10.21.13 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!


This post today is a summary of my reading activities over the last couple of weeks. Lots to enjoy!


Other recent posts:

2780786232_463aeb4fc2I also made my second visit as The Book Fairy to my daughter’s fourth grade class. Today I book talked and delivered a copy of Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s One for the Murphys. See my post to see how I shared it, and what other read-alikes I suggested. 

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

My picture books:


My favorites from this pile:

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell (2013): I dare you to not smile while you read this! The interactive nature is sure to engage readers in preschool to second grade as they turn each page and count along. Super fun and silly illustrations, too!

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers (2008): A sweet story of problem solving between two new and unlikely friends. I adore Jeffers sweet, but quirky illustrations.

Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Randy Cecil (2006): Great fun to read, and the playful rhythm and rhyming would make it great as a read aloud to preschool-grade 1. With lots of repeating and familiar words, this would also be great to give to beginning readers to try in their own. Charming oil painting illustrations will engage the readers.

Snippet the Early Riser by Bethanie Deeney Murguia (2013): Darling pen and watercolor illustrations almost make me like snails! Snippet, unlike the rest of his family, is an early riser. He persistently tries to rouse his family with help from friends in hopes of finding someone to play with. Charming, especially if you have your own early riser.

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies (2013): What will Ben do when the bully who stole his bike is in desperate need of a helping hand? A great book to have around the discussions of bullying and compassion and those times when we feel challenged to do the right thing. Davies, a political cartoonist, brings his loose sketchy style to the illustrations.

Yeti, Turn Out the Light! by Greg Long and Chris Edmundson and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan (2013): Yeti might seem tough and mighty, but he is easily spooked by noises and shadows in the night. This has a great rhyming text that reminds me of a Karma Wilson’s Bear books (Bear Snores On) and it would make a great read aloud choice for preschool-first grade.


Finished Middle Grade Chapter Books:

Drew is a super hero in training and is part of the secret sidekick training program in his middle school. But the hero he is paired with is nowhere to be found and his own super powers, heightened senses, seem less than glamorous when compared to his peers. Drew and his sidekick friends are put to the test when a gang of villains storm their way back on to the scene. This is a great story with lots of action, but also great things to ponder on good vs. evil, and what motivates us all. I’d recommend this for fifth grade and up. As a note, there are a few brief kisses between two of the characters, but all in all, very innocent. (2013/Walden Pond Press)


I finished this 1947 Newbery medal winner for my Newbery Challenge. Miss Hickory is a twig and hickory nut doll that has been left behind when her human family goes to Boston for the winter. In my opinion it just doesn’t hold up for today’s readers in both the subject and interest level. I suspect it might be popular with Waldorf schools with their emphasis on nature-focused play. More thoughts on this when I get to my 1940s Newbery Roundup post.


Finished non-fiction for adults

I took several months to read this, but not because it was difficult reading at all. I found it enlightening even though I am well aware of the fact that I have a lot of introvert tendencies. She discusses lots of great info to be mindful of as we work with other people in our capacity as parents, co-workers/managers, volunteers, and teachers. Cain did a great job of pairing interesting anecdotes and research in a readable way. (2012/Crown Publishers)


Ongoing Read Alouds . . .

With Tall, my sixth grader


With Small, my fourth grader


Currently reading for me . . .

Next up . . .

I have a huge pile of pictures books that came in as holds from the library. Lucky me!

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


16 comments on “10.21.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Always exciting when a big stack of holds are ready! My husband is reading Origami Yoda to the kids right now; as soon as that’s finished, I think we’re going to read Flora & Ulysses. Looking forward to your thoughts on Miss Hickory. I started 21 Balloons but haven’t made it very far–maybe I’ll get back to it this week. My kids are dying to read Count the Monkeys–hoping the library will get it but I may end up buying and then donating. I was listening to Quiet on audio but then stopped to listen to Megan Whalen Turner’s 4 books. Think I’ll get it again and keep listening. I’m also finding it quite interesting, though not quite the riveting read for a commute that I like!

  2. Lorna says:

    @Elisabeth: Our comments crossed each other . . . I’ll move 21 Balloons up in my stack. Quiet is super interesting, but I agree, I need something a bit more dynamic for a car ride! Your kids will love Count the Monkeys–hope you get a copy soon.

  3. I have such a crush on Oliver Jeffers. I fall in love with everything he writes, but my favorite is Heart in a Bottle. I have the Khaled Hosseini on my reader, but haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve read his previous two and I find his writing fascinating but emotionally draining. Have to mentally prep myself for that! :p

  4. ipushbooks says:

    Side Kicked sounds like a great book for my middle schoolers. Thanks!

  5. Myra GB says:

    So many wonderful books here! I’ve been meaning to get myself a copy of the new Hosseini title very soon – loved both Kiterunner and A Thousand Splendid Suns – he is such a powerful writer. I echo Novalibrarymom, I also love oliver jeffers. 🙂 Flora & Ulysses sounds like a book that I definitely have to find for my daughter soon. Have a great reading week!

  6. First, congrats on the great week!
    Glad you enjoyed Sidekicked. It is such a fun book and I really liked it too.
    And I haven’t read many of the PBs you mentioned, so thank you for sharing.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  7. Count the Monkeys is soooo fun. We (1st-4th grade) watched the trailer before the book fair & loved it. I just picked up the hard cover today at the bookstore & can’t wait to see their faces as we read it together. 🙂

  8. Linda Baie says:

    I love that you share what you’re reading with your children, Lorna, & both of those books are on my list, just haven’t gotten to them yet. Count The Monkeys does sound fun, and The Way Back Home would bring thoughtful conversation. Like everyone else I’d love to take time for And The Mountains Echoed. Finally, I have Quiet, & perhaps I should read it a little at a time as you did. Thanks for so much!

  9. carriegelson says:

    Some fantastic titles here. My plan is to rob my daughter’s book piles (I learned this technique from her!) and read Flora & Ulysses! Love seeing Ben Rides On as a favourite of yours. We just moved that title into our Favourite Read Alouds bin. Still hugely popular in my room and I think I read it Day 1! Count the Monkeys is also a favourite in our room! Kids love reading it aloud!

  10. Lorna says:

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Flora and Ulysses! So quirky and charming, but much of the vocab is really advanced. I’m thinking it needs to be matched with the right reader or used as a read aloud. Even I was stumbling over some of the words. DiCamillo’s word choices are very deliberate and definitely work with the characters, though!

  11. Lorna says:

    @Linda–Count the Monkeys would make for a great one to throw into your “read with the grandkids” pile. So much fun.

  12. Lorna says:

    @Crystal–I would love to read Count the Monkeys with an big audience. It would be lots of fun!

  13. Lorna says:

    @Kellee–I can’t wait to share Side Kicked with middle school readers!

  14. Lorna says:

    Flora and Ulysses is lots of fun and great choice for middle grade readers not wary of challenging vocabulary. DiCamillo has brilliant word choice that is just perfect for the characters. Not many middle grade novels use the word capricious multiple times!

  15. Lorna says:

    Side Kicked would make a great choice for middle schooler readers and excellent to pair with Jeramey Kraatz’s Cloak Society series, which is terrific as well.

  16. I love your two read aloud choices right now! Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is so much fun! I have been eyeing Flora and Ulysses for a while now, but I keep getting requested books in from the library which I feel pressure to read first! Enjoy 🙂

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