09.10.12: 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 see what others are reading through their posted links. You can also find posts from folks using the hashtag #IMWAYR on Twitter.

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

Picture books

Even if your students or kids are beyond “easy readers”, Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books are so much fun to read. We Are in a Book! is easily my favorite of the series that I have read. I dare you to read it without laughing. So, so, funny! (2008 and 2010)


The follow-up to the funny Chicken Dance had me giggling. Dan Santat’s detailed and humorous pictures, particularly in the background on many pages, are hysterical. Best line and illustration: “The chickens crossed the road.” Younger grade school kids will like this one. (2012)


Beautifully illustrated. Spencer is a boy with many talents and strengths. He’s as strong as a bear and as messy as a pig. But what will he be like with the new baby arrives? Can he be quiet and gentle? I like that this book celebrates all the great things about the first child; would make for a great gift to a new brother (or sister). (2012)

Graphic Novels:

More fun with Babymouse . . .

Babymouse’s take on Valentine’s Day. Funny. Great for third and up. (2006)

Biography for older grade school kids . . .

This is a well done biographical graphic novel well suited for grades 4 and up. The primary focus is on the life of Annie Sullivan and her own experiences as a child and young woman. There are shifts in time between her youth and time with Helen that can be subtle and require some focus on the part of the reader to catch. I like how the author incorporated pieces of her diary and letters in to the story. The notes section at the back is excellent and gives some additional background info that actually might be good to read before starting the story. (2012)

Finished for The Newbery Challenge:

1936 Newbery Medal. This was a re-read from childhood and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Though it has dated references to Native Americans and the role of women, it does seem reflective of the time and a good launching point for discussion with today’s readers about context and correctness. Not heavy on a plot, it reminded me in many ways of the storytelling-style of the Little House books and I think kids who enjoy those books will enjoy spunky Caddie, too. Having read many of the Little House books with my girls in the last five years, Ryrie Brink is a much stronger writer, in my opinion. While I loved the tales themselves, sometimes Ingalls Wilder’s writing seemed awkward and some descriptions I found to be poorly executed. Coincidently, Ryrie Brink was born and raised in my home town of Moscow, Idaho. The beautiful children’s reading room at our Carnegie-era public library is named in her honor. I spent many a days browsing the stacks there.

Carol Ryrie Brink Room – courtesy of Latah County Public Library

This week’s Reading Adventures:

After being 451 in the hold line at the library . . .

My “adult” read is the latest mystery in the Dublin Murder Squad series. Love Tana French books and her super complex characters. Older suspense loving teens might like her books.


Read alouds with my girls . . .

I’m reading the Benedict Society with our third grader, and while it will take forever to read at almost 500 pages, we’re enjoying it. Capture the Flag has been fun to read with our 5th grader. She hates for me to stop reading this mystery. (2007 and 2012, respectively)


19 comments on “09.10.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Maria Selke says:

    Excellent choices! My students adore MBS and I can’t wait to give them Capture the Flag! The Chicken book looks hysterical 🙂

  2. Myra GB says:

    These are all delicious titles, Lorna. I know what you mean about the Caddie Woodlawn book being quite similar to the Little House in the Prairie books, I had the same sentiment when I was reading it. I was supposed to review it in time for our Girl Power bimonthly theme, but didn’t have enough time. I LOVELOVE Mysterious Benedict Society – in fact I used the book in this book club that I have initiated with young readers in the community, and most of the kids enjoyed it. Another series that you might want to check out is Pseudonymous Bosch’s Secret Series – that one is hilarious too, and a page turner. I haven’t read any of Babymouse Books yet, we should really have a graphic novel theme very very soon. 🙂

  3. Lorna I had thought about reading Benedict with my kids but you are right it is LONG! I found reading it myself that I loved the beginning and then it kind of slowed for me. Might just try and hook them to read it on their own. I am reading The Search for Wondla as a read aloud and we are enjoying all of the gorgeous illustrations.

  4. megan says:

    I am so excited for you that you finally got Broken Harbor! Tana French outdoes herself with each and every book and this one is amazing! Happy reading!

  5. Katya says:

    My 6th grader is reading Mysterious Benedict Society aloud to his 3rd grade brother — it’s taking them a really long time, too but the 3rd grader loves it.

  6. Sue Jackson says:

    What a coincidence! I haven’t read any Tana French books yet but just read a review today and decided to try one soon! Sounds like my husband would enjoy them, too.

    And you should definitely move 11/22/63 up the TBR pile – it was so good!

    We listened to Mysterious Benedict Society (first and second one) on audio a few years back – great books!

    Enjoy your books this week –


    Great Books for Kids and Teens

  7. Maria says:

    That library is BEAUTIFUL! There’s something special about old buildings. All the “hidden” history, maybe?

    I also read and enjoyed Caddie Woodlawn in childhood. I haven’t reread it as an adult. I think my perspective would be entirely different. To be honest, I didn’t even notice alot of the “outdated” references when I read it the first time. The ignorance (innocence?) of youth, I guess!

  8. I am reading Capture the Flag to my fourth grade class and they love it. I want to read the Annie Sullivan book too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. You have so many good books here Lorna. Wow. I love Elephant & Piggie books (you may know) & the One Special Day book looks so sweet. I also loved hearing your story about Carol Ryrie Brink. I remember liking the book but it’s been a long while. Thanks for telling abut so many books.

  10. Lorna says:

    @Maria–I agree MBS is great fun and smart writing too!

  11. Lorna says:

    Hi Myra, yes, the Pseudonymous Bosch books are on my radar. I think my humor loving younger daughter would love those. And you do need to fix that Babymouse deficiency! 😉

  12. Lorna says:

    Hi Carrie! My husband is lobbying hard to have us all read the second Benedict book as a family since he read it aloud to our oldest. I’m thinking it’d lose the fun, as we just can’t consistently carve out enough time for that. It would take FOREVER!! I do like the sound of The Search for Wondla–thanks for that tip! 🙂

  13. Lorna says:

    @Megan–I am totally enjoying the latest Tana French. I think it may have sucked me in even faster than her other books!

  14. Lorna says:

    Katya–I LOVE the idea of the older sibling reading to the younger one . . . might have to steal that!

  15. Lorna says:

    @Sue–Looking at other books that your family has read, I’m guessing they’ll enjoy the Tana French books, too!

  16. Lorna says:

    @Maria-I’m with you . . . I don’t recall finding things in Caddie “outdated” on my childhood reading. It was all about the story for me at the point!

  17. Lorna says:

    @Julie–We love the cliff-hanger like moments at the end of the Capture the Flag chapters. My daughter gets so mad when I say it’s time to stop!

  18. Lorna says:

    Hi Linda–Mo Willems is just genius in my book. With so few words, he can express and entertain so much.

  19. Earl says:

    I love Elephant & Piggie. And I got to see Mo Willems recently and he was as awesome as expected. The Mysterious Benedict Society is a great series!

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