08.12.13 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!


My Book-A-Day Progress:

Goal: 75

Read to date: 57

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 three favorite picture books of the week . . .

Very cute, nearly wordless book that will get you smiling and looking for a dog to play with! Be sure to read the author by-line on the cover closely. This one will appeal to all ages! (2013/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Hank finds an egg while walking in the forest and he works diligently to return it to its nest. A wordless book whose story is told through photographs that will remind you of stop animation. Very sweet and a great one to share when talking about kindness and doing the right thing especially when no one is looking.  Again, another wordless book that can be used with a large range of readers. (2013/Peter Pauper Press)


This is a charming picture book about a petite but very strong man, Lalouche, who looses his job as a Parisian mail carrier and needs to find new employment. He tries his hand at boxing and finds many who want to discourage him. Working very hard and being persistent, he proves he has quite the talent. Blackall’s illustrations are fun and full of many whimsical details. I learned while reading this book that “Lalouche” is really fun to say aloud! Great for grades 2-5.  (2013/Schwartz & Wade Books)


Finished this easy reader . . .

This is Giesel Honor Winner for 2013 and is a great addition to the early reader books. The book is divided into very short chapters or stories about pals Rabbit and Robot, who admittedly are a little different from each other. It reminds me a mashup of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories and Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino’s Boy + Bot. Great choice for emerging readers in K-2 grade. (2012/Candlewick Press)

Finished this graphic novel/chapter book for middle grades . . .

This was my first Dragonbreath book, which is a hybrid graphic novel chapter book series staring Danny the Dragon. I was impressed with the advanced vocabulary and with its longer length. This will make a great choice for kids ready to launch on from books like Frankie Pickle and the Lunch Lady graphic novel series. I did this as a read aloud with my 9yo because she said after starting it that she was too scared to read it on her own. I must admit it was a pretty scary story that includes creepy clowns, a ghost and a haunted house! ! This is a good choice to hand to readers in grades 2-5 looking for that spooky title. (2011/Dial Books)

Finished this historical fiction for middle grades . . .

The début novel from Laura Golden introduces us to Lizzie, a twelve-year-old growing up in the small town of Bittersweet during the Great Depression. She is tough and determined, two traits that will serve her well as she struggles to keep her world afloat with an absent father, a severely depressed mother, and a meddling school bully out to bring her down. Golden has created an enduring character that you will be rooting for from the beginning. I especially enjoyed the author’s development of Lizzie’s prideful struggles to do it all by herself, and her constant efforts to live up to the demanding expectations of a father who wasn’t even there. This will appeal to historical fiction fans, especially those who enjoyed Turtle in Paradise, or other works by Jenni Holm. I know the slow building pace might not be for all readers, but it might make a good classroom read aloud if talking about this era.  (2013/Delacourte Press)

Finished (finally) this young adult historical fiction . . .

I have talked about my struggles the last few weeks with this one, but I finally got it done. Many people suggested I try the audio for this one but it appeared it would take a long time for that hold to arrive. I had a hunk of time, so decided to just finish it this last week. Having Death as the narrator was really unique and provided an interesting perspective, but I felt like a very distant observer. I just didn’t get strong connections with these characters despite feeling for their plight. I also found the foreshadowing a bit much at times. I have to admit I am very curious as to how the motion picture for this will spin out. (2006)


Continuing . . .

This is pleasant enough so far and seems like a good choice for kids not quite ready to read the more complex Harry Potter books.


Listening to this one. . . the narrator is terrific.


I’m reading this aloud to my nine-year-old and this has been great “suspend-disbelief” fun.

Next up . . . one of these:


I must admit I’m very nervous for Appelt’s book as I REALLY couldn’t get into The Underneath and had to walk away from it. I don’t do dreamy-metaphysical books very well. It probably explains my struggles with many Barbara Kingsolver books and my major struggles with Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

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


13 comments on “08.12.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. I just read Ball this weekend to my kids and we loved it. Hilarious! Congrats on finishing The Book Thief! I know that someday I am going to have to get through it if I ever want to complete the Printz Challenge, but given how many books I still have left for that, I am in no great rush to try Book Thief yet again. Funny, I had the same response to The Underneath! Have tried that one multiple times and just can’t do it. Another title I want to someday get back to and try again. I’ve been reading good things about Every Day After… will be sure to look for that one at the library. Thanks for sharing so many good titles this week!

  2. Lorna says:

    @Elisabeth: Yes, I can’t believe I’m alone on THE UNDERNEATH. I tried it as a read aloud and it just didn’t fly with either of us, even after getting halfway into it. I agree I might need to try it again, though. If you enjoy historical fiction, Every Day After, is a great one to add to your pile. Lizzie is very enduring!

  3. I don’t blame you in regards to THE BOOK THIEF. I have it as a literature circle choice and kids seem to love it or hate it. I remember thinking it felt a little bit long when I read it. I did enjoy it immensely, but I can absolutely see how it would appeal to some and not others. I guess that is why we all have different taste, right? I can’t count the number of times I have picked up a well-loved book and thought it was just okay.
    I hope you have a great reading week this week!! 🙂 🙂

  4. I LOVED Turtle in Paradise and adore Jenni Holm so I’m really looking forward to reading Every Day After. Plus, I met Laura at ALA and she is the nicest, sweetest, most down to earth person you will ever meet. I adore her.

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Just saw Ball at the library & now wish I’d checked it out, Lorna. I’ll keep Every Day After on my list, but it’ll be a while. Now reading Aristotle & Dante… Thanks for sharing books for a variety of ages. Sorry about The Book Thief-I remember loving it, but it’s been since it came out, so I wonder if I’d enjoy it today.

  6. I read Every Day After this week as well. Loved it personally but not sure what students to share it with.
    And the picture book covers you shared? LOVE. Must add all to the TBR list.

  7. carriegelson says:

    Oh you are not alone on The Underneath. I read it but had to force myself. I still cringe when I see it in the children’s section of the library. It should at least be YA. Loved Al Capone Does my shirts. My son read it for lit circles this year and he was a huge fan too. I am excited to share Lalouche with my students this fall!

  8. Lorna says:

    @Ricki–It is really interesting how one book can create such different reader responses. In the end that’s a good thing though!

  9. Lorna says:

    @Beth–My interactions with Laura have been on Twitter, but she has been very gracious and humble about the praises for her book. It might lack some of the laugh out loud, “Our Gang” moments in Turtle in Paradise, but she has created a memorable character.

  10. Lorna says:

    @Linda–I’m sure when you swing back around to Ball, you’ll love it. A great one to read with your grandkids! Can’t wait to get to Aristotle & Dante!

  11. Lorna says:

    I agree Angie that Every Day After will be a harder one to pitch to the masses, but hopefully it will find its way into the hands of the perfect reader.

  12. Lorna says:

    @Carrie–Glad I have some company for The Underneath. I appreciated the poetic voice, but I kept thinking . . . kids are supposed to get this? Chendenko’s book is so much fun . . . I can imagine that boys in particular like it, but my daughter eagerly read it and the next in the series this summer.

  13. Earl says:

    Hank Finds an Egg looks cute. I hadn’t seen it around in bookstores but it might fit well in ours!

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