04.22.13 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”.

My reading last week feels a bit off, but I think that with events in Boston, and overseeing two science fair projects and a living/wax museum project, I’ve been a bit distracted. Like so many, I’m thankful it is all resolved and that Boston can get back to it. Below is my favorite tweet from last week, which I whole-heartedly endorse:

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.35.27 AM

My Recent Books . . .

So good and creepy, and even better when paired with the audio, which is read by Neil Gaiman. Klassen’s illustrations are pitch perfect.  I’d share this with grades three and up, and perhaps for selected readers younger than that . . . when read right, it’s pretty creepy, even though the dark is not that evil! Tall, who is eleven, was quite impressed, which doesn’t happen too often for her with picture books. (2013)


I loved the premise of this book where two teens develop a relationship by passing a notebook filled with personal thoughts and challenges to each other, in scavenger hunt fashion. As they contemplate meeting “in real life” they wonder if the real Lily and Dash can live up to the ones created and experienced through their writings. Sometimes the characters seemed overly precocious and wise beyond their 16 years, but I was willing to cast that aside for the story. The craziness that Dash and Lily experience at the end of the book didn’t seem to mesh very well with the rest of the story, but I guess it had to come to a crescendo somehow. I did love the Christmas-time in NYC setting. I’d recommend this for 9th grade and up . . . as far as YA content it was pretty “clean” with some underage drinking, language, and passing references to sexual situations. (2011)


I really enjoyed this story and so admired Jo’s determination to get out of her rather rotten world in 1950s New Orleans. This is so wildly different in setting and tone than Between Shades of Gray, but Supetys is clearly a talented writer. She creates both great imagery of New Orleans and well-balanced tension in the storyline. While billed as a YA/Teen novel, I suspect it’s going to appeal more to older teens and adults. Jo’s neglectful and virtual absent mother is a prostitute in an elaborate French Quarter brothel, and Jo has finished high school, but has not yet started college. With the complexities of that career/lifestyle, it just doesn’t feel very teen-ish to me. (2013)

Next up . . .


1943 Newbery Medal winner. I’m really going to start this.


Ambitious, I know given my reading time of late, but if I have time, I hope to start this.

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


13 comments on “04.22.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. megan says:

    Well, that’s just about the cutest cover even on Almost Home!

  2. I really want to read Out of the Easy. I enjoyed The Dark, really cute. I just love Jon Klassen.

  3. Lorna says:

    Out of the Easy is fantastic and so different that Between Shades of Gray. I hope Supetys keeps ’em rolling out!

  4. Lorna says:

    @Megan — I agree, on that cover. Whoever does Bauer’s covers knows just how to make them appealing to tweens. So, so cute!

  5. I loved Out of the Easy. I agree it doesn’t seem that YA, but at the same time, I know there are teens who are reading it an enjoying it.

    Ruta’s books bridge the YA divide I think. In fact, if I recall correctly, Between Shades of Gray isn’t being marketed as YA in Europe but as adult fiction.

  6. Love Bauer’s books and am a sucker for dogs. Looks great!

    The Monster Report

  7. Jennifer says:

    I enjoyed the characters in Dash & Lily more than the actual story itself, but it was a fun holiday read. High vocabulary!
    I loaned Out of the Easy to my mom and still haven’t gotten it back…IT’S TIME TO GET IT BACK!! Lol;

  8. carriegelson says:

    I am such a fan of The Dark as well. My class are Klassen fans (their teacher’s love of his illustrations have a little impact) I’m looking forward to sharing this book with them. Really loved Out of the Easy. Such characters! I know what you mean – re the YA description . . .

  9. I read Between Shades of Grey last week and loved it, although I would say it’s also for older teens and adults, as well. Out of the Easy is definitely on my list. I want The Dark for my fifth grader as she likes sad and scary books. She’s tough to hook–maybe this will work! Thanks, Lorna!

  10. Lorna says:

    Yes, Jenn! You should track down Out of the Easy! I bet you will enjoy it.

  11. Lorna says:

    @Kristen– My 11yo is a huge Bauer fan too and gave it a big thumbs up, though she said it was a bit more sad than the other books she has read.

  12. Lorna says:

    @Carrie–I liked Klassen’s Hat books less than others, but I LOVE The Dark. I can’t wait to bring it in and share it with my daughter’s classes as a read aloud!

  13. Earl says:

    I loved Jon Klassen’s illustrations and how he used light well. The audio book is read by Neil Gaiman. With the three of them together, it’s like a rock star convention for children’s books.

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