07.02.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA”. Check out Jen and Kellee’s site to join in, or see what other’s are reading through their posted links.

This week I started my 2012 Book-A-Day Challenge. Read my post on what this challenge is all about and see the 10 books I’m most looking forward to reading this summer. Since my volumes of reading are higher, I won’t be listing all that I read, just some highlights (or maybe low-lights!) of my reading week. You can follow all of my Book-A-Day reading on my Goodreads Book-A-Day shelf, or you’ll find me using the Twitter hashtag #bookaday.

Book-A-Day Challenge: 72 books

Read to date: 9 books

Click on the cover images for the synopsis of each book.


Picture Books

A clever book that had me smiling at the end. A great book about moving and school changes. I’d recommend for 2nd grade and up. (2011/Schwartz & Wade Books)


It lacked the emotional punch of some of her biographical books, but still a sweet story. I loved that this was a grandparent/grandchild relationship. As always, I’m mesmerized by Polacco’s illustrations. . . The colors, the textures. Beautiful. (2011/G.P. Putnam’s Sons)


Graphic Novels

For older readers in grade school and middle school. Sophisticated. Beautifully illustrated. A perfect book to show someone who isn’t convinced graphic novels can be complex in plot and inferences. (2006/Arthur A. Levine Books)


Young Adult novels

Heartbreaking but leaves you feeling hopeful. Knowles is masterful with conveying 12-year old Fern’s emotional firestorm that includes deep sadness, guilt, anger, and ferocious loyalty to family. I’d recommend for mature middle schoolers on up


Finished! Our family read-aloud

We finally finished our whole family read-aloud. It’s been out for months now and is well regarded by the teachers and librarians I follow on Twitter. Many feel this is one of the most important books to come out for children in years. It packs a powerful punch on bullying and the true meaning of friendship and kindness.  The delivery of the messages is not heavy handed though, and the varied perspectives of different characters give huge insight into the emotions and motivations of all the players involved in the story. It had an 8 year-old, a 10 year-old, and two forty-somethings clapping at the end. If I could encourage adults to read one book with the kids in their life this year, be it with your own family or students in a classroom, I’d recommend this one. The ideas of this book have inspired the Choose Kind Campaign to encourage people to speak out on bullying and promote kindness. My favorite line from the book is, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Would recommend as a read-aloud for 3rd grade and up, or a read alone for 4th graders and up. The discussions it generated in our family are tremendous.


One for the Newbery Challenge

1932 Newbery Medal. Some from the 1920s are worse, and it really wasn’t awful. I just can’t think who I’d recommend it to today.


Ongoing Reading Adventures:

Continuing this book: 

Middle-grade chapter book. A funny, tongue-in-cheek tale of the Prince Charmings of famous fairytales. Those guys aren’t as glamorous as you’d think. Enjoying this one a lot.


 Next in line:

Hmm . . . I’m having a hard time picking. Any recommendations? I’ve got huge stacks of books to read at home including The Mighty Miss Malone, The Friendship Doll, Wonderstruck.


What are you reading? Have a great reading week!


12 comments on “07.02.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Beth S. says:

    I’m listening to the audiobook of The Hero’s Guide right now and it is a riot! Bronson Pinchot is the narrator and his voices are hilarious!

  2. Lorna says:

    Oh, my gosh, Beth! That must be a riot with Bronson Pinchot! I think reading this aloud to a class of third or fourth graders would be a hoot!

  3. Tara says:

    I am so glad that Wonder made it as a family readaloud – lucky all of you! The arrival looks really interesting – graphic novels are a growing trend for a segment of my sixth graders, so I’ll definitely have to check this out. Thank you!

  4. Lorna says:

    Tara–we’re indeed lucky to share Wonder! Do check out The Arrival for your sixth graders . . . it’s different enough I think to get them curious about the story within.

  5. Hi Lorna, I’ve read all you’ve read except Neville, which looks very good. I’m looking for a wide variety of books this time as I’ll be coaching teachers whose students range from 5 to 14. I love The Arrival & when I was last in the classroom of middle schoolers it was part of our favorite books because we were studying immigration. Just beautiful & poignant & even challenging for students to ferret out the story. How great to have read Wonder together; it’s so lovely. What to read next? As a read aloud-Same Sun Here, or Hound Dog True. For yourself: The Scorpio Races maybe? You are right, there are so many. The 3 you names are all also terrific. I see we have similar TBR lists!

  6. Lorna says:

    Linda–Neville is quite fun, and great to point out that it’s the same person who did Phantom Tollbooth for older kids. Yes, I can totally see The Arrival being used with an immigration unit of study. Funny you suggested Hound Dog True — it’s in transit right now to my hold shelf at the library. Maybe it’s a sign!

  7. I love that you read Wonder as a family read aloud! I love it. We adore books at our house and I’m excited to read novels as my kids get older. 🙂

    I love See You At Harry’s, too. That’s a wonderful book. I thought Hero’s Guide was hysterical. Have you read CA London’s The Accidental Adventure? I love that series, the third will be out soon. That one makes me laugh, too. Of the three you listed as to-read, I suggest Wonderstruck. An awesome book.

  8. Maria says:

    Yay for Wonder! And Hero’s! And Harry’s! Lots of good reading at your house! The Mighty Miss Malone is very good. Like Harry’s, it’s one where the story feels very real, even if it’s not wrapped up nice and neat and happily ever after. I love Deza, though.

    On the other hand, The Friendship Doll and Wonderstruck are also both on my wish list 😉

  9. I loved Mighty Miss Malone! I’ll need to find The Arrival… looks promising!

  10. Lorna says:

    Yes, Jen, hooray for Wonder and See You At Harry’s. I’ll be checking out The Accidental Adventure series–thanks for the recommendation!

  11. msyingling says:

    I finally got rid of Waterless Mountain, award or no. No student would check it out, so it was gathering dust and taking up space. The Friendship Doll has done better than I thought it would.

  12. Lorna says:

    @msyingling: I’m starting to tell just how bad an early Newbery will be by it’s proliferation in our giant library system (on of the largest in the country). I’ve been able to find all of them in our system, though several are in Central Storage, and not part of circulation except by request. Waterless Mountain was one such book. I totally agree–who’d read this?! I would be curious to hear what contemporary Navajos think of the book.

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