09.30.13 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!

Okay, September is clearly not my month of avid reading. I had great dreams, but they just didn’t materialize. Other things just got in the way. Little things, like new school routines and busy after-school activities schedules. Big things, like a large DIY deck sanding and staining that involved stressfully dodging a whole lot of unusual September rain in between phases of that project. So in other words, not a lot of reading time. Below is a recap of what (little!) I did get to this month! Please do share what you’ve enjoyed reading!


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

I read these picture books . . .

Imagine if Harold and the Purple Crayon collided with a David Wiesner book…you might just end up with Journey. The book is wordless but tells a magical story with stunning and fantastical illustrations. I think I clapped with happiness at the last few pages. I sure hope this is on the 2014 Caldecott committee’s radar. Recommend for preschool and up. (2013/Candlewick Press)


Great for illustrating and identifying emotions. Fun, lively monster illustrations will appeal to the preschool and kindergarten crowd. (2013/Lemniscaat USA)

Finished these novels for middle grades . . .

This was a very satisfying action-packed sequel to the hero vs. villain thriller, The Cloak Society,  and the story is perfectly set up for the last book in the trilogy. My 12 year-old daughter snatched it out my hands as soon as I was done and declared it terrific, too! Release date October 1. Recommend for grade 4 and up.  (2013/HarperCollins)


This one will tug at your heart-strings. With an absentee or distracted, at best, single mother, Addie is forced to fend for herself. A few adults in her life become the roses amongst the thorns for her. You will cheer loudly for Addie and marvel at her perseverance. Both in theme and writing style this reminded me a lot of Joan Bauer’s books, and I’d certainly recommend it to her fans. Life is pretty tough for Addie, so I’d recommend this for mature fourth or fifth graders and up. (2008/Katherine Tegen Books)


This was a fun and fast paced read aloud with my fourth grader that prompted some good discussions about authority and disobedience at school. In my head the kids seemed far to precocious to be fifth graders, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. It would be a good one to recommend to students who enjoyed the latest Origami Yoda book, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. Recommend for grades 3-6. (2007/Atheneum)


A lovely, quiet book that will remind you that seemingly random encounters between people just might happen for a reason. It was a very quick read that is still lingering with me. Not everything is explained, which may frustrate some readers, but it will definitely have you thinking. I’d be curious to hear if anyone has done this as a read aloud, because I think it would result in some great “Why . . .?” and “What if . . . ?” discussions. Recommend for grades 3-6. (2013/HarperCollins)


1946 Newbery Medal. I recall enjoying this when finding it at my grandmother’s house when I was young. Now, upon a re-read many years later, I found it okay. It’s certainly more readable than many others in these first few decades of the Newbery award, but I found the dialect very tiring by the end. Mr. Slater’s overnight conversion and retreat from alcoholism was extremely unrealistic for me as well. For farmsteading and pioneer stories represented by the Newbery, I prefer Thimble Summer and Caddie Woodlawn. Thanks to Elisabeth at The Dirigible Plum for spurring me to jump start my Newbery Challenge and for reading some of these early titles together!

And I continue . . .

This is a great one to just read a chapter at a time, hence it’s taking me a while to get through it. Fascinating.


On Beth from Foodie Bibliophile‘s recommendation, I’m listening to this on audio. Great fun.


Next up . . .


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


10 comments on “09.30.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. I forgot to respond to your tweet this week, so I’ll respond here! The dialect definitely grated on me too. I realize that I bring such extremely low expectations to old Newberys that I can be very pleasantly surprised when it’s not as horrible as I expect it to be, and Strawberry Girl was really not as horrible as I thought it would be. So that was in its favor! But I would also rate it merely okay. I saw a preponderance of lesson plans and teaching guides for it online–are teachers still using it in the classroom? I sure hope not!! I’m a chapter or two in with Miss Hickory but stalled out when other books took precedence. Hopefully I can get back to it this week. I also checked out a big stack of old Caldecotts, so I’m hoping to start that challenge this week. Wasn’t Journey wonderful? I bought it intending to donate it to the library, but I don’t think I can part with it!

  2. Lorna says:

    Elisabeth — Oh, I sure hope nobody is still using Strawberry Girl in the classroom! I’m digging through my bookshelves today to see if I have my own copy of Miss Hickory, or if I’ll have to request it! I’m pleased it appears to be a shorter title. Journey was lovely, and I too am not sure if I’ll part with my copy anytime soon!

  3. I did love Miss Hickory when I was little! It would be fun to pair with “Miss Maple’s Seeds” or “Miss Rumphius” and find shared themes.

    This month I fell in love with a 2010 book “Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian” by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Julie Paschkis.

  4. Lorna says:

    Cathy- I love Miss Maple’s Seeds and Miss Rumphius, so I’m hopeful now for Miss Hickory, too! 🙂 Summer Birds, looks great; thanks for recommending it! Paschikis is a favorite illustrator.

  5. megan says:

    Thanks for stopping by! I did not struggle with Code Name Verity because I listened to it and I just loved the reader’s voice. As for Gallagher Girls, I love this series because it is great for everyone! It is my go-to for all the clever young readers who want to read teen, but aren’t ready for all the issues and kissing. I think there is one little awkward kiss in the first one. It’s all action, adventure, and girls totally kicking butt and rescuing themselves. No damsels in distress there!

  6. Yay! I hope you love SMEKDAY! 🙂

  7. When I read No Talking, I thought about how much fun it’d be to read with kids – I’m glad you got to read it with yours 🙂
    Enjoy Side Kicked – I loved that book! Hope he has a second one!
    I love Journey and cannot wait how to review it this week.
    And I need to get some more Sharon Creech in my life – will need to read one of hers soon 🙂

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  8. carriegelson says:

    Well – I am just imagining all of the wonderful reading you will do on your deck with your feet up next summer! And you have some stunning titles here – Journey! Love Friends! And Waiting for Normal was loved by both my daughter and me. I want to read this Sharon Creech title.

  9. I can’t wait for the sequel to Journey! Or was I just imagining it? I’m writing a blog post for work about all the great wordless picture books that have come out recently. The bar has definitely been raised!

  10. Love, love, love the audio for Smekday! It makes me laugh just thinking about it again. 🙂

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