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?


  1. Well, I already had some on my wish list & each one seems like a gem, Michele! I think we are lucky to have so many wonderful books available to read & enjoy. I've seen Wilder Girls praised a lot lately, & it sounds terrific. Thanks for sharing so much!

  2. Thanks for all the great shares. I added a few picture books to my TBR list and found I had already added two of these and forgot. Just so many great things lately. My library groups really like Take Away the A, so I am not sure why I completely missed out on that team's newer book, Where's the Baboon? I am off to pre-order Jason Reynolds' book, thanks again.

  3. I'm excited to learn of A Big Bed for Little Snow since I loved A Big Mooncake for Little Star. Can't wait! There are a number of these that I am looking forward to reading: Maybe He Just Likes You, Wilder Girls, Friend or Fiction (which I think I have from NetGalley), and more... Thank you for all these wonderful shares, Michele!

  4. Big fan of Barbara Dee's books. Thanks for reminding me that this one's coming soon. My middle-grade reading has tapered off this summer, but hope to get back to my favorite books soon. I have an excellent, expanding list!

  5. What a list of books to look forward to Michele! Jason Reynolds is absolutely one of my favourite authors too so I'll be looking forward to that one especially. I've see Wilder Girls before but am not sure if it is the kind of book I can manage to read.

  6. I'm reading Look Both Ways now.

  7. So many great books just published or releasing in the fall. I absolutely loved The Peculiar Pig! I look forward to A Stone Sat Still. I got a copy of Saturday at ALA but haven't read it closely yet. A Bear Came Along is another story I need to see if my library has. Thanks Michele!

  8. I can see Bear Came Along being a Caldecott possibility. I read it to some first grade classes before the school year ended. They enjoyed it and they had some great ideas about what the "life lesson" of the book was. Wilder Girls sounds very creepy and intriguing.

  9. I loved BLUE, so I'm curious to read WHY? :)

    I have long been a fan of Brenda Wenzel--this one looks great!

    Maybe He Just Likes You also sounds like a much needed book for our times!
    Wilder Girls sounds like an intense but good read--I'll look for it (and read it during the day).

  10. You got me at Lord of the Flies but for girls - those are the books I am on the lookout for given our #WomenReadWomen2019 reading theme! So many great picturebooks here as well, adding all of them to my Goodreads to-find stack!