It’s Monday: What Are You Reading? April 23, 2012

Weekly, the folks at Teach Mentor Texts, Jen and Kellee, host the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA” It’s a chance to recap what I’ve read in the last week and a peek at what I’ll be reading in the week ahead. Check out Jen and Kellee’s site to join in or see the links of other reader/bloggers to find out where their reading adventures have taken them. Click on the cover images for the synopsis of each book. 

My Reading Adventures from the past week . . .

Picture Books worth checking out:


Some classic Suess rhyming delight (from 1940!!!), and a couple of giggle inducers for grades K-3.


A picture book I’d like to own:

I’m just now getting to this book, which was on the favorites list of 2011 books for lots of folks in the Nerdy Book Club. Mazee’s illustrations as always, capture even the most subtle of children’s expressions, like anxiousness, beautifully. And Mary Lyn Ray’s text talks of our dreamy love of stars. A perfect writer-illustrator match. I’ve already re-read it three times. The book is designed to be taller and skinnier than most picture books, which works great for the big, star-filled pages. Would recommend for preschool – grade 2, though I bet some older kids might enjoy taking a peak, too! (Beach Lane Books, 2012)


Middle Grade Chapter Books

Newbery Medal 1928. I must confess, I liked Gay-Neck better than I thought I would, though I’m not sure it’s compelling children’s literature by today’s standards. Imagine a pigeon in 1910s India. He is born, lost, and injured more than once. The writing was actually quite “readable”, and I found many of the detailed descriptions of the Himalayas and jungles of India rather lovely. The most interesting part for me was when Gay-Neck becomes a carrier pigeon for the British Indian Army in World War One. This book must still have high appeal in the Indian community today as my library system, which serves a good number of Indian ex-pats, has over a dozen copies in circulation and my copy was nearly brand new. Long live, Gay-Neck?!


Upcoming Reading Adventures:

Continuing these chapter books . . .

Our “whole” family read aloud. Julian is bad, bad news.


The “adult” book in the reading queue. I’m not guite half-way through this and completely contrigued. It is written in such a way that I’m left a bit confused by all the elements presented so far, but dying to find out how they all fall together. Hoping to finish it this week.


Starting this middle grade novel:

With two girls in the house, who aren’t (yet) obsessed with Star Wars, this hasn’t come into my reading stack. I fix that this week though!


And maybe starting this book for the Newbery Challenge . . .

1929 Medal winner. A story set in 15th century Poland.


Happy Reading!


12 comments on “It’s Monday: What Are You Reading? April 23, 2012

  1. David E. says:

    Just found your blog. My students are LOVING WONDER. (And who has time to read adult books anymore???)

  2. Lorna says:

    David–thanks for checking out the blog. We are all enjoying Wonder in our family . . . so many good talking points and definitely a perfect school read aloud. And yes, the occassional adult book makes the rotation! 😉

  3. It seems like everybody is reading The Night Circus now! I must say, it looks very intriguing.
    Your description of Gay Neck is encouraging. I want to eventually read all of the Newbery books, but that one was scaring me! (Not as much as Trumpeter of Krakow, though. That one looks tough!)

  4. *laughs* Origami Yoda rocks! (Yeah, I’m a fangirl). I didn’t hate Gay Neck, just found it rather dull. And unlike Colby and John, I did like Trumpeter. It had an intriguing middle ages plot.

  5. Betsy says:

    Stars looks absolutely beautiful! I am sure you will enjoy Wonder, it is a beautiful book as well. The Trumpeter book looks interesting, and as a former trumpeter myself I might be a little bit drawn to that one and have to find a copy!

  6. I’m always interested to read what people think of the Newbery picks. It’s interesting to see how literature has changed over the years. What we might now consider dull was once the “best of the best”!

  7. Lorna says:

    Yes, both the Newbery and Caldecott challenges are eye-opening. Kids lit has come so far in 80 years! Truly, if these were the best books, what was my grandma, now in her 90s reading in the 1920s? I’m hoping older books like Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, and non-US books like Raggedy Ann.

  8. Lorna says:

    Do check out Stars when you get a chance. Stay tuned for my take on Trumpeter . . . I’m hoping my love of history pulls me through on that one! 🙂

  9. Lorna says:

    We still are “working” on converting the girls to fangirls . . . especially with two parents who could probably recall the outfits they were wearing and what they snacked on when they first saw the Star Wars premier in the 70s. And as for Trumpter . . . I’m hopeful that my love of history pulls me through that one!

  10. Lorna says:

    Trumpeter is scaring me a bit, too! I’d love to hear your reaction to The Night Circus, especially since you aren’t always too keen on “adult” books. It’s really different!

  11. Julian is indeed bad news! (Wonder) That is part of what is so great about reading with your children. You can make a connection between that character and real lives. While we all hope we don’t know anyone like Julian, its a great conversation to discuss what we would do if he was our friend or classmate.

    And I will also sing the praises of Origami Yoda. So much fun.

    Good Luck with continuing your Newbery adventure!

  12. You will love Origami Yoda- it is such a great, fun book.
    And yes, Julian is trouble! Wonder is so great- love that it is your family read aloud.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

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