10.8.12: 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.

I’ve been way off my reading game recently. It’s been a few weeks since my last post, as we’ve been dealing with a battery of doctor’s appointments (including several all-day ones!) in an attempt to manage a nagging injury my soccer playing 11-year old daughter is having with her foot. I was hoping with my two week absence, I’d have a lot to show for it, but alas the stack is tiny! My reading goals will continue to be modest for the near future as I’ve got lots of appointments and therapy to be assisting with.

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

Picture books:

On the 5-star Goodreads scale, I gave this one 3-stars, but for me it’s probably a 3.5. It was cute and had some wonderful “Mo-ments” of comedic phrases and illustrations, but I just didn’t love it as much as his other work. The rest of the family thought it was a riot, so I think I’ll re-read it before it goes back to the library to see if I change my tune. I think it’s going to be better appreciated by older kids in grades 2 and up, as I think younger kids may not understand or fully appreciate the humor of the dinosaurs’ plan in this fractured fairy tale story. (2012)


Olivia fans will love this latest book. It is my favorite since the original Olivia book. The fiercely independent and wildly imaginative Olivia tells us how she manages in a girly-girl, princess world. (2012)


Another lovely collaboration by the Steads. Bear is a kind and thoughtful friend always worried about the comfort his friends. He’s eager to share his story, but is too busy helping others and forgets the tale. His friends prompt him and he is finally able to begin his story of friendship. I love how Erin Stead treats most pages very minimally and others more boldly. Her images set a calm, beautiful and reflective mood for the text. This would make for a terrific read aloud. (2012)

Middle Grade Suspense-filled Fantasy

I am not normally a fan of fantasy stories, but I liked that this was balanced with elements of historical fiction with it’s setting of Dickensian England (primarily London, but also the English countryside). Two young children (and eventually a third child) get caught up in the magical doings of two manipulating grownups. In some ways it reminds me of The Night Circus both with its darker tone and storyline of the manipulation of others. I liked this story much more, as I connected better with these children and their fates. I’m waiting to hear a kid-opinion on this one, as it is so different from other fantasy out there. I’m thinking it would best appeal to older grade school and middle school readers. (2012)

Graphic Novels for Tweens and Middle Schoolers

This graphic novel has a cult-like following among tweens and middle schoolers and I can see why. It’s an honest, warm, and witty look at all the physical and emotional changes for kids that age experience as they navigate their social world. It is made all the more real for readers as this is the author’s own story. (2010)

This week’s Reading Adventures:

Continuing . . .

I set Broken Harbor to the side, to focus on Splendors and Glooms, but now I’m looking forward to diving back in to this adult mystery. My third-grader and I are making good progress with The Benedict Society, but I’ll say it again, “Lordy, it’s long.”


Next up:

After I finish the long over-due library copy of Broken Harbor, I’m starting Dobry in an effort to finish the Newbery Challenge sometime in the next century.

Do share what you are reading. Have a great week!


14 comments on “10.8.12: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. carriegelson says:

    I have requested that my school librarian purchase Bear has a Story to Tell but kinda thinking I want to own it. Sigh. Looks so gorgeous. I have got to read Smile. Thanks for the reminder! I hope you get an answer soon to the foot woes. Must be scary for her.

  2. Katya says:

    My son went through something very similar to what Raina experienced, so Smile is one of his favorite graphic novels.

    There are some MG books that adult readers enjoy that I am not sure would appeal to MG readers… I wonder about The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairlyand, for example. A lot of bloggers loved it but I haven’t talked to any kids who have read it.

  3. Lorna says:

    @Carrie–Bear Has a Story is definitely one of those books that you close the cover and do a contented sigh. Very sweet.

  4. Lorna says:

    @Katya–sorry about your son’s experience, but it is so great when kids can make a positive text-to-self connection like he did with Smile. And I get about what you’re saying with MG books that are best appreciated by adults. Splendors and Glooms is just so dark feeling.

  5. I have been waiting to read Bear Has a Story to Tell. I am determined to get to it this week! The Mo Willems book looks too funny. I will see if it’s palatable for my preschooler. Even if it’s above his head I will enjoy reading it! 🙂

  6. I went to a writing thing this weekend and they read Bear Has a Story to us! I didn’t realize it was so new. It was adorable,and I can see it being a fabulous mentor text for a writing workshop as well.

    I keep meaning to read Splendors to decide if I want it for the classroom – just put a hold on it now 🙂

  7. I had not heard of Bear Has a Story before, it must go on my to-read list! I just read Smile this year. I couldn’t believe how I missed it. And after I read it, I understood why it was never on my shelf.

  8. Beth S. says:

    Ha! “Mo-ments”. Love it! I hadn’t heard of this book before. And I love Mo Willems so I definitely need to check it out!

  9. I loved Smile, as you probably know-glad that you think students are loving it too, Lorna. I’ve seen Splendors and Glooms around & glad to hear you like it too. Must put it on the list, along with the Stead’s book. It looks so sweet. Thanks!

  10. shannonjoe says:

    I just erased my post-ughhhh. 🙂
    Loved Smile when I read it last year. Love Olivia.

    I read several Holocaust books this week. Need a light hearted book now!


  11. Myra GB says:

    I’ve been hearing so much about Bear has a Story to tell – I have a feeling I’d fall in love with that one. I also love fractured fairy tales so I’d look for this new Mo Willems title. My daughter and I are huge fans of Olivia – most of the reviews I’ve read have been positively glowing – I hope we already have a copy of this one in our libraries. Splendors and Glooms sounds like something I’d also enjoy and love. Will look out for this one.

    Hope your daughter feels better, Lorna. Hang in there. 🙂

  12. Lorna says:

    @Shannon–bummer about your post being zapped! Your reading of late does sound heavy–hope you find something lighter that fits the bill for you! 🙂

  13. Lorna says:

    @Myra–thanks for your nice thoughts for my daughter. Keeping our fingers fixed for a timely “fix”. Olivia will not disappoint, and I’d love to hear your thoughts if you get to Splendors and Glooms.

  14. shannonjoe says:

    Nancy Drew is taking care of it right now for me! 🙂

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