Monday, July 29, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7.29.19

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.

It's hard to believe that July is coming to a close and August is about here.  August always means it's time to start closing the door to summer and thinking about the next school year.  I've also got a list of projects to complete before school starts.  Thinking about my word for this year - BALANCE - reminds me that it's ok to not do everything.  To help me balance my to-do list over these last few days of summer, I'm going to go on a blogging break over the month of August.  I'll be back after Labor Day with lots of new posts.  I will of course continue to read and I'll be sharing the books on Twitter and Goodreads if you want to keep up with them.  Hoping you find some time to enjoy these last few weeks of summer!  See you in September!

Last Week's Adventures

Next in the Chapter Book Summer series are books that feature Mighty, MAGICAL girls!  Check the list out here.

Picture Books

The Little Green Hen
The Little Green Hen
by Alison Murray
I liked this twist on "The Little Red Hen" story where minds can change and everyone can be included.

Angus All Aglow
Angus All Aglow
written by Heather Smith
illustrated by Alice Carter
Angus loves words and attributed sounds to words and objects.  What was especially appealing to him was his Grandmother's colorful glass beaded necklace.  Grandma gifts Angus the necklace and despite his family's reservations, wears it proudly to school.  Unfortunately it is not well-received at school.  Angus is hurt and for awhile stops hearing wonderful sounds.  However, all it takes is one friend to acknowledge his feelings and make him feel validated.
I've seen some people say they don't like it when a character can't feel positive on his/her own.  However, I think it's also very realistic for people wanting to belong and be accepted for what they like/enjoy.  This book shows that and I think readers will appreciate it.

The Don't Worry Book
The Don't Worry Book
by Todd Parr
Maybe not my favorite worry book, but it's a good one to have.  Like Parr's other books, it's straight and to the point.
Parr gives examples of many different types of worries.  And then he gives suggestions for how to deal with worries, including talking to a loved one.  

Prince & Knight
Prince and Knight
written by Daniel Haack
illustrated by Stevie Lewis
There is so much to love about this twist on meeting your fairy tale, one-true-love story.  The prince's family is introducing the prince to princess after princess hoping he will fall in love.  The prince understands that no princess is going to be his one-true-love.  When the prince has to save the kingdom from a fiery dragon, he works together with a knight... who of course ends up being his knight in shining armor!  They fall in love immediately and are married.  The king and queen are overjoyed their prince has found his one-true-love.

What I love about this story is it is a positive, gay experience.  Just like it's completely acceptable in fairy tales to fall in love and get married and everyone is happily ever after, the same goes in this rendition.
What I'm not loving is some of the heavier lovey words.  I'm picturing reading this out loud, and whether it's a straight or gay romance, reading "held in the knight's embrace" and "as they gazed into each other's eyes, their hearts began to race" is going to get some squirms from little ones.  Maybe a bit more G rated in the romance parts.

Ultrabot's First Playdate
Ultrabot's First Playdate
by Josh Schneider
This is going to be a fun read aloud with young kids.  They will relate to Ultrabot's feelings of nervousness before his first big playdate.

My Tiny Pet
My Tiny Pet
by Jessie Hartland
The author writes that in this movement where Tiny Houses have become increasingly popular, she took it further to a tiny pet!  
Our main character's parents have decided to downsize - downsize their house and their lives.  Away goes all of the pets but the girl still wants something.  She finally convinces her parents a tardigrade would be the perfect small pet.  A pet that is so small it must be magnified 300 times to see!
Publishes Aug. 6th

Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations
Sing a Song: How "Lift Every Voice and Sing" Inspired Generations
written by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Keith Mallett
I first became familiar with this song from attending the Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast held at ALA Annual.  It is sung every year, often performed by a youth choir.  One only has to look around at all of the voices singing it loud and proud to understand the importance of this song.  This book really helped me understand some of its history and the way it is passed down from generation to generation.  Gorgeous illustrations by Keith Mallett accompany the story and I loved the decision of printing the song on the endpages.
Publishes Aug. 6th

Señorita Mariposa
Señorita Mariposa
written by Ben Gundersheimer
illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero
A lyrical story told in dual-language, this book for young readers follows a Monarch butterfly's migration from north to south.  Beautiful illustrations accompany the text.  
Publishes Aug. 6th

If I Built a School
If I Built a School
by Chris Van Dusen
I think this is my favorite book in Van Dusen's "If I Built..." series!  Perfect for the start of the year and when introducing MakerSpace areas.  Readers are going to love the ideas going into this school!
Publishes Aug. 13th


No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse
No More Poems!
written by Rhett Miller
illustrated by Dan Santat
A collection of poetry that is PERFECT for the upper elementary and middle school crowd.  With some of the poems that have a little edgier words or content or illustrations (really Dan Santat?  I needed to see the stream of pee???) that will get the kids laughing out loud, this is going to be a collection of poetry that is needed in libraries!

Middle Grade

by Corey Ann Haydu
This has been in my pile for quite some time.  One that will leave me thinking about it for awhile!  Haydu's stories always have this magical realism thread that goes through, often exploring a melancholy part of life that doesn't get talked about.  It runs through this one as well but the way she explores it is really done in an exceptional way.  In my opinion, this one is her most well written book to date and I'm looking forward to hearing what young readers have to say about it.

Indian No More
Indian No More
by Charlene Willing McMavis and Traci Sorell
This is a book that is so needed - to talk about experiences of Native Americans that have long been erased and not even admitted to in our history books.  Needed because we need to hear the voice of everyone in America - and this voice has long been silenced.  
Regina and her family are being relocated to the Los Angeles area from the Grand Ronde reservation in the state of Oregon as part of the Indian Relocation program.  Regina, her younger sister, mom and dad, and paternal grandmother have mixed emotions about moving.  Her father looks at it as an opportunity - better schools and jobs.  Regina only knows what it feels like to be Umpqua and has never encountered racism before.  
A book like this will help readers with a perspective that has probably never been discussed with them before.  I hope this book is used in classrooms everywhere and there are conversations around the story.  If you are participating in Mock Newbery, this might be a book to add!

Young Adult

Past Perfect Life
Past Perfect Life
by Elizabeth Eulberg
Definitely a book I would have read in upper middle school/high school.  
Ally lives in a small town in Wisconsin.  She has great friends and has been raised by her single-parent father.  Ally has a great relationship with her dad, especially since it's always just been the two of them.  Although they don't have money, she knows her dad will always be there for her.  Until, he isn't.  And it's a secret that rocks Ally's life.  Turns out her father kidnapped her when she was very young and moved her from Florida to Wisconsin.  Her mother is still alive and has never given up hope that Amanda/Ally would be found.  Since she is still a minor, Ally is forced to leave her friends and school behind and assimilate into this new life in Florida.
A fun story that I kept wanting to get back to even when it was time to put it down.  There was a quick conclusion that I felt should have had some more time to draw it out, but it was definitely an enjoyable read.  I've already handed it off to my 9th grade daughter!

Currently Reading

The Tundra Trials (Bounders #2)
Bounders 2: The Tundra Trials
by Monica Tesler
I have had this series since it published but I needed it to get on my #mustread list before I finally got to it!  There are so many books to read that wonderful books get pushed aside and it's my #mustread list that ensures I get to them!  
This is book 2 and I made sure the rest of the published books in this series was on the #mustread list this year!  I am enjoying this book even more than the first!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer reading time.  I'll be back in September with loads more to share!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer, week 6 - 7.25.19

Image result for summer reading

This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

Today we have some more Mighty Girls - this time they are Mighty Magical Girls!  Whether it's super powers or magical wands or powers, these girls are setting the world on fire!

Mighty Meg and the Magical Ring by Sammy Griffin
Mighty Meg and the Magical Ring
written by Sammy Griffin
illustrated by Micah Player
It's Meg's eighth birthday and she's ready for all of the festivities!  The biggest surprise is her Aunt Nikki who has just come back from a dig in Sweden where they found an ancient Viking burial ground!  And for Nikki's birthday, she brings back a ring.  When Nikki puts it on she feels a jolt, like an electric shock go through her body.  She all of a sudden feels a bit sick, but is all better the next morning.  It's the next day when all of a sudden some strange things start happening - she has super power, super speed, heightened senses, and.... she can turn invisible!  What will she do with these new superpowers?
This is the first book in the series!  Hand this series off to mature 1st grade readers - 3rd grade readers.

Athena & the Magic Land by Joan Holub
Little Goddess Girls: Athena and the Magic Land
written by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
illustrated by Yuyi Chen
I remember reading many Goddess Girls series books with my daughter when she was younger.  Now the girls are back but a little bit younger and a new twist on the series.  In this first book we meet Athena and Medusa but both are just regular school girls, playing games on their tablet, but still in a bit of a rivalry!  However a magical wind brings Athena to a Magic Land where she looks more like the Athena we know from the mythology stories.  From there it's a mix of some familiar mythology and sprinkle in some Wizard of Oz moments, and you've got the new Goddess Girls.  This first book does not have a conclusion with Athena returning to Earth, so looks like she has more adventures ahead of her in Magic Land!
Another book for mature 1st grade readers - 3rd grade.

The Magic Mirror by Anna Staniszewski
Once Upon a Fairy Tale: The Magic Mirror
written by Anna Staniszewski
illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
Scholastic's Branches line has a new series out this fall!  The Branches books are known for their engaging series, fun characters, and books that are perfect for readers who are looking for something longer but not as sophisticated as middle grade novels.
This series looks to be based off of familiar fairy tales but have a twist or two in them.  In this first book we meet friends Kara and Zed.  They embark on an adventure to find the Ice Princess and help her fix her magic mirror.  Until that happens, all of the land is stuck in summer (which in controlled by the Ice Princess' sister...).  Looks like some family magic needs to be fixed quickly!
This first book publishes Sept. 3rd and will follow with book 2 and 3 next year.  Like the other Branches stories, I think this series will be a great fit for readers in 2nd-4th grades.

Halfway to Happily Ever After by Sarah Aronson       Survival of the Sparkliest! (The Wish List #4)
The Wish List: Halfway to Happily Ever After and Survival of the Sparkliest!
by Sarah Aronson
A couple of years ago after the first book in the series published, Sarah Aronson visited our school.  She gave such a dynamic presentation, I rarely see these books on my shelves!  I didn't even read this third book in the series until summer because I had to wait for it to be returned!  I accidentally ordered two copies of book 4 - although readers were happy!
I love this series - it features wonderful girl power, celebrates the mighty, SMART girl, and believes in happily ever after!  
In book three Isabelle is halfway through her training when that gets put on hold because of a strike between the bests and the worsts (godmothers and in-training).  I love that the group known as the "Worsts" stand up for themselves and demand a change.  They believe that no longer should groups be known as words that have negative meaning.  I love that they believe in equality and finding the best in everyone!  Sarah continues to add real-life issues into this magical world.  These books really are special!
I'm looking forward to reading the fourth book, but also a bit sad since it's the last in the series.  I can't wait to find some answers and my fingers are crossed that Isabelle will get her happily ever after!
Readers in 3rd-5th grade really love this series, but I've seen some very mature 1st and 2nd grade readers enjoy meeting Isabelle too!

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Monday, July 22, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7.22.19

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

Check out this nonfiction picture book that has connections to literature and science standards and makerspace ideas.  Bonus - teacher's guide included in the post!

Next Chapter Book Summer series post is a roundup of books featuring Mighty Girls and STEM!  Check it out here.

Picture Books

Moth: An Evolution Story
written by Isabel Thomas
illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
Here is a book I'm not sure how to classify.  The library has it in the fiction section.  But it really is full of information.  
The story is truly an evolution story - how the peppered moth has changed and adapted to its environment over the years in order to survive.  Definitely a book to have in your stacks if you do anything with adaptations in your science units!

Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?
Can Cat and Bird Be Friends? 
by Coll Muir
I think this book has some possibilities as a mentor text.  Would be interesting to use in opinion writing and perspective.  
A bird and a cat are having an argument about whether or not they can be friends, which leads to the question can you be friends if you don't have anything in common?

written by Jean Reidy
illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
A sweet and quiet little story.  One about accomplishments and feeling extraordinary.
Truman the turtle is always with his owner, Lucy.  But one day Lucy packs her backpack and looks extra nice and gives Truman more snacks than usual and then enters the southbound bus and leaves without Truman.  Readers can deduce that Lucy has probably gone off to school for the first time and will return, but Truman does not know this.  He takes matters into his own little tortoise hands and starts on a journey to find her.  
Would be a good read aloud at any time of the year, but fun for the beginning too!

Unstoppable Me
Unstoppable Me
written by Susan Verde
illustrated by Andrew Joyner
A book written to celebrate children who have boundless energy and view them with a positive perspective.  Don't miss the author's note at the end that tells a bit more.  Diverse number of kids in illustrations.

Ruby Finds a Worry
Ruby Finds a Worry
by Tom Percival
Bloomsbury has published the American version of this story - I read the UK version over a year ago.  Same wonderful story, just some Americanized words (movie theater vs cinema) and spellings (realize vs realise).  Great book for your SEL collection to show that it is ok to have worries and it's ok to talk about them!
Publishes Sept. 3rd.

Middle Grade

The Hero Next Door
The Hero Next Door
edited by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
I've been waiting for this middle grade anthology for a long time.  Featuring some amazing authors, it is also collaborated with We Need Diverse Books.  Some of my favorite stories come from Ellen Oh, R.J. Palacio, Ronald Smith, Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin, and Hena Khan.  The stories give praise to the unsung heroes in our lives.  Sometimes it even reminds us that we can be a hero to someone else.

Currently Reading

by Corey Ann Haydu
This has been in my pile for a really long time.  It's time to get to it!

It was a slow reading week for me.  They happen!  Will try to pick it up a bit this week!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer, week 5 - 7.18.19

Image result for summer reading

This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

There have been a lot of recent books published featuring girl characters and science/STEM topics.  Here is a ladder of books that feature this topic.

Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet       Frankie Sparks and the Talent Show Trick
Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet
Frankie Sparks and the Talent Show Trick
written by Megan Frazer Blakemore
illustrated by Nadja Sarell
I think Frankie is going to be a hit with readers in 1st-4th grades (mature 1st graders through 4th graders who are working on stamina and need reading supports).  Frankie is a third grader who is quite the inventor.  In each book Megan takes us through the inventing process starting with the idea and going through brainstorming, to gathering materials, making the prototype, testing it out and making adjustments, and finally sharing the invention.  I enjoyed watching Frankie use familiar materials to make her inventions - it's great to see a child inventor in this series!  And while Frankie is always working on a new invention, she also has to work on her friendships, especially with her best friend, Maya.  Readers will relate to all the characters and will also be empowered to come up with their own ideas to solve problems!  Looking forward to additional installments to this series later this year and next.
Recommended grade levels:  1st-3rd grade

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters by Andrea Beaty       Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants
written by Andrea Beaty
illustrated by David Roberts
Hopefully you have already read the wonderful picture books that feature classmates Rosie, Ada, and Iggy!  Amazing books that feature STEM and true makerspace creations - and great for numerous Notice and Note signposts!  Now the friends are returning in chapter book formats.  That means longer stories and more science and engineering!  (just waiting to hear when Iggy is getting his own longer story!)
The chapters are short and feature a lot of illustrations from David Roberts.  I especially appreciated the illustrations that gave a visual to the science and engineering part of things - not how my brain works!  The book featuring Ada even has some additional science information within the chapters to give the reader some background on what is happening in that part of the story.
Recommended grade levels:  1st-4th grade

Parker Bell and the Science of Friendship by Cynthia Platt
Parker Bell and the Science of Friendship
written by Cynthia Platt
illustrated by Rea Zhai
Readers will enjoy this chapter book that mixes the perfect amount of science with the perfect amount of friendship challenges!
Parker is a scientist in the making - she thinks like a scientist, even using processes scientists go through when making decisions - and fixing their original ideas!  Parker and her best friend Cassie always work together, but now shy, quiet Theo is not only part of their science groups for the upcoming Science Triathlon at school, but seems to be becoming part of their friendship group.  Parker is not sure she wants Theo there, but Cassie insists on it.  Will this new group of three be able to work together successfully?  You know Parker will be sure to put it to a scientific test!
This book reminds me a bit of the Anna Banana series by Anica Mrose Rissi.  Realistic fiction, this one with a dash of science, that is relatable and fun!  Quick chapters and one full page illustration in each chapter will help support readers as they engage in this book.
Recommended grade levels:  2nd-5th grade

Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray by Jess Keating
Elements of Genius: Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray
by Jess Keating
I'm so glad Jess has returned to her middle grade roots.  She has such an awesome voice for these readers and her humor is spot on!
In this book we are introduced to Nikki Tesla.  She's living with her mom, being homeschooled because her high level of intelligence is interrupting her ability to make friends.  She has a tempermental ferret who in the first scene, just happens to be setting off Nikki's latest invention, a death ray gun (imagine a vaporizer).  This latest home explosion is finally what puts in motion Nikki being sent to a new school.  One for geniuses - Genius Academy.  This elite group of students, all named after people who are famous for their own kind of genius (Mary Shelley, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein....) have been tasked with saving the world by using their talents.  First, though, they must solve who stole Nikki's death ray gun.
This book will be well loved by readers who are ready for a longer chapter book.  With the multiple characters, readers will have to be able to keep track of the names and talents to understand how each of them contributes to the team.  There are illustrations in every chapter that help give some visual supports.  It's a longer story (288pgs), but again, with the illustrations it is manageable.  I'm excited this will be a series!  
Recommended grade levels:  3rd-6th grade

Other series you may want to check out:
Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce
Girls Who Code by Stacia Deutsch
Lucy's Lab by Michelle Houts

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Guitar Genius and educator's guide

Wednesdays I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
#kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 

with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

Do you have someone in your class that loves to tinker?  Someone who can take things apart and put them together - sometimes in a way that makes the item work even better than before?  Do you know someone who takes a little bit of this, a part from here, and puts them together to create something new and exciting?  Today, that person may be a student in your class.  Years from now, that person may invent something that changes the way we look at an idea.  You may have the next Les Paul!

Guitar Genius by Kim Tomsic
Guitar Genius: 
How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar 
and Rocked the World
written by Kim Tomsic
illustrated by Brett Helquist
published by Chronicle Books

Before Les Paul gave us the electric guitar, he was that tinkerer - the one who could take an oatmeal box, wire, and a few other odds and ends to create his own radio.  Les, or as he was known while growing up in Waukesha (pronunciation here), WI, Lester Polsfuss, was constantly finding a problem and then thinking about how he would solve that problem.  Usually, that problem was musically related.  Author Kim Tomsic walks us through the evolution of the Les Paul electric guitar - from how he figured out how to amplify the sound of a regular guitar, to the construction of a primitive electric guitar, to creating the body and shape of the electric guitar we know.  Along the way we understand some of the mechanics and science/sound behind the electric guitar.  While Lester may have started thinking about problems and possible solutions, Les Paul took those ideas and made musical history!

I love picture book biographies because of the many versatile ways they can be used.  This particular book has connections to reading and writing, science, and social emotional learning standards.  The makerspace ideas are endless!  I was fortunate enough to work with Chronicle Books and write the teacher's guide for this fabulous book.  Here are ideas, questions, and activities you can use with your students!

You can also access the Teacher's Guide here.

I hope this book inspires your students to create and think in new ways about all of the possibilities that are out there!

Monday, July 15, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7.15.19

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

Some books about endangered animals can be found here.

Chapter Book Summer series focused on some upcoming "Dear Diary" style books.

Picture Books

I'm going to start out with a string of picture books by former Caldecott winners.  I picked these up at ALA and all of these illustrators (who wrote and illustrated their books!) continue to have amazing ideas! 

by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
A young rabbit asks that question - why? - to its older and wiser, and definitely more patient, friend, Bear.  Bear answers all of the questions, even when the answer may be tough, and shows that friendship is the best answer!
publishes August 13th

by Matthew Cordell
A family is off to explore a museum but first passes by and purchases a folded paper bird that flies a good distance when thrown.  This chance purchase ends up having an important meaning throughout the story.  In this wordless picture book, Cordell gives us themes of friendship and understanding, as we travel alongside the family whose trip to the museum goes differently than probably originally planned!
publishes September 24th

A Big Bed for Little Snow
A Big Bed for Little Snow
by Grace Lin
In this follow-up to her Caldecott Honor title A Big Mooncake for Little Star, we meet Little Snow who has a bed full of feathers to sleep on all winter long.  But just like Little Star, Little Snow has some mischief and fun inside of him and his actions make way for some snowy consequences!
publishes Oct. 15th

A Stone Sat Still
A Stone Sat Still
by Brendan Wenzel
Another book on perspective, like They All Saw a Cat, but in a different vein.  This time the constant is a stone and we see many perspectives in regards to the stone.  Wenzel gives us a clue in the book information at the end that the perspectives are emotional and environmental in nature.  Another one that will make us think and discuss!
publishes Aug. 27th

by Oge Mora
Ava and her mother always spend Saturdays together.  The reader can see and feel the love between mother and daughter and how important spending time together is for both of them.  But one Saturday doesn't go right, from the beginning of the day to the end.  When it's easy to be frustrated and upset Ava and her mom learn to stay calm and concentrate on the important things - being together!
publishes Oct. 22nd

And some picture books that are out now you may want to check out:

Max Attacks
Max Attacks
written by Kathi Appelt
illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan
A fun rhyming story about a sometimes-sneaky cat who is finding his prey and pouncing, often with funny effects.

Being Edie Is Hard Today
Being Edie is Hard Today
written by Ben Brashares 
illustrated by Elizabeth Bergeland
A story for your SEL collection - this one is different from some of the other picture books that deal with anxiety and depression, seen above the characters' heads are emojis.  As feelings change, so do the emojis.  A good visual for understanding the range of emotions when feelings of anxiety hits young readers.

The Peculiar Pig
The Peculiar Pig
written by Joy Steuerwald
A little dachshund has found its way into a pig family.  The piglets don't all accept him until he shows his dedication to his family.

Bear Came Along
Bear Came Along
written by Richard T. Morris
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Love this charming book that is more than it appears to be.  A story about a bear who starts a chain reaction of events and animals meeting each other.  But really a story about how we all interact in each other's lives and the impact we have upon everyone on Earth.  Betsy Bird has added it to her Caldecott possibilities.  Hmmmm.....

Where's the Baboon?
Where's the BaBOOn?
written by Michaël Escoffier
illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo
I found this book in a stack at home.  I purchased it years ago and then it was buried... It's a fun one to have.  Each page poses a question and there is always one of the words that has letters that are highlighted a different color.  The answer to the question is the highlighted letters.  For example "Who can count to a thousand?"  And the answer is toad.

When Aidan Became A Brother
When Aidan Became a Brother
written by Kyle Lukoff
illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
An #ownvoices picture book, this is the story of Aidan.  When Aidan was born everyone thought Aidan was a girl.  It took some time, but eventually Aidan became who he was supposed to be.  Now Aidan is going to have a sibling and he really wants to get everything right for the baby and not make mistakes.  Aidan eventually comes to realize that it's ok if he makes mistakes along the way, that love for your family is even more important.

Middle Grade

* I'm apologizing now because all of these books don't publish until October!  Just know all of these books need to be on your radar... on your preorder list... on your library holds for that month!

Look Both Ways
Look Both Ways
by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds is absolutely one of my favorite authors.  He has such a powerful way with words.  In his upcoming middle grade novel, each chapter is its own short story.  However, the entire book is linked together through the setting with characters that are seen in multiple stories and plot lines that are lightly woven together.  The stories can be shared with readers individually or as a whole.  Of course, if it were me, I'd tell readers to read EVERY SINGLE WORD because they are all masterfully written!
This book publishes Oct. 8th.

Friend or Fiction
Friend or Fiction
by Abby Cooper
Jade lives in a town in Colorado where most people pass through, and if they stay, it's never for long.  Making friends has been tough, having a best friend, impossible.  So she retreats into her writing and creating a world where she enjoys a perfect friendship with a girl named Zoe.  But when a classmate takes her journal and puts some magical water on it, Zoe comes alive.  Everything Jade has ever wanted comes true, so life is perfect, right?
A book about perspective, friendship, and surprises.  This is the type of book my younger self would have devoured in a day!
Look for it on Oct. 8th!
advanced e-galley from Edelweiss

Maybe He Just Likes You
Maybe He Just Likes You
by Barbara Dee
Barbara Dee's books really should be required reading for kids in middle school.  She writes about important issues, often issues that aren't widely discussed by the adults in the lives of middle school kids, and therefore issues that need the most discussion.  And she deals with these issues in very very realistic settings and characters.  She takes a very relevant plotline and dissects it just as it would appear in the life of a middle grade reader.  So spot-on.
In this book, Dee tackles sexual harassment and the #metoo movement in the life of her character, Mila.  Mila is a seventh-grader who is dealing with things like her parents divorce and her father's absence in her life.  Friendships that once were solid are now sometimes shaky.  The competition of what chair she'll be in the trumpet section in the 7th grade band.  And now, the unwanted and unasked for attention of some of her male classmates.  A touch, a hug, a butt-squeeze.  A game being played at her expense.  Mila's inner turmoil about how to handle this is written so well, because it's not a black and white, easy answer.  Her friends have different responses, some not in support of Mila.  In a world where "boys will be boys" and "it's just a game", what can Mila do to find her voice?
Thank you Barbara for giving a voice to middle grade readers.
Publishes Oct. 1st.

Young Adult

Wilder Girls
Wilder Girls
by Rory Power
I haven't read a YA like this in a long time.  Kristin at Random House made sure I got this one at ALA and wow, I'm glad she did.  She pitched it as a new Lord of the Flies but with girls and I can certainly see the comparison.
Hetty is at a boarding school off the coast in Maine and when we start the book all of the girls at the school, all of the girls who are still alive anyway, have a disease they are calling the "Tox".  They don't know what it is, it affects each of them differently.  All they know is the Navy and CDC are working on a cure.  Until then, they must stay at the school in quarantine.  Of course with a mysterious disease like this, nothing is as it seems and Hetty is starting to pick up on things that really aren't right.
This book had me at the edge of my seat and I found it hard to put down.  It was also creepy enough there were a few times I had trouble reading it at night!  When talking about #DisruptTexts and changing the cannon, this is a book that should be on the shelves in high school libraries.

Call It What You Want
Call It What You Want
by Brigid Kemmerer
This contemporary YA asks the question is it ok to do the wrong thing for the right reasons.  Told in alternating chapters between Rob, whose father was stealing money from his clients and then after getting caught tried to commit suicide which left him alive but in an incapacitated state, and Maegan who was caught cheating on her SATs which left many other test takers with incomplete test results too.  Both are struggling with their decisions which has left them as cast outs at their school, Rob more so than Maegan.  But when they are put together on a class project, they each learn a little more about each other and the new perspectives open up to a new friendship.
I really enjoyed this one and found it hard to put down!

Lots of reading this week and lots more to go by the end of summer!  I just organized my summer reading stack and let's just say it's pretty tall!  How's your summer reading coming along?