09.02.13 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!

Where did the time go? September?!? My daughters head back to school tomorrow, with Small heading off to fourth grade and Tall on her way to sixth grade at the middle school. I’ve gotten the go ahead to be The Book Fairy for Small’s classroom again this year. I’m already plotting and planning my first few visits when I book talk using multimedia and then deliver the title to the classroom. If you haven’t heard me gush about Book Fairy, check here and here to see what I did last year in the girls’ classrooms. I won’t embarrass my sixth grader “to death” by coming into her classroom, but I’m hoping to slip a regular copy or two of a newer titles  to her Language Arts block teacher during the school year. As I predicted, I didn’t set any reading records with my own reading this week, but I’m just about there in my summer reading goal, and plan to knock out the last title today! Hope the Back-to-School send off is or has been a good one for all of you teachers and students out there!


My Book-A-Day Progress:

Goal: 75

Read to date: 74

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 . . .

I read this picture book . . .

I loved this non-fiction title. A casual and informative tone is used to describe the eccentric but lovable mathematician from childhood through his important and collaborative career. This is a great book to bust the myth that mathematicians are all loners. The detail-rich art is such a value-add for this book. Pham gives us a lovely sense of the time and places that Paul lived, but she also fills the pages with mathematical references. Her notes at the back of the book must not be missed. Younger kids will enjoy the quirky character he was but older kids (and adults!) will enjoy the many deeper layers of this great biography. (2013/Roaring Book Press)


Finished these novels for middle grades . . .

This is a favorite title of my oldest, so I’m glad I finally got to it. Aside from Harry Potter series and The Book of Beginning series (Emerald Atlas), she doesn’t tend to like fantasy titles, so I’m happily surprised that she enjoyed this “magical realism genre” title. Leo and Amanda are long-time friends caught up in a magical spell that forces them to relive their eleventh birthdays again and again. Breaking the spell requires them to evaluate some rough spots in their friendship in a whole new light.  (2009/Scholastic)


A fun, often wildly absurd tale of two kids as they battle a mysterious group of bad guys trying to kill them while they are on a cross-country trip with their unsuspecting parents. It requires readers to suspend disbelief a great deal, but many kids will enjoy the fun dialogue and antics. With a cliff-hanger, kids will clamor for the next book in this three title series. Both of my girls gobbled the series up this last spring, so much so that my youngest wanted to share it together as a read aloud with me! (2011/HarperCollins)


Finished this on audio . . .

I know I’m late to discovering this one, but it is just terrific. Great historical fiction, but also a whole lot more as we watch Moose navigate a move, new school, and the challenges of having a sister who today we’d identify as having autism. Choldenko’s development of Moose’s character is masterful. She nailed the adolescent firestorm of emotions. This one has been firmly planted on my favorites shelf and I’m looking forward to the two other titles in the series. (2004/Penguin)

And I continue . . .

I continue to be so intrigued by this book and find myself shaking my head in agreement at her observations and research findings.


I won this ARC, set to be released October 1, in a giveaway from All the Write Notes. I’ve been instructed by my sixth grader to read it quickly so that she can read it. When she’s done, we will donate it to her fifth grade teacher’s classroom which is where I delivered the first book, The Cloak Society, as The Book Fairy last year.


Next up . . .

??? I’ve been drifting and feeling a bit unfocused with my reading lately . . . but possible titles include Cinder,  Waiting for Normal, and The Apprentices. Oh, and maybe one of my long neglected Newbery or Caldecott Challenge books!

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


12 comments on “09.02.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Oh yes. The Newbery Challenge. Also very long neglected for me! Are you reading in order? (I haven’t been so far.) If you choose a title for that, please let me know and I’ll try to read along too. I really need something extra to motivate me to get back to that challenge. I’m intrigued by your Caldecott challenge too–I have considered that, but having trouble finding the books at the library. I absolutely love your Book Fairy work! This year, I purchased and donated some new books to both my kids’ classrooms. Hoping that the 5th grade teacher will decide to read Ivan and Wonder aloud to his classes. My 5th grader is also HORRIFIED by the idea that I might show up at school! I loved Al Capone when I read it years ago but haven’t continued with the series. I’ll be interested to see what you think and if they’re also must-reads.

  2. Just finished two adult food-themed books, both leaning toward magical realism. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was odd but enchanting. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender was odd and haunting. Time for a back-to-basics middle grade reading splurge!

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I need to start Quiet-am intrigued, but still haven’t gotten to it. And the Al Capone-I’ve heard it’s good yet somehow can’t start it. I liked what you said, Lorna-maybe now! Thanks for the new title 11 birthdays-glad to hear your daughter recommended it! Best to them both (& to the Book Fairy) for a very good year!

  4. I’ve always wanted to read Al Capone Does my Shirts. I don’t know how I forgot it was on my TBR list! You just reminded me!

  5. carriegelson says:

    Oh my son will be over the moon to know there is a new Cloak Society book – I sense a birthday present. (If release is in October) I also loved Al Capone Does my Shirts Thinking it would be a great student book club book. My daughter is also a huge Wendy Mass fan. She reads everything she has written!

  6. Lorna says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Cathy! Your books sound interesting. I’m an avid home cook (though less so in the summer it seems!), and love it when a book combines those passions well. Have you read the adult realistic fiction, The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister? One of my favorites.

  7. Lorna says:

    Elisabeth — I do like the idea of having a book buddy for the Newbery Challenge. I am reading them in order, but only because that sounded interesting. Really it’s just depressing. Look at my Newbery list on my blog sometime to see what I’ve read. Throw out a title that you haven’t read and let’s make a plan!! 🙂

  8. Lorna says:

    Linda–Al Capone was also I title I’d heard good things about, but never “got” to it. My oldest found it on a historical fiction list for middle school readers at the library at read it and the others in the series passionately this summer. I figured that I needed to see what all the excitement was about. And thanks for your school year well wishes!

  9. Lorna says:

    Yes, Villians Rising is just around the bend. The fifth graders I shared it with were crazy about it! I do agree that Al Capone would make a great book club title–so much to discuss from the setting to the family dynamics and beyond. I was just suggesting Wendy Mass’s other titles to my oldest the other day. I bet she’d like them!

  10. Lorna, that’s why I decided not to read Newbery in order: too depressing! I didn’t think I’d ever make it through–just be stuck in the 20s and 30s. Certainly makes me appreciate children’s lit today! I’ll take a look at your list and send you a tweet about a title!

  11. Kirsten says:

    I just ordered The Boy Who Loved Math and can’t wait to read it! My office (I’m an instructional coach) has many fictional picture books and novels to share with the teachers I’m working with, but I’m always on the lookout for a new math or science focused book. Thank you!

  12. Myra GB says:

    I own a copy of Al Capone does my Shirts but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’ve been meaning to since we visited the Alcatraz off San Francisco around two years back, but it’s been gathering dust in my bookshelf. Reading your review makes me want to pick it up soon! 🙂 Thanks for sharing all this Lorna. I would also look for The Boy Who Loved Math when I visit the library this weekend. 🙂 Have a great reading week!

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