Monday, February 8, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 2.08.21

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

Had to take a week off.  Not enough reading time either week and not much to post.  Trying to make up for it this week!  This week will be full of posts, be sure to check back!

Celebrated some nonfiction pictures books about writers and words.

A 2021 MG that you'll want to read - The In-Between.

Picture Books

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World
My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World
written by Malcolm Mitchell
illustrated by Michael Robertson
This book is very important.  It celebrates two things I talk about with kids and adults.  Sometimes, it takes finding the right book for a reader to be welcomed into the reading journey.  But sometimes, no matter how many books you show a reader, sometimes it's more than that.  Sometimes it's hard to get on the road to reading because there are just too many skills that have to be mastered.  And mastering them, especially when they don't come easy, is hard work.  
Young Henley is still trying to figure out reading.  He can't find a favorite book, no matter how hard he tries or asks for help.  Until finally, he realizes the right book is inside of him.
This book is going to be very relatable to some readers.

The Little Butterfly That Could
The Little Butterfly That Could
by Ross Burach
I really liked the first book our butterfly main character was featured in - The Very Impatient Caterpillar.  It made me laugh out loud and I know kids who can relate to that impatient caterpillar.  I know I'll also have kids that can relate to this butterfly who is working very hard on improving stamina and believing in one's self.  Perfect for character traits and author's message lessons.
Publishes April 6th, but it's already available in the Scholastic Book Clubs!

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello
Sharuko: Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello
written by Monica Brown
illustrated by Eiisa Chavarri
I've heard some buzz about this book, starting in November with the NCTE book awards.  Tello, or Sharuko (means brave in the Peruvian Indigenous language Quechua), has always been interested in exploring and finding burial grounds and caves in the area he grew up, just outside of Lima, Peru.  As he grew, this fascination stayed with him as he went to universities and studied in their libraries.  He made amazing discoveries about the ancient Peruvian citizens that explained more than what their modern day information was saying.
I traveled to Lima in 2019 and wish I had visited some of the places mentioned in this story.

Hurry Up!: A Book About Slowing Down
Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down
written by Kate Dopirak
illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
I'm pretty sure this book was written about me.  I'm sure many others can relate to this too.
I don't know what it means to slow down, and I know usually many other families are feeling this too.  Perhaps being in quarantine at some point helped slow you down.  As a teacher, I think I ended up hurrying even more so because I had to learn so many new ways of doing things.
But summer time... that's my slow down time.  So many things shown in this book are outside and remind me of my slow down time.  Looking forward to it again.  When is your slow down time?

Sincerely, Emerson: A Girl, Her Letter, and the Helpers All Around Us
Sincerely, Emerson: A Girl, Her Letter, and the Helpers All Around Us
written by Emerson Weber
illustrated by Jacklyn Sinquett
This is about young Emerson, who in one quick decision, positively impacted many people.  Emerson loves to write letters.  Everyday letters were picked up by her mail carrier and new letters were brought to her.  Emerson realized this and decided he needed a letter that said thank you for his daily work.  That one small letter of thanks ended up reaching many other people in that field.
I think the message would be a good one to share with young readers about how one small act of kindness really does have a much larger effect.
I am making the guess that this happened during the early days of the pandemic.  There are some characters wearing masks in the illustrations.  Not a book about the pandemic, but something that could have been an effect of it!

Middle Grade

Red, White, and Whole
Red, White, and Whole
by Rajani LaRocca
A novel in verse that was certainly written from the heart.  This book surprised me because I knew it was going to be about the feeling of being from one culture that has very specific traditions, and trying to merge it with being an American and fitting in where you live.  That part was done so well!  However it ended up packing an emotional punch that I did not know was coming.  It really made you feel and understand the importance of your parents and their desires vs your own desires.  It's always hard to figure it out!  
A story that is perfect for upper middle grade readers and I really enjoyed the novel in verse format!

The Year I Flew Away
The Year I Flew Away
by Marie Arnold
This is another book that has the theme of trying to fit into the American culture because that is where you live, but hold on to your own roots.  Bullying was almost present in this story which made the main character try even harder to blend in, rather than be proud and stand out.  It also has witches and wishes and magic.  At first I wasn't too sure about the magic, but it really worked with the storyline.

Currently Reading

Brave in the Woods
Brave in the Woods
by Tracy Holczer
Just starting this one this week!

Hope you have a good reading week!  It's extremely cold in the midwest so staying inside to read is a great option!


  1. I didn't realize Red, White, and Whole is a novel in verse. I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

  2. I've read a couple of books recently where the characters are writing letters, and it didn't seem quite right. I don't think any of my students have ever written letters.

  3. I especially noted Sharuko & Sincerely, Emerson. I have Red, White & Whole coming from the library & The Year I Flew Away is already on my list. Lots to read & love for sure, Michele. Hope you find a little bit of 'slow down' this coming week!

  4. Thanks for sharing this list. I've got Red, White, and Whole on my list. I especially appreciated reading your post about The In-Between. I really feel like I need to read this ASAP!

  5. I barely caught a glimpse of Sharuko on a virtual read aloud this last week, so I'm glad to hear more about it on your blog this week. I have Red, White, and Whole on my list and I'm always happy to learn of more upper middle grade reads like this one. I hope you enjoy Brave in the Woods while we all battle the extreme coldness. They had a delayed start this morning, primarily because of the extreme cold snap we're having these next few days. Hope your chill isn't quit as bad, Michele.

  6. I'm surprised I still haven't read My Favorite Book... It sounds like something I would love.

  7. My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World sounds wonderful—it is such a shame that so many kids can't find the books or haven't learned the skills to find a love of reading! Hurry Up definitely sounds like a book we could all read right now. Red, White, and Whole and The Year I Flew Away both sound excellent as well! Thanks for the wonderful post!