Monday, September 14, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.14.2020

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.

Took some time off to adjust to our new school normal.  As I'm finding out, adjusting will occur for a long time.  There's just too much to learn, too much figuring out as we go.  I'm so in awe of all our teachers and how hard they are working.  I imagine for the rest of the school year it will be touch and go as far as getting blog posts completed.  Some weeks will be good, some not so good!

Last Week's Adventures

I celebrated Josh Funk's next Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast Adventure - Short and Sweet.  Be sure to check out the post here, includes an author interview!

It's part 2 of my Favorite (published in) 2020 titles!

Been in a bad mood?  Don't worry, this book may get you right out it!  Teaching ideas and a giveaway in the post.

Picture Books

Share Your Rainbow: 18 Artists Draw Their Hope for the Future
Share Your Rainbow
by: 18 artists and introduction by R.J. Palacio
100% you need to buy this book.  It's a paperback edition.
100% of the net proceeds will go to World Central Kitchen.
100% of readers need to hear and see this book.
While this book never mentions COVID, it's a book about hopes and wishes for the future.  Many of the hopes seem to focus on being together with people and sharing time together.

I Am Every Good Thing
I Am Every Good Thing
written by Derrick Barnes
illustrated by Gordon C. James
From the duo that gave us Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, we have another picture book that is worthy of a Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King.  It will be interesting to see if we hear this title being named to some awards in 2021.  I've lost count of how many lists it has been named to... and it only just published Sept. 1st!
A beautiful book about identity and self worth, especially for a Black boy.  A book that should be heard by every person, I think this is a timeless book that we will be reading for many, many years to come.

Kevin the Unicorn: Why Can't We Be Bestie-Corns?
Why Can't We Be Bestie-Corns?
by Jessika von Innerebner
Another fun Kevin the Unicorn book (although the first book is still my favorite), this one will be great for young readers who need to understand that you don't have to be best friends with everyone and you don't have to enjoy the same things in order to be friends.

Middle Grade

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie (Great Peach Experiment #1)
Great Peach Experiment: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie
by Erin Soderberg Downing
I love Erin's books.  She knows just how to reach her audience.  But this book, wormed into my heart and might have made it my favorite by her (and I really love The Quirks).
Meet the Peach family.  They are starting to emerge from their grief of losing their mother.  It's hard creating new family experiences when you have a whole in your heart, but their father has come up with a new experiment... they have recently come into some money from one of their mother's experiments selling.  To honor her memory, they have a new experiment... spend the summer traveling the midwest in a food truck selling peach pies and others.  What could go wrong.  Oldest sister Lucy isn't the most optimistic.  Middle brother Freddy makes a list of places to stop and sight-see along the way.  And youngest brother Herb just wants to swim everyday.  And take care of his treasures, including a baby mouse family.
I loved meeting each of the characters and watch them grow over the course of the book.  When you look up this book on Goodreads, it says "Great Peach Experiment 1".  I'm really hoping this book is the start of a new series!  I would love to see what happens to the family in another adventure!
And I'm so sorry to say, I read this as an e-galley from Edelweiss.  We'll all be able to hold this book in our hands on April 6th.  I've already preordered this book.  I suggest you may want to look into that option as well!

Prairie Lotus
Prairie Lotus
by Linda Sue Park
This is one of those books that I've been meaning to read for awhile and I just finally got to it.  As Park says, she wrote this book as a way to reconcile her childhood enjoyment of the Little House books and the way the stories attacked native and Black people without apology.
When I saw this book end up as the middle grade selection for the Global Read Aloud, I was surprised.  As I read the book I thought how it was very appropriate for 3rd and 4th grade readers.  But towards the end of the book there is an assault by a drunken male character on the main character.  Not graphic, but it is straightforward.  

Currently Reading

Dress Coded
Dress Coded
by Carrie Firestone
Woah, this book is so good!  A must have for middle school classrooms.

I'm guessing everyone has had a start to the school year like no other!  Wherever you are, I hope there has been some positives and I hope you have given yourself patience and grace every day!


  1. I have Show Your Rainbow on order, will share with the granddaughters! And I have Prairie Lotus too, still haven't read it. Will look for that 'peachy' story & Dress Coded, new to me, Michele. Best wishes to you. I know teachers & all the staff are working so hard for their students. My granddaughters are online too & enjoying most of it, really miss the friendships! Both have had teachers come by their home to meet them!

  2. Show Your Rainbow looks amazing. And I love that 100% of the proceeds go to World Central Kitchen. I absolutely love Jose Andres and this organization that he's created. He is such an amazing human.

  3. I confess to not having read anything by Erin Soderberg Downing! I should probably do something about it, but there are so many books! Take Prairie Lotus for example. It has been on my to read list since March and I still haven't gotten to it.
    I think often about all the teachers who are now returning to school. It has indeed been an interesting start.

  4. Oooookay, When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie is going on my short list. And like you, I've been meaning to read Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park for a while. I haven't read much about the book, I just knew I wanted to read another Linda Sue Park book. But now you have my attention on the shocker at the end. Have a great week, Michele!

  5. I definitely understand having trouble getting blogging time in, especially when you're a teacher in a pandemic! Good luck with school! I Am Every Good Thing and The Great Peach Experiment both sound excellent! Thanks for the excellent post, and welcome back to IMWAYR!

  6. These all look fantastic. Just when I thought I was making a dent in my TBR! :) I think that Dress Coded will be one my 10yo will enjoy. Thanks for the suggestions!

  7. I want to read Prairie Lotus soon, and Dress Coded is also on my list, and -- there are so many books. Thanks for sharing these!