04.01.13 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”.

Here’s a peek at what I’ve read lately, and what is coming up in the reading queue! Thanks for visiting, and do share what you are reading!

Click the book cover’s to be taken to Goodreads for a more complete synopsis of each title.

Easy Reader/Very Early Chapter Books

Kids with a working knowledge of baseball vocabulary will enjoy this earliest of easy readers. Pete’s positive attitude shines through, even without the sing-songy text/lyrics you know from the full-length picture books. A great one for beginning readers in grades K-1. (2013)


Oh, sweet Penny. I think I like each Penny book by Kevin Henkes even more than the last! Henkes scores again with this third addition to the Penny beginning chapter book series. Penny is full of anxiety after taking a beautiful marble that later she feels she was perhaps not entitled to take. Henkes captures her worries perfectly as Penny tries to do the right thing. The illustrations are charming, and I am particularly fond if the imagination sequences. Great for emerging readers in grades K-2. (2013)


Picture Books

I loved this and can see it being used with both younger kids and older students, as different ages will pick up different things from the word play, word choices, and illustrations. It’s great, oblong shape, lends itself to some great page spreads that celebrate the exclamation point’s shape. Limited text, but great for sharing in grades K-5. (2013)


Oh, how I hope Lita Judge keeps these “Red” books coming! (If you have not read, Red Sled, by Lita Judge, you are in for a treat!) Nearly wordless, with just sound words to read, the lovely illustrations make this book. Judge creates terrific and expressive animal faces. The end made me giggle and will certainly bring a smile to your face. This is a great one to use to demonstrate how we can draw conclusions using visual clues. Great for K-3, but even older kids will enjoy the solution the animals have to their dilemma at the end. (2013)


Middle Grade

I’m excited to share this one as Book Fairy when I visit third grade this month. As the title suggests, the fictitious Kalamazoo City has an all-platypus police squad. Rick Zengo is a rookie detective who assigned to partner with veteran detective Corey O’Malley, in this first book of a to-be-continued mystery/detective series. It has fun elements of police television shows including chase scenes, misguided leads, and interrogations. After a bit, when I read the location/time stamps at the beginning of each chapter, I could even hear the famous dun-dun-Dun tones from Law and Order scene changes in my head!  I like that the crime (a black market fish operation gone bad) wasn’t too scary and that rough and tumble action is limited to tackling bad guys or knocking them down with boomerangs. The relationship between the rookie and the veteran is also fun to see develop, as you watch each teach the other a bit about “how it’s done.”

I know that not everybody appreciates animals-as-people characters, but I think a lot of kids do, especially ones who are making those transitions from shorter chapter books to longer ones around third and fourth grade. Why are they drawn to them? I’d love to hear your thoughts! And for those kids who don’t mind animals in such character roles , this one will be a lot of fun. Great for grades 3-6. (2013)


I love the premise of this story that is realistic fiction with a hint of magic. Lilah is struck by lightning and can suddenly communicate with the dead. All sorts of awkward interactions occur, but it also presents some great opportunities for her to help others, even a sworn enemy. Throw in some relatable issues around puberty, divorce, and middle school social issues and you have a great, fast-paced read laced with some giggles that will appeal to girls in grades 5-7. (2012)


Continuing . . .

1942 Newbery Medal, for The Newbery Challenge


Next up . . .


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


9 comments on “04.01.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Tammi Sauer says:

    Great selections!

    I’m currently reading (and loving!) OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys.

    I just finished PARK & ELEANOR which was also an incredibly good read.

  2. Lorna says:

    @Tammi-I can’t wait to get started on OUT OF THE EASY. And I’m on what appears to be along hold list for ELEANOR AND PARK–sounds great! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. carriegelson says:

    I also read Penny and her Marble this week. Such wonderful titles. Having read both books on your next up list (and in the last month too) I can tell you that you have some fantastic reading ahead! I have Small Medium and Large on my TBR list but think I will try and get it sooner so my daughter can read it too.

  4. megan says:

    I am so excited about the Pete the Cat easy readers! My nephew has enjoyed all the picture books and is now beginning to read on his own. He is going to be so happy when I bring this one to him! I am waiting for Out of Easy and Eleanor and Park. In the meantime, I have plenty to keep me busy!

  5. Beth Shaum says:

    I loved Out of the Easy! Ruta Sepetys can do no wrong IMO.

  6. Lorna says:

    @Megan: I am really looking forward to Out of the Easy, especially after being so touched by Between Shades of Grey. And I’m in a very long queue at the library for Eleanor and Park!

  7. Lorna says:

    @Carrie–yay for Penny! I agree, it looks like I’ve got a good week of reading ahead. SM@L has characters who seem a little boy crazy for where my daughter is right now, but all the other elements, she connected to and enjoyed A LOT!

  8. Linda Baie says:

    I think I’d better find the new Penny book. I loved Penny and her Song, & all are saying this one is even better! I saw also about One Came Home on someone else’s post. It too sounds terrific, Lorna. And those Platypuses! I still have a hard time getting my mind around that graphic novel, but again, many are saying it’s such fun. Thanks for all the good reviews, Lorna!

  9. Ooh, a Pete the Cat easy reader 🙂 We love Pete! I’ve read RED SLED, but I’m going to go check out RED HAT now… thanks!

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