Monday, July 26, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7.26.21

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.

A note to my email subscribers - starting Aug. 1st, you will no longer receive my blog posts through email.  This is something that Blogger is no longer supporting.
I am in the process of moving my blog to a new site.  Very soon you'll find me at  There you will be able to follow me via email again, but you will have to sign up for it again.  I'm hoping to have this set up before the end of the week so you'll know the site is up and running!  Thank you for supporting my blog and here's to more years!

Last Week's Adventures

The Olympics are here!  That will leave kids extra excited about finding sports books this fall.  Here are some nonfiction books you'll want to have ready!

On Chapter Book Summer series - diverse chapter books to hand to those readers who are ready to move on from Henry and Mudge and Frog and Toad!

Picture Books

What the Road Said
What the Road Said
written by Cleo Wade
illustrated by Lucie de Moyencourt
I really liked this one.  Big questions, unknown answers.  The story of our journey on this road called life.  This is one of those books that can be used for little to big kids, to teens, to adults.

A Day for Rememberin': The First Memorial Day
A Day for Rememberin': Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day
written by Leah Henderson
illustrated by Floyd Cooper
I did not know any of the background to this story or how Memorial Day came about.  Its origins come from the end of the Civil War and the day was known as Decoration Day.  This is a fictionalized account of that day when Black people in Charleston, SC memorialized the soldiers who died under terrible conditions during the Civil War at the Washington Race Course.  There were a number of cities that have claim to being the birthplace of this day, this particular book memorializes the events in Charleston.
Sadly enough, I read this book on the day of the illustrator, Floyd Cooper's, passing.  We've lost a legend in the kidlit world.  Rest in peace and power, Mr. Cooper.

Stroller Coaster
written by Matt Ringler
illustrated by Raul the Third and Elaine Bay
What a visual delight!  I'll enjoy coming back to this book again and again because I'm always going to find something new!
Parents will nod their heads while reading this book, all remembering a time when the stroller supplied respite to a cranky and tired child.
Kids will love seeing the roller coaster of a ride this stroller goes on!
The rolling around the neighborhood reminded me of My Papi Has a Motorcycle.
This is a book I'll remember for awhile!

Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter
Dakota Crumb Tiny Treasure Hunter
written by Jamie Michalak
illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Dakota Crumb may be tiny (as a mouse), but she's off on a big adventure to find all the (small) treasures in a museum.  Why?  There's a fun surprise at the end of this story!  I also liked the additional to-find items listed in the back, young readers will enjoy going back and finding the hidden items!
Thank you to Candlewick for the review copy.

Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker
Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker
written by Patricia Hruby Powell
illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
A powerful story about a champion of civil rights and social justice.  Definitely a book you want in your collection if you teach about the 1960s civil rights movement.
And amazing illustrations!!

Graphic Novel

Clash (Click, #4)
by Kayla Miller
This is the fourth book in the graphic novel series and probably my favorite.  I love Olive and I love watching her fit in with many groups and also help all of those groups blend together.  It's great to have friends that have commonalities, but it doesn't mean you can't be friends with other kids and groups too!  But all of that changes when Nat moves to the school.  The readers can visibly see her watching Olive, seeing how friendly she is and how well the other kids respond to her.  So Nat decides to go after Olive's friends and make them like her even more than they like Olive.  Ugh, mean girl drama!  I don't like those kids in real life and you can't help but not love Nat.  But you'll certainly love Olive!  A great addition to the series.

Middle Grade

Long Lost
Long Lost
by Jacqueline West
I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this story, but it was not a ghost story mixed with a mystery!
Fiona and her family are moving to an old town in MA in order to be closer to her older sister, Arden's, skating rink.  In fact everything seems to be about Arden and Fiona escapes to a place that seems to be just hers - the library.  She finds a book in the library, The Lost One, which ends up being an old, unfinished mystery.  But even the book itself is mysterious, it's not catalogued, even though it is in the library.  And it seems to be moving, even when Fiona brings it to her home, it ends up disappearing.
I read through the book very quickly, it was a page turner... and one I wanted to read in the daylight!  I think this one will appeal to readers who enjoy spooky stories!

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom
Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom
by Sangu Mandanna
A story rich in Indian mythology, this story will be gobbled up by those who are enjoying Rick Riordan's imprint series that feature mythology stories from other cultures.  
This one took a long time to get going for me.  That sounds strange because there is action the entire time.  I think I had trouble with the characters which is why it took a long time for me to fall into the story.  It wasn't until the last 100 pages did I really love it.  There are a lot of characters in this one, to the point I really needed to write down the names and pieces about them so I could better follow the story.  I kept thinking this story would have been better with a cast of character directory at the beginning of the book to be able to reference while reading it.  I can't help but wonder how that will affect young readers.
This story is about Kiki who lives in London with her mom.  Kiki suffers from anxiety and uses drawing as a way to escape from her reality.  She has drawn an entire kingdom in her notebook, complete with characters - some based on her own relatives - and others from the mythology stories her mother has told her.  However, due to an open tear in the page of her notebook, some characters are allowed to escape into Kiki's world.  Now Kiki has to enter the kingdom she has created and face one of the worst monsters in her myth stories, all while battling her own anxieties.
I liked the inclusion of art, as well as Kiki's social emotional battles.  It made her a more multidimensional character.
While the story could be a stand alone, the author has left it open for future sequels.

Currently Reading

by Yamile Saied Méndez
Another book from my #mustreads list!

Happy reading to all!


  1. I've been waiting for a few of the picture books you mentioned to come in from my library. The middle grade books sound great!

  2. You've read such a great selection of books this week. I also enjoyed some of them and I'll be looking forward to hearing what you have to say about Furia, a book I also want to read. Thanks for sharing these.

  3. Lots of great books this week! Long Lost sounds like it is right up my alley. I'll have to check it out!

  4. I admire your decision to just move your blog to a new site! I'm on Blogger too, and I feel like I've fallen into the sunken-cost fallacy with it—I didn't like how my blog looked, so I spent all this time redesigning it. Then they canceled email subscriptions, but I felt like I had already wasted enough time redesigning my blog to move to a new platform, so I wasted even more time setting up email subscriptions through Mailchimp. And I'm sure Blogger will have more and more garbage to throw at everyone over time, so I think moving to a new platform is a good decision! I'm excited to see your new site, and I subscribed to it through Feedly (which is now what I use to keep track of blog posts, since I suspect so many other people on Blogger will just let email subscriptions disappear without a replacement—and who can blame them?).

    The picture books you mention look great, especially Dakota Crumb and Lift as You Climb! I'm glad you enjoyed Clash—I really enjoy that series, so I'll try to pick up a copy of the new book soon. Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom sounds like a great read as well, although I'm sorry it took so long to pick up! Thanks so much for the great post!

  5. So many great titles and thank you for the link to your chapter book summer series - this is something I was wondering you think those titles fit in a third grade classroom?

    1. Hi Mandy! Almost all of them will work for third grade! I try and give grade level recommendations at the end of each title (just in the Chapter Book Summer series). There can be a lot of variance with these titles so I thought it may help!

  6. I liked all of these books but in particular want to check out What the Road Said and Dakota Crumb, which were new to me. I pretty much only come to these link-ups for blogs, but I suppose that subscribing is helpful to bloggers and will likely try to do that. Thanks for the post!

  7. As usual you have an interesting collection of books this week. I am looking forward to reading Clash by Kayla Miller. I've appreciated the rest of the series.
    I appreciated the list of diverse chapter books. I've only read the first in the Yasmin series. I didn't love the illustrations.

  8. I keep hearing about What the Road Said and haven't read it yet. Thanks for the reminder. I need to catch up on the Kayla Miller graphic novels. I'm way behind!