07.29.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA”. Head to the It’s Monday post here to link up or see a list of the all the other readers participating in this great meme. You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #IMWAYR!

I’ve missed the last few weeks of posting due to vacation and visiting family. All in all, July has been really lovely weather-wise in the Pacific Northwest which means lots of time enjoying our beautiful outdoors. Not tons of reading on my part, but this week alone I got to enjoy books poolside, beachside, and in a lovely state park near our home, so that certainly counts for something. Hooray for summer reading in whatever amount and whatever setting!  Below you’ll find some favorites from the last few weeks.

My Book-A-Day Progress:

Goal: 75

Read to date: 44

Head to my 2013 Book-A-Day shelf to see all the titles I’ve read so far this summer!

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

My five favorite picture books:

This is a funny, funny book. Goat is so irritated by the arrival of the cheery, exotic Unicorn who is drawing so much attention away from Goat’s own talents. Soon Goat learns that life as a unicorn isn’t as great as he thought. A great spin on the idea that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Older kids will love the Goat’s sarcasm and humor. Recommend for grades K and up. (2013, Disney-Hyperion)


At ninety-eight pages, this is a longer picture book that is what I’d describe as a graphic novel-picture book hybrid format.  I think kids in grades 2-5 will love it, though its themes would make it great for older students, too. Theodora is a very orderly, organized, and predictable duck whose world is rocked by the unorthodox new neighbor, Chad. While quite wary of Chad at first, Theodora warms up to him, and misses him dearly after a squabble. A great title to use as we talk about how our friends don’t have to be exactly like us, and a great way to celebrate the oddities in all of us! (2012, Disney-Hyperion)


Terrific art is paired with color and attribute concepts. Chameleon is quite lonely and tries hard to be friends with other creatures and objects by mimicking their colors, shapes, and features. Preschool and kindergarten kids will love this, but it would be a fun one to pull out when talking about what we sometimes do to make friends and fit in with others. (2010/MacMillan Children’s Book)


Talented biographer Tanya Lee Stone turns her efforts expertly to the picture book format for this title that highlights Blackwell’s accomplishments and bravery. The very conversational style Stone has with the reader will make this really accessible for kids in grades 1-4. The author’s note at the back provides additional specifics about Blackwell. (2013/Henry Holt)


My youngest read this first and quickly handed it off to everyone else in the family to the tune of serious giggles. Very funny and one to recommend to fans of Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back.

Finished these easy readers/beginning chapter books

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 5.36.55 AM

Mo Willems delivers in his usual fashion in these titles. I must say that I didn’t like this third and final installment in the Bink & Gollie series as much as its predecessors, but that could change upon re-reading. I just didn’t get the giggles I recall from reading the first two books.


This novel . . .

This one is a fun, well-paced mystery that will keep readers entertained to the very end. Kittscher does a great job sharing the relationship ups and downs of the two tween detectives. Will we see more from Young and Yang? I hope so! I love that Kate Messner endorses the book on the back cover, as I think fans of her titles including Capture the Flag and Hide and Seek will enjoy this one, too. Great choice for upper elementary/middle schoolers. (2013/HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Be sure to check out the great trailer for this one!

Currently reading. . .

I am still reading this one. I’m about a hundred pages from the end. I wouldn’t say I’m struggling with it, but with my short little bits of reading have made it hard for me to fall into it and I haven’t really connected deeply with any of the characters. I needed to set it aside for a bit, but hope to finish it this week.


I’m about halfway through with this one, but so far, I’d say this would be one to hand to Origami Yoda fans.

Next up . . .


These much talked about 2013 titles both came in for me at the library at the same time. How ever will I choose?!

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


18 comments on “07.29.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. msyingling says:

    I really want to see a copy of Wig in the Window! The Book Thief was never one of my favorites, and Every Day After didn’t seem like one the students would ask for.

  2. megan says:

    I struggled with The Book Thief and gave up. Then I felt bad about giving up so I tried one more time with the audio. The narrator is brilliant and I ended up loving the story! I hope you can connect with it soon. Have a great week!

  3. Ooh! I definitely need to check out BRIEF THIEF if it is for fans of I WANT MY HAT BACK and THIS IS NOT MY HAT. 🙂

  4. I read Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great this week too! Loved it so much. Since my two boys collapse into hysterics whenever they see underwear, I am going to have to get Brief Thief for them. I have tried to read The Book Thief several times–it is probably book #1 on my YA Shelf of Shame. And I just cannot get into it for some reason. I have tried the audio version twice as well. Not sure why it isn’t working for me. Someday I’m going to have to get through it for my Printz Challenge, but probably not this summer. All of the picture books you write about look great. Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. Crystal says:

    I am eager to read The Brief Thief! It looks so fun. I loved The Book Thief on audio, but never read it in print. The Wig in the Window looks like a winner. Glad you had a great time on your trip.

  6. carriegelson says:

    I love The Brief Thief My students made me read it twice. The first time they sat there with their mouths open – shocked I think that we really were talking underwear and a lack of toilet paper. So funny! Can’t wait for you to read Paperboy – it has been one of my favourite reads of the year. Odd Duck looks great. Putting it on the TBR shelf. I want to read The Book Thief this summer – but have yet to start as all of my holds keep arriving from the library!

  7. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great is awesome! Didn’t see that coming but I had to get a personal copy to share with nieces and nephews.
    Haven’t read Wig in the Window or Every Day After yet but they are both on hold at the library.

  8. I actually put aside The Book Thief for a year and then read it voraciously within a day- felt like I did the right thing, it really touched me, haven’t forgotten it. You have so many other books I’m excited to read as well!

  9. Lorna says:

    I’ve really appreciated hearing from different people that they too struggled with The Book Thief. Reading that you gobbled it up quickly upon starting again makes me think that long chunks of devoted reading time help with this book. I will stick with it!

  10. Lorna says:

    Enjoy Unicorn, Angie–it’s a hoot!

  11. Lorna says:

    The Brief Thief is great! I think I had the same reaction as your students on first read! 🙂 So many interesting titles coming out makes it really hard to attach the backlisted titles in the TBR, doesn’t it? I bet you, your kids, and students will love Odd Duck.

  12. Lorna says:

    I’ve heard, Crystal, that The Book Thief is excellent on audio. I’ve requested it from the library to try to restart myself with it! The Brief Thief would be awesome to share as a library read aloud. Oh, the reactions on their faces will be priceless!

  13. Lorna says:

    Elisabeth–it’s been so interesting to hear about other people’s struggles with The Book Thief. I’m glad I’m not alone! I will keep trying with it. Your boys will LOVE The Brief Thief. Such a silly book!

  14. Lorna says:

    Beth–Middle schoolers will fall off their chairs reading The Brief Thief!

  15. Lorna says:

    @Megan–I have so appreciated hearing from others who struggled with The Book Thief. I did recently request the audio version, so maybe I can wrap up with that! I will keep at it! 🙂

  16. Lorna says:

    @msyingling — Do check out The Wig in the Window. I think it’s a great choice for middle schoolers!

  17. Earl says:

    I should read The Brief Thief since every customer in the store has enjoyed it. And The Wig in the Window is also on my TBR list. I was surprised to like Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great as much as I did!

  18. There’s the Paperboy you were talking about – oooh, just added that to my TBR. Thanks for sharing the trailer for Wig in the Window. I have heard lot of great things, but hadn’t seen the trailer yet. Another for the list. 🙂

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