01.13.14 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!



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

My Favorites from the last week . . .

Charming story about one young boy during the Depression as he struggles to reconcile how his father hides losing his job. Told against the backdrop of a baseball loving era. I loved the illustrations, which on some pages had a Hopper-esque feel to them. (1999/HMH Books for Young Readers)


I thought this graphic novel was so well done and would make for a great addition to upper elementary and middle school libraries and classrooms.  I loved the “just right” background knowledge on all the key elements that set up the environmental catastrophe that became known as the Dust Bowl. The graphic novel is a great format to convey the imagery and intensity of this era. It’d be great to pair with other books and media on the event like Phelan’s Storm in the Barn and Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, The Dust Bowl. My youngest (grade 4) preferred Phelan’s story, I’m guessing because of its narrative elements versus the informational text format in this book. Recommend for ages 10 and up, including the adult history buffs in the room. (2013/HMH Books for Young Readers)


I find myself avoiding poetry as I just find I get too restless reading it. I’m sure there’s more too it than that, but overall, poetry is not a category of literature that I enjoy. On that note, this was a collection of poems that I did enjoy far more than I suspected I would. This is recasting of any earlier poetry collection by Rylant. God is placed into a number of everyday, seemingly ordinary situations, but with his/her own distinct wisdom.  I suspect the messages might be lost on young kids, but middle school and up (adults, too!) will connect with the situations. Frazee’s illustrations are lovely. (2013/Beach Lane Books)


This was fantastic narrative nonfiction about scientists’ efforts to predict the timing and direction of volcanic blast material in the Asian Pacific volcanic zone. Having been a Mt. St. Helens kid (ash fell in our town and school was let out three weeks early in 1980), it just fascinated me. Great use of interviews for the narrative commentary and enlightening photos. Best for upper grade and middle school. (2013/HMH Books for Young Readers)


After the first 1/3 of this, clear your schedule because you won’t be able to put this down. Teens will enjoy this suspenseful thriller. (2013/Delacourte Press)


Currently reading . . .

I will be delivering this to my daughter’s fourth grade classroom later as The Book Fairy. I suspect they will adore this spin on the story of Rumpelstiltskin!


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


14 comments on “01.13.14 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Two books added to list… thanks- The Living and God got a Dog. Happy reading week to you!

  2. carriegelson says:

    Oh your daughter’s classroom is very lucky! Rump is such a fun story. I am reading it aloud to my students now and they are completely mesmerized! My own children also adored it. Enjoy! Very excited to read The Living. I am hearing such praise everywhere!

  3. I read Eruption last week too–and adored it! Wasn’t it riveting? I spent the whole day talking to my husband about pyroclastic flow and making him look at maps of the Ring of Fire! Ran right back to the library to get another Scientists in the Field series the very same day and finished that one too (Tapir Scientist–which I think I liked even more than Eruption.) Poetry… I hear you! I made that my #nerdlution–reading a poem a day. I subscribed to The Writer’s Almanac and get a shortish poem in my email each morning, so even if I don’t manage to read any more in a day, I read that one. I am liking poetry a lot more and even experimented with writing a bit of it over break when I had extra writing time. But I’m still not liking most of the books of children’s poetry I’ve been looking at. Not sure what my issue is there. I read the Cynthia Rylant book years ago–want to get my hands on the new version because of Marla Frazee, who is one of my very favorite illustrators. I am going to have to get The Babe & I to read to my older son–he is oddly obsessed with Babe Ruth! I think I’m going to read Rump to him as soon as we finish Doll Bones.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I agree about The Living! Once the storm hit, I could NOT stop reading! I’m a huuuuge Matt de la Pena fan…he can do no wrong! 🙂

    Happy reading this week.

  5. bluestockingthinking says:

    I can’t wait to read Rump! I’ve been eyeing it all year 😉

  6. Myra GB says:

    Sad to hear about you and poetry. 😦 One of my favourite genres in literature. 🙂 I have to find God got a Dog. I’ve been meaning to find the graphic novel Great American Dust Bowl too – I so enjoyed Hesse’s Out of the Dust (novel in verse hehehe), and I have a feeling they’d make for great companion texts. Thanks for sharing the video clip too! Have a great reading week! 🙂

  7. vidya says:

    Rump sounds wonderful.. And I have seen a few more reviews of the The Dust Bowl.. both are getting added to my TBR..

  8. I keep seeing The Living! It’s on my to read list because it sounds like something I would enjoy but all of the praise is making me realize I need to quit putting it off.

  9. Lorna says:

    God Got a Dog is worth it just for Frazee’s pictures!

  10. Lorna says:

    I’m sure the kids will enjoy Rump, too. Fun to be bringing in a book that I’m hearing so many kids are enjoying.

  11. Lorna says:

    I’m going to have to find the Tapir book. Who knew tapirs could be so interesting?! And you should find Babe and I for your own Babe Ruth fan. Have you read any of the titles in Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventure series? He has a Babe Ruth one. When I taught, I Honus and Me as a read aloud and the kids absolutely loved it.

  12. Lorna says:

    @Jennifer–it’s my first Matt de la Pena book and certainly made me want to check out his other titles sooner, rather than later!

  13. Lorna says:

    @Vidya–I’m not super far into it, but I think kids will enjoy the humor that is laced throughout Rump. And The Dust Bowl is pretty stellar in my opinion. I hope you enjoy it!

  14. Lorna says:

    @Jennifer–The Living was highly entertaining and the main character Shy is a good guy to root for . . . and as I learned at the end there will be a sequel!

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