06.24.13 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”.


I’m back after a couple of crazy-busy weeks of school wind-down activities and visiting relatives. While I didn’t get a ton of reading in, I did start to make some plans for my Book-A-Day plan for the summer break. I love the semi-unstructured time of my kids’ break from school and try to get in as much reading as I can. If you aren’t familiar with Book-A-Day, check out my post from last summer, and follow along at Twitter, using the hashtag #bookaday. Maybe you’ll even consider joining in?!? And, YES!, picture books count! Here are just a few of the books in my to-read pile that I’m hoping to get to this summer . . . ambitious! 

A subset of my summer TBR pile

Book-A-Day Goal: 75

Books read to date: 8

Click the book covers to go to Goodreads for the full summaries . . .

My three favorite picture books:

This was probably not quite as funny for me as Brown’s Darth Vader and Son, but it still had tons of laughs for Star Wars fans. (2013)


Clink, an older model robot, thinks he will never find a home. Patience and show tunes will change all that, though! Pretty darn cute. I’d recommend for grades K-5. (2011)


I haven’t read all Jeffers books, but this is by far my favorite. Lovely, lovely! A boy meets a sad penguin and wants to help. The journey they take is quite the bonding adventure and it becomes a lovely tale of friendship. I can’t help but think of another sweet penguin, from Yoon’s Penguin books. Recommend for grades K-5. (2005)

Finished these novels. . .

I finished this 1944 Newbery Medal winner, which was actually a re-read for me from long ago with my eighth grade teacher, Mr. Bromley. I recall enjoying it then, as I was fascinated with American history, and I enjoyed it a lot this time as well. Forbes provides historic details and creates good tension along the way. I’d urge readers today to dig this one out, though sufficient background knowledge of the Revolutionary War will definitely be needed. I found myself even having to brush up on the details of the Boston Tea Party.


This was a long time going as a read aloud, but not because of the story’s quality! So intricate and exciting, it had my third grader on the edge of her seat at every chapter. Sage, a young orphan is swept up into an elaborate plot to falsely present Carthya’s long-lost prince. Nielsen’s characters are complex and often flawed and she throws them into a suspenseful and politically charged plot, which makes for a great read aloud. I could see where the “big” plot line was heading, but it was great to hear my daughter speculate about oddities in the story as she drew her own conclusions. We are very much looking forward to book 2, The Runaway King, but decided we are going to wait so that we don’t have a huge long time before the concluding book, The Shadow Throne, in the series arrives in the spring of 2014. I’d recommend this one for independent readers grades 5-9, or third grade and up as a read aloud. (2012)


These graphic novels . . .

I absolutely loved this! The graphic novel format was a great way to share the biographical, food-centric stories of the author’s life. Great illustrations and even a few recipes thrown in, too. I would totally recommend this to older fans of Raina Teglemeier’s Smile, who enjoy food and cooking. Recommend for grades 6 and up, foodie adults will appreciate this one, too! (2013)


Teen Boat is a graphic novel told in interconnected chapters. I found it far-fetched, but fun, and I can see its appeal to kids middle school and up, with its familiar teen themes of fitting in, working, dating, and learning to drive. The scenes when TB learns to drive are great. Don’t miss the explanation on how the book was created. (2012)

Currently reading or re-reading . . .

For those of you familiar with my reading tastes, this is HUGE stretch for me, but I am trying to read more young adult and dystopian or post-apocalyptic. This certainly has me covered, and I am intrigued by what I’ve read so far.


A re-read of an all time favorite. You know that question of if you could bring only one book with you out of your burning home? I’d bring this. We have a very old cat (20 years old, and counting), and my daughters are already dreaming quietly of his replacement, which they insist will be two kittens. Names are already circulating. Poor Barnes, but he’s deaf and can’t hear! My votes for names? Atticus and Finch.


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


15 comments on “06.24.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Great books here Lorna! I love how you link the titles to Goodreads so I can just click and add them to my to-read list (which I did for all of the picture books). Enjoy your week!

  2. Beth says:

    I’m trying the Bookaday as well, although I may need some extra picture books to help me through. that’s a great list of books read.

  3. I loved, loved, loved Cinder so much! You will need to read Scarlet when you are done!

  4. Linda Baie says:

    Love the ideas for kitten names-I re-read the book often enough too, and loved introducing it to readers! I will look for Relish-a long list of holds at the library! But eventually I’ll get it! So glad you liked The False Prince-next one is equally fine. And I’ve had Cinder for such a long while, & the sequel, but haven’t read it yet-someday! Thanks for all the great ideas, Lorna!

  5. Oh I’m glad you loved RELISH. Such an amazing book. And I love that it’s sort of blurs age-group lines.

  6. I always enjoy your Monday posts so much, Lorna. I just started Relish and am really enjoying it. Cinder is on my list too. Dystopian novels are always the most popular in the college-level adolescent lit course I teach each spring, and Cinder was very enthusiastically recommended by several students. I have read enough in the genre to be able to recommend titles to my students who finish The Hunger Games trilogy and want more, but I haven’t kept up with some of the most recent series. Dystopian really isn’t my favorite genre to read either. I really love that picture books count for #bookaday! If you get behind, it’s very easy to catch up with a stack of PBs. I also have to say that I support your daughters’ desire for TWO kittens. I have always thought that kittens are like cupcakes: two are better than one. When we last added to our cat household, we got two kittens and it was so easy! They entertained each other and took care of each other. We had all the fun with none of the hassle. But we already have a house full of cats and when we decided to get another one last week, I agreed to only get one. And now I am the second kitten/mama cat to my new kitten (who is currently crashed out in my lap–pretty cute stuff!). She’s a lot of work! (And named Frances–after Russell Hoban’s badger books–a childhood favorite for me.) Enjoy your reading week!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I’m so excited you’re reading more YA! Yay!!
    I’m not big on sci-fi, so I wasn’t sure about Cinder, but I ended up loving it! Scarlet is even BETTER!!
    I loved The False Prince also! I really want to read that with my son 🙂
    You know I read (practically only) YA, so if you ever need a suggestion or have a question about one I’ve read, let me know!

  8. Lorna says:

    Thank you, Jen! That it one of the great parts of the Nerdy Book Club–you are only a few keystrokes away from great recommendations. I will surely call upon your services! Hope you’re enjoying summer!

  9. Lorna says:

    Elisabeth–I can’t wait to compare notes with you on Relish! I can totally understand the appeal of the dystopian novels, but just am not drawn to them. I am pretty sure I’m one of the handful of people to never read the Hunger Games. Shhhh! Don’t tell! I’ll get there, I know! And cheers, to cat-crazy, book people! I’ll pass along your points on the merits of two kittens to my kids! 😉

  10. Lorna says:

    Beth–I agree, Relish does definitely have a broad age range appeal! I can think of lots of people 12-50+ that I’ll be recommending it to!

  11. Lorna says:

    Thanks, Kelly . . . I love having so many great recommendations for my new YA adventures! Good to know Scarlet is great, too!

  12. Lorna says:

    Beth–I wouldn’t be able to do Book-A-Day without those picture books. I just read too slow and can’t carve out the time, but on the plus side, I love picture books! 🙂

  13. Earl says:

    Based on the titles you’ve shared this week, we’re like book soulmates! The Book Thief is one of my 38 favorite books. Be sure to check out the short film Lost & Found.

  14. alybee930 says:

    I loved Relish, and Cinder. I also love anything by Oliver Jeffers. Great list here.

  15. Lorna says:

    An animated short?? So cool. I’ll look for it. And yes, I am very much looking forward to THE BOOK THIEF!

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