Monday, June 21, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.21.21

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

Meet Someone New!  Use these picture book biographies to introduce your readers to someone new!

Some new graphic novels and chapter books for readers who are starting to read independently.

Did you see the cover reveal for the first two books in the upcoming Make Way for Fenway series?  Check them out here.

Picture Books

We Wait for the Sun
We Wait for the Sun
written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe
illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
A small moments story about young Dovey Johnson Roundtree and her grandmother, Rachel Bryant Graham.  The story is about a special memory that Roundtree has with her grandmother, a pre-dawn visit to a berry patch.  What may seem ordinary was actually a cherished memory by Roundtree.  The real information about Roundtree and her important contributions to the civil rights movement come in the backmatter.

Bracelets For Bina's Brothers
Bracelets for Bina's Brothers
written by Rajani LaRocca
illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat
A story about young Bina who is making bracelets for her brothers in honor of the Indian celebration Raksha Bandhan, which honors sisters and brothers.  She makes individualized bracelets for each of her brothers.  Hidden inside the story is a math lesson about patterns.

An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America
An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America
written by Helaine Becker
illustrated by Dob Phumiruk
This book gives a very basic introduction to what Title IX is.  
I know a lot of reviewers have praised its less is more approach, but I felt like too much was left unsaid.  Reading the extensive backmatter is a must for additional information.  To me it felt like the simplistic approach left so much unsaid as far as how far women still have to go for equality compared to their male counterparts.  The subtitle says "how... changed America".  Again, there wasn't much information included to show a real change.
So, a good intro, but I would definitely encourage anyone sharing this book to find more resources to add to young readers' knowledge and understanding.

I'm On It! (Elephant  Piggie Like Reading!)
I'm ON It!
by Andrea Tsurumi
The next in the "Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!" series, this book is a perfect concept book for prepositional words.  Definitely a fun one to use with young readers because it is teaching them understanding of the words in a fun and silly way.


The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country
The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country
by Amanda Gorman
This is the poem that was delivered by the poet at the Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden this January.  A trim book that divides the poem into pages by its stanzas, its words printed on white pages without illustrations.  It does make the reader focus on the words and come up with their own images.  It made me more reflective of the message.  
This poem will be included in an anthology with other poems by Gorman this fall.

Middle Grade

Bea Is for Blended
Bea is for Blended
by Lindsey Stoddard
I love Stoddard's books and this one is another favorite.  Bea is a character that readers will relate to because she has so much going on in her life.  Even if you don't relate to her exact experiences, being pulled in a million directions, is a familiar feeling to almost everyone!  I love that she is a strong character who stands up to everyone - classmates and even an authority figure at school - when she knows what they are doing is wrong.

All You Knead Is Love
All You Knead is Love
by Tanya Guerrero
I did not know much about this one before I began it, and I quickly fell in love with it!  Alba was a wonderful character to watch her grow into her own identity and understand who she is.  Some tough moments as this is a story of a family recovering from abuse, but very well written.  Loved the Barcelona setting and now I'm ready to visit!  Recommended for grades 5 and up.

Young Adult

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
The Gilded Ones
by Namina Forna
Whatever you are doing stop and go find this book.  Especially if you like fantasy.  Or books about strong females.  Or amazing world building.  Or fantastic writing.  
I did not know much about this one before starting it but once I fell into it I couldn't stop reading.  There are books that almost seem like copies of others.  This one was so original, it really just blew me away.
That's all I'm going to say.  Now go find it.

Adult Novel

The Kindest Lie
The Kindest Lie
by Nancy Johnson
This is a novel you have to sit with for awhile.  It explores class, racism, and chasing the American dream.  It also is about adoption and parenting.  Some of this part of the story made me think about both sides of adoption - being the birth parent who gives up the baby as well as the parent who raises the child.  This part of the story didn't always sit right with me and it's one I wish had been fleshed out a bit more.  I found it to be an interesting contrast having some chapters from the perspective of the Black woman who rose up from her poor town and other chapters from the perspective of a young white teen who is growing up in an unstable, poor home.
Quick read for summer! 

Currently Reading

Super Fake Love Song
Super Fake Love Song
by David Yoon
This was one of my May #mustread books, I'm a bit behind!

Getting this up late today.  Our daughter competed in the Paralympic Swimming Trials last week and we found out yesterday she was selected for the Tokyo team!  She'll be representing the United States in Tokyo later this summer!  Still recovering from the craziness!


  1. I have to read Super Fake Love Song. I've had it sitting in my pile for way too long! All You Knead is Love is a book I don't know much about, but it sounds like one I should check out. I love when books make me want to visit that place that it is set.

  2. What a great set of books! We Wait for the Sun and Bracelets for Bina's Brothers both sound like great picture books. All You Knead Is Love sounds like a great read as well, and I love your enthusiasm about The Gilded Ones! I also heard about The Kindest Lie in a magazine, and it sounds great as well.

    Oh my goodness—congratulations to your daughter!!! That is so amazing, and please keep us informed about how everything goes! Seriously—wow!

    Just FYI, I believe the link on the #IMWAYR roundup is for an older post of yours, not this one. Thank you so much for the wonderful post!

  3. I have The Hill We Climb, ordered those days after the inauguration; It is so special. Thanks for The Gilded One, new to me, & I have Bea is For Blended on the list. I haven't read the book about Title IX but hope people who share do be as thorough as possible, bringing up more recent events, too. Congratulations again to your amazing daughter!

  4. Wow - you are reading a ton! I added We Wait for the Sun and An Equal Shot to my TBR book. I love all of Rajani's books - did you read Red, White and Whole? Loved that book.

  5. Congrats on your daughter making it to Tokyo! I can't even imagine the pride you must be feeling right now.

    All You Knead is Love sounds wonderful and definitely right up my alley. I need to seek that one out ASAP. Especially since being on Walden for the past 5 years I've been in full YA mode so my middle grade reading was sorely neglected.

  6. How did you have time for this AND K's stuff this weekend?! And again, I AM SO PROUD OF HER *HUG!!!*

    Gilded is bought and ready to read once I finish the series I am reading (and Blackout because I was approved for it!). All you Knead sounds wonderful also.

    Happy reading this week :)

  7. Wow! Congrats to your daughter! That is so awesome. Thanks for the post in the midst of everything else.