little while for this one - Oct. 8th.  In the meantime, make sure you have it on your TBR list!

Young Adult

Frankly in Love
Frankly in Love
by David Yoon
Just make sure this is on your TBR this fall.  So much in this novel and so well written.  Frank is a character that you will relate to at some point in this novel.  Maybe because as first generation American in his family, he has the weight on his shoulders of being the perfect Korean son.  Especially since his older sister has been rejected by his parents because she fell in love with someone outside of their Korean race.  Or maybe you'll relate to him because he has fallen for someone his parents do not approve of.  Or maybe you'll understand the stress he is under as he studies for the SATs and AP tests and worry about the college he's accepted into and worry about being far away from his lifelong friends.  But just when things start to come together for Frank, his family really does start to fall apart.
What a debut for David Yoon!
Do not miss this book... you just have to wait a little while - Sept. 10th.

Currently Reading

The Paris Project
The Paris Project
by Donna Gephart
I've been hearing great things about this one!

Happy reading this week!  I'm off to ALA on Friday.  Looking forward to seeing the upcoming fall releases!


  1. I am SOOO hopeful that we'll get a copy of All of Me very soon. I've heard such great things and I LOVE the synopsis. I forgot about Frankly in Love, even though it's on my list. It sounds like I need to bump this one back up. When Sadness is at Your Door was a happy surprise for me. I wasn't lured in by the cover, but once I got into the book I was very pleased. So glad we have books like this!

  2. I love your Chapter Book posts! I look forward to referencing them when Trent is a bit older.
    Everyone is loving Frankly in Love--I look forward to reading it!

    See you soon and happy reading :)

  3. All of Me is definitely a book that has stayed with me long after I read and love that it was written in verse. I am getting ready to read Frankly in Love and can't wait for my official summer to begin so I can have a day to read it from start to finish.

  4. Frankly in Love is such a great book! The Paris Project sounds interesting.

  5. I'm curious about Frankly in Love (since he's married to Nicola Yoon).

    I'm glad that there are more and more books about body image/shaming, and I wish you had it as a young woman, Michele--hugs!! <3 <3 They are so necessary with our stupid perfectionist culture and hopefully it will help to prevent eating disorders too!

  6. I loved the gentle language and the lovely artwork of When Sadness Is At Your Door. I'm also looking forward to the continuation of the series by Michael Ian Black with I'm Worried. This one looks like it would be perfect for me because I'm a big worrier! Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  7. Those look like some good books.

  8. So many great books here. I agree totally about When Sadness is at your door - will be reviewing it soon as well - very subtle and gentle title. :)
    Have a great reading week!