Monday, December 9, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12.09.19

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 nonfiction books for your stacks!

From the Scholastic Preview:
I was able to read some upcoming books from Scholastic.  Here are some you want to know about:

The Return of Thelma the Unicorn
The Return of Thelma the Unicorn
by Aaron Blabey
Readers love anything by Blabey.  Regardless of what adults make of them, kids enjoy which means I'll keep getting them!  Coming in about a month is the sequel to Thelma the Unicorn.  Thelma is back and agrees to give the people what they want, lots of Thelma love!

Macca the Alpaca
Macca the Alpaca 
by Matt Cosgrove
Written in rhyme, I think readers will love Macca, who is obviously, an alpaca.  Macca is getting a little competition from Harmer, the llama, who turns out to be a bit of a bully.  Publishes in March.

The Way Home For Wolf
The Way Home for Wolf 
written by Rachel Bright
illustrated by Jim Field
Another story in rhyme, the story is almost surpassed by the fantastic illustrations.  Wilf the young wolf gets separated from his pack and learns to rely on the help of others.  We'll get to see this one at the end of 2019.

One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey
by Henry Cole
This is absolutely one of my favorites coming from Scholastic in 2020.  Cole gives us a wordless picture book that is drawn in ink, other than one item that appears throughout the book - a small brown paper bag.  It's a story that shows generations of a family and how they pass down this important bag from person to person, each one showing a little more love for the bag.  
The author's note at the end will make you love it even more.  This book publishes in April, perfect timing for Earth Day.  Preorder it.  You'll be glad you did!

Picture Books

Home in the Woods
Home in the Woods
by Eliza Wheeler
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this gorgeous book at ALA this past summer.  I've read it a few times but never reviewed it!  If you have not picked up and read a copy of this book, make sure you check it out NOW!  It's simply beautiful and I like the comparisons readers can make between life now and then.

written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Scott Magoon
I am always happy to have more stories from AKR because I know at some point, we won't.  
This story is cute and it has a good message, although it will always be hard for a book to measure up to Chopsticks.  Still my favorite.
We all know that kid that has to be first.  How do you get the child to understand that rarely is that important?  AKR has put a spin on that by explaining it's not about being first, it's the journey you take to get there that matters.  I'm not sure if that will change any young people's thinking, but it's a start!
Loved the AKR and yellow umbrella cameo in this one.
Pubs Feb. 2020.

Pluto Gets the Call
Pluto Gets the Call
written by Adam Rex
illustrated by Laurie Keller
An informational fiction story about Pluto and the planets.  Pluto gets the call from the scientists letting him know he's no longer a planet.  Pluto doesn't take it so well but wants to show the reader all around so off we go to visit all the planets.  Full of informational facts delivered by talking planets.  

Henry and Bea
Henry and Bea
by Jessixa Bagley
A true friendship lasts even when one is feeling more than sad and needs time alone.  
Henry and Bea are BFFs who know exactly what the other is thinking.  But when Henry wants his distance, Bea is left feeling confused.  Henry finally confides he lost his cat the week before.  Bea understands and gives Henry the support and the space he needs in order to grieve.  An important look at friendship and how to support each other even if it's not the way you would want support.

Middle Grade

How to Disappear Completely
How to Disappear Completely
by Ali Standish
This is the third middle grade I have read by Standish and the third one I have loved!
The genre is the same - realistic fiction with a bit of a mystery thrown in.  It's even another heartprint book that will stick with you long after you've closed the pages.  But this one is different because it has a character with a physical flaw.  Emma has developed vitiligo which is slowly stripping her skin of pigment which leaves white patches all over her skin.  She must decide how she is going to approach this and with a mother and sister who is perfect, new schoolmates who are being less than nice, and a family member who she was very closely with recently passing, this is not something Emma needs.  But with a new found friend and a mysterious person who is adding writing in her hidden journal, Emma finds her outside support, but can she dig deep down inside and find the power to believe in herself?  This one publishes in April 2020, make sure you have it on your list!

Young Adult

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
by Marissa Meyer
This was my March #mustreadin2019 book that I had pushed off reading.  It was a perfect time to get to it since we're out of town for Paralympic Nationals and I had extra time to read in between sessions!  It's an 800+ page book and there is A LOT that happens in this one and if I had read it during a normal week, well, much like The Toll, it would not be done.  There are some books that are just meant to binge read and this was one!
It was a very satisfying close to the Lunar Chronicles.  I will get to the novella stories next year, but I liked the way this ended.  I had thought it was going to end one way, but Meyer pulled out some surprises along the way!  
I really love this series for upper middle grade, early high school.  It fits a wide age range because it's edgy enough and long enough that it can appeal to a range of readers, yet it stays very mild on the edgy side so even if elementary readers get to it there shouldn't be much concern.

Currently Reading

Well, I'm still going to get to The Toll this upcoming week.  Need some time to binge read that one!  I have quite the stack of YA books looking at me, plus some books that have been sitting in piles for too long, plus some of my new ARCs from NCTE.  Not sure what will come out of the stack but I'll let you know!


  1. Love I am a Farmer and am interested in Red Rover. Just ordered from my library. I can't wait for Straw and One Little Bag. Thank you!

  2. I love Home in the Woods, but still haven't reviewed it yet. Thanks for the others, especially How to Disappear Completely. I didn't bookmark it, but saw someone who was crocheting animals & people with those patches that people with vitiligo have. They were special creations. Thanks, Michele, & I'm still reading The Toll. Finding time to spend 'really' reading it has been tough.

  3. I thought Home In The Woods was awesome, too! I'm excited about the new picture books on your list. As soon as the holidays are over, I'm putting in an order at the library! Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  4. So excited for Home in the Woods. There's an excellent post on the Picture Book Builders blog today about Eliza's challenges in writing it. I've had it on hold for soooo long!

    Here's a link to the post:

  5. Can you believe I haven't read any of these books yet?! Being on mat leave has really left me falling behind on my reading!!

  6. I finally got my hands on Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Dear Girl this week -- I'll definitely have to put Straw on my list. I have Pluto Gets the Call from the library right now and I am really enjoying the illustrations. So big and bold and fun to explore the details! Just finished Scythe last month and so I'm looking forward to getting to the next two very soon. I only set the series aside because I knew I needed to tackle my #MustReadin2019 list. lol Thanks for all the shares, Michele!