Monday, September 16, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.16.19

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

Take a look at the nonfiction that has been in my stack!

Picture Books

Pigeon Math
Pigeon Math
written by Asia Citro
illustrated by Richard Watson
If you've ever had to answer to a child why we use counters when doing math vs a different object, read this book to the child!  No one will be using pigeons to help with math after this book!  But I bet this book will warrant multiple readings because it really is that funny!  I like that the mathematical equations are written on each page.
Publishes Sept. 24th

The Evil Princess vs. the Brave Knight
The Evil Princess vs The Brave Knight
written by Jennifer L. Holm
illustrated by Matthew Holm
Sibling rivalry portrayed in a kingdom.  No surprised but I enjoyed the evil princess the most :)

Look! I Wrote a Book! (and You Can Too!)
Look! I Wrote a Book! (And You Can Too!)
written by Sally Lloyd-Jones
illustrated by Neal Layton
Fun book to use at the beginning of the year when talking about writing.  Some of the suggestions were not my favorite (talking about having no words in a book and people not knowing what's happening in the books... hmm... I enjoy wordless picture books... smh).

Like a Girl
Like a Girl
written by Lori Degman
illustrated by Mara Penny
With rhyming and poetic lines, this book does not soften the blow that women and girls are strong, powerful, and smart humans.  Featuring a diverse cast of women from both past and present times, this book definitely needs to be read aloud to young readers!
Don't know who the women are featured in the book?  No worries, check out the backmatter that features quick information about these important people.  Want to know more?  Find additional books in the source notes!

A Boy Like You
A Boy LIke You
written by Frank Murphy
illustrated by Kayla Harren
A book I would read in conjunction with the one above.  Maybe take a look at what society says of males/females and then read these books!  
Don't miss the author's note at the end.

Attack of the 50-Foot Fly Guy! (Fly Guy #19)
Attack of the 50-Foot Fly Guy
by Tedd Arnold
Someone Arnold keeps his Fly Guy stories feeling fresh and fun with each new story.  This time Fly Guy ends up eating some scientific toxic waste that makes him gigantic!  Another fun story with Fly Guy and Buzz.

Spencer's New Pet
Spencer's New Pet
by Jessie Sima
This book is the coolest.  It's absolutely one of my favorites of the year.  
The format is super sweet - told like an old silent film in mostly black and white but the balloon animal is in red and told in "parts".  The endpages even have the number count down like the start of an old time film.
But the story and what happens.... that's all I'm going to say.  Just trust me and read it.
And don't forget to look for a few familiar characters!

Middle Grade

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers
Strange Birds
by Celia C. Pérez
We meet four unlikely friends in this story who come together because each has been selected by Lane (the granddaughter of a wealthy women whose parents marriage is crumbling before her eyes) to join her unusual club of misfits.  Ofelia is a budding journalist who reports what she sees.  Aster lives with her grandfather and frequently treats him to the goodies she bakes.  And finally there is Cat, an avid birdwatcher  who does not want to join the club her family has been part of for generations because they are using a hat that is made of bird feathers as a token crown for their annual contest.  Each girl brings unique characteristics to this club but they quickly find out they need each other more than they originally thought!

My Jasper June
My Jasper June
by Laurel Snyder
A fantastic coming of age novel that shows we never really know all of the things that each new person we meet comes with.  When we meet Leah it should be on the best day ever since summer vacation is just starting.  However Leah doesn't feel like celebrating, in fact she's a bit lost and her family is not acting the way she wants them to act.  But why?  What has happened that made her feel this way.  The reader does not find out right away (way to keep the suspense, right?) but we do get to watch Leah meet Jasper and watch how the two become unlikely friends.  Leah dscovers Jasper has her own ghosts, too.  Can they get past their individual problems and become life-long friends?

More to the Story
More to the Story
by Hena Khan
Khan takes on a modern day Little Women story that spotlights an American Muslim family.  Jameela is the second oldest sister.  Jameela wants to be a reporter and uses her talent to try and impress her father who is leaving for an extended work trip overseas.  One of her first assignments for her school newspaper is to interview the new student from England, who just happens to be a close family friend.  Everyone likes the new boy but Jameela is having trouble saying the right thing to him.  Meanwhile, her youngest sister has taken ill and is diagnosed with a severe illness.  
Readers familiar with Little Women will see the connections.  Younger readers who have never even heard of the story will appreciate this one with the modern-day connections.

Young Adult

The Fountains of Silence
The Fountains of Silence
by Ruta Sepetys
I absolutely love her work and just love how each of her stories are different.  Yes, they are all in different time periods, but the way she crafts each of her historical fiction books are fascinating.
This story takes place in Spain in the 1950s, under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.  Readers understand a piece of history that is probably not as well known and we also explore the stories of characters Daniel, son of a wealthy oil tycoon from Dallas, TX, and Ana, a young Spaniard who lives in a poor town in the Madrid area.  The way the lives of the characters come together and intertwine is beautiful and full of soul.
This book publishes Oct. 1st and is one I highly recommend!

Currently Reading

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
by Laura Shovan


  1. So many great titles - I started More to the Story this weekend and My Jasper June is next .... Can't wait to hear more about The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Thanks for adding to my list ... as always!

  2. Oh, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary made me cry when I read it a few years ago. My daughter and I also agree with you about liking the evil princess the best in The Evil Princess vs. The Brave Knight. Have a great week!

  3. What a great list of books! I'm especially looking forward to getting my hands on A Boy Like You. I just checked out Jasper June two days ago, so I hope to read that before the end of the month. Thanks for all these shares, Michele!!

  4. It took me a while to read through your list so I could note the ones I wanted to remember! I have More to The Story, Fountains of Silence will be coming soon from the library & I read Laura's book when it came out, a wonderful story. Thanks for the picture books, too, Michele!

  5. I love so many of these books. Pigeon Math sounds fun. I had a problem with some of the suggestions in Look! I Wrote a Book! Besides, what you mentioned there was also a part, I think, where it said not to use big words and I think that could give a wrong message.

  6. My want to read list has grown considerable after reading this, and your nonfiction post. I'm especially excited about The Fountains of Silence, My Jasper June, and Strange Birds.

  7. I love Ruth Sepetys! Also looking forward to My Jasper June. The twitter love for that book practically gushes from my screen whenever someone finishes it.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I agree with Ms. Cebrian, I am really getting into Ruta's Sepetys writing lately, and My Jasper June has garnered so much praise. I am also interested in Pigeon Math, and Spencer's New Pet. Fly Guy was really popular a couple of years ago but not so much last year. It may need more of a book talk than it did in past years. Thanks for growing my TBR list...again. Have a great week!

  10. I have a copy of My Jasper June that I won from GoodReads. It's still on my dining table, but I definitely need to get it out and read it. I need to check out the other titles on your list, too. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  11. I need to read more of the Fly Guy books. I liked the original first story. I cannot wait for my library to Get Fountain of Silence!!

  12. A new Ruth Sepetys? I'm here for it! With a Texan in it! Thanks for the heads up. (And for the other books!)