Monday, December 16, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12.16.19

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

Check out these nonfiction picture books for your read alouds!

Picture Books

You Loves Ewe!
You Loves Ewe! 
by Cece Bell
I love this one even more than the first one.  Full of homonyms and lots of wacky, word misunderstandings, if you aren't laughing out loud by the time this one is done, you're clearly in a really bad mood!

How I Met My Monster (I Need My Monster)
How I Met My Monster
written by Amanda Noll
illustrated by Howard McWilliam
Reading I Need My MonsterI out loud is still one of my favorite read alouds - I always have lots of fun changing up the monster voices.  I was excited to see this prequel that explains how young Ethan gets Gabe to be his monster.

A Tiger Like Me
A Tiger Like Me
written by Michael Engler
illustrated by Joëlle Tourlonias
translated by Laura Watkinson
I find a lot of books that are translated to get lost in the translation.  This one retains its charm.  A young boy dresses like a tiger and becomes a tiger all day.  The book follows the young tiger boy throughout his day and uses adjectives to describe his adventures.

A Fox Found a Box
A Fox Found a Box
by Ged Adamson
A book about how music leads forest animals to use their senses in new ways to experience the world around them.

A Map Into the World
A Map Into the World
written by Kao Kalia Yang
illustrated by Seo Kim
My absolute favorite of the week - this beautiful book about opening up your heart and seeing what is around you absolutely grabbed my own heart.  This is a must own!
And don't miss this post from the Lerner Books blog that explains where this story originated.

Young Adult

Kent State
Kent State
by Deborah Wiles
This is such a powerful book and Wiles is such a masterful writer she is able to take an event that took place decades ago and make it very relevant.
It's never easy to look back at an event and say there is one way to look at it.  With Kent State, Wiles writes from a variety of perspectives and does so with only using the most essential of words.  This entire book is written in verse and comes in at 144 pages.  Not a single word is wasted, especially when you hear the event told from the different perspectives.
What makes this book so powerful is at the end where Wiles ties this book with what is happening in today's world.
I really hope high schools around the country take note of this book and find a way to add it to their libraries, their curriculums, their discussions.
Be sure to find it on April 21st.

Let Me Hear a Rhyme
Let Me Hear a Rhyme
Tiffany D. Jackson
Jackson's books have been on my radar for some time.  Nothing but praise for her books by all of the people I talk to. I heard her speak at the Coretta Scott King Awards this past June and I knew I really needed to get to her books.  I had been told that this book, her third book, was different from her other two and maybe a bit weaker.  If this book is weak, I can't wait to get to the others!  
Told back in the 1990s when Tupac and Biggie's deaths were fresh on minds, this book tells the story of three teenagers who are living through the rappers' deaths, but also one of their own friend's.  Trying to piece together what happened as well as not let their friend's death be in vein, these friends come together and become even closer.
With lyrics by Malik  woven through the text, this book will resonate with young adult readers everywhere.

Currently Reading

Yeah, I'm still reading The Toll.  I don't think I read anything from it all this past week.  Not sure why I thought I would get any reading done during the middle of December!

I'll be taking a blogging break on my regular posts for the remainder of the year.  Enjoying the season and time with family!  I'll return in January 2020!


  1. A Map Into the World just went on my list! Thank you.

  2. I got a copy of Ewe Loves You from the library last week! It's cute and funny, but the first Yam and Donkey book is actually still my favorite.

  3. Yes, still reading The Toll, too! I want to read Kent State, know it will be poignant. It was a terrible time those years! Thanks for Let Me Hear A Rhyme, book & author new to me! I have A Map Into The World, now you've made me want to read it today! Have a wonderful holiday, Michele. Thanks for all you share!

  4. All of the books on your list look awesome. They're definitely on my list of books I want to check out when we get back home from celebrating Christmas in Iowa with my family. Happy Holidays!

  5. Lovely picture books, enjoy your time off, have a great holiday and look forward to your posts in 2020.

  6. I often worry about the "lost in the translation" issue, too, so I'm so glad to hear that's not the case with A Tiger Like Me. And I haven't yet read I Need My Monster or Hey, That's MY Monster, so I'm making sure they're bumped up on my list so that I can also get to this one. Thanks for the wonderful shares, Michele!

  7. I love A Map into the World! I was on a panel with Kalia at NCTE this year--she's lovely. I'd also like to read her adult books.