Monday, May 10, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.10.21

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

I caught up on some new nonfiction picture books in this post.

Picture Books

The Bruce Swap
The Bruce Swap
by Ryan T. Higgins
I love Bruce books.  But this one, may have had me laughing out loud the most.  I read it outloud to my 15yo and even she smirked.  If she smirked, do you know what is going to happen when you read it out loud to young readers?  They are going to lose their minds laughing!  Which is perfect, because this book is all about fun.  Fun Kevin comes to visit but the mice and geese don't realize it's Kevin and not Bruce.  And that's when it gets super fun for the readers.  Hurry hurry hurry and get this one.

written by Muon Thi Van
illustrated by Victo Ngai
Whoa, so much to unpack in a book that consists of 75 words.  Each page is a new wish that is asked by an object to make the journey of a refugee family a little easier.  The illustrations are stunning and you'll constantly find another detail you had originally missed.  
Do not miss the author's and illustrator's notes at the end of the book.  Their words brought me back for yet another reading to catch more details I had missed.

No Pants!
No Pants!
by Jacob Grant
Who hasn't argued with a little one about the need to wear pants when leaving the house??  Of course, because of the pandemic, some adults may need the reminder to wear pants when leaving the house!
Young Pablo is getting ready to leave the house to go to a party and is having an argument with his father about the need to wear pants.  This story has a humorous ending that will create some giggles among young readers.

Someone Builds the Dream
Someone Builds the Dream
written by Lisa Wheeler
illustrated by Loren Long
Love the focus of this book!  Often we celebrate the creators, but not the people who actually put something together.  Celebrating the construction workers, the builders, the factory workers and many more who make a difference in the actual creation of things.

In My Mosque
In My Mosque
written by M.O. Yuksel
illustrated by Hatem Aly
Loved this book.  A simple introduction to things you might see in a mosque, including parts of the building to clothing to foods to the customs that occur inside a mosque.
Additional information is included in the backmatter for further reading and understanding.
I love that the book starts and ends with the message of everyone being welcome.

Graphic Novel

Cat Crusader (Max Meow #1)
Max Meow: Cat Crusader
by John Gallagher
The second book in this series just recently published and I was surprised I had not heard more about this series.  It has a DogMan look to it so you know there is immediate kid-appeal.  This one was just ok for me, but I can see how readers will enjoy it.  Sometimes I have to take a step back and understand that I am not the targeted audience.  While the plot line seemed weak at times, it's still pretty straight forward and young readers will be able to follow.  The big reveal at the end a bit confusing because there had been no development of the character.  I actually had to flip back and find where we first saw the character because I had no recollection.  I have the second book so I'll have to see if the series gets better.  
If your DogMan books are always checked out, this would be a good one to have to hold them over.

Middle Grade

This might be one of the few IMWAYR posts where I do not have a completed middle grade novel to share.  This week I've read bits and pieces from a couple of books (noted below), but just didn't finish.  And let me tell you, my books have PILED up!  I wish I could say I'll have time this week to get to some, but I already know two evenings that already have plans on them.  Sigh, soon.... soon I may have more time!  And more books piled up by then....

Young Adult

Firekeeper's Daughter
Firekeeper's Daughter
written by Angeline Boulley
While I did not finish any MG this week, I did finally complete this book and it was stellar!  I wish it hadn't taken me three weeks.  What is interesting to note is even though I had to read it in bits and pieces, I still found in fascinating.  Which tells me I would have loved it even MORE had I been able to inhale it.  The mystery was fascinating and it kept me turning pages as fast as I could.  I loved the integration of the Anishinaabe traditions and language and loved how it added to the story.
While this is the author's debut novel, I will certainly read any future stories!

Currently Reading

Flight of the Puffin
Flight of the Puffin
by Ann Braden

Finding Junie Kim
Finding Junie Kim
by Ellen Oh

I started both of the stunning books and by chapter one, I was gripped by the story.  Both are important in their own way.  Looking forward to finishing them this week.

Hope you found more time to read this week than I did!


  1. So many to love, and read! I get you about the myriad of books available for us to enjoy and love, Michele. I have The Firekeeper's Daughter, but a few others are ahead of it. I'm looking forward to the new Bruce book & I have a granddaughter who is continuing to wear pj pants to 'in' school. She cannot let go! I saw a little preview of "Wishes" & have it on hold with many others! I may need to purchase that one! Have a good week, although busy!

  2. I'm having trouble getting through middle grade books recently! I'm always rushing to get one finished right before Monday. I was worried The Bruce Swap that the story may feel tiring or overdone after so many books, but it had me laughing as well!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading Finding Junie Kim. I have a hold on the audiobook of Firekeeper's Daughter, but it will be a good while before I get it. Thanks for the heads up about Someone Builds the Dream. My library has it on order.

  4. I'm so sorry you haven't had enough time to read lately! I hope that will change for you over the summer. These books sound great! Wishes sounds beautiful, and I'm glad you finished and enjoyed The Firekeeper's Daughter! Flight of the Puffin sounds great as well—I look forward to your thoughts on it. Thanks so much for the great post!