01.20.14 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 . . .

Last week’s picture books . . .

A nice message about taking risks. Would be great paired with Deborah Freeman’s Fish and Snail. Some young kids might become anxious in some of George’s precarious situations. (2011/Candlewick Press)


Part multigenerational story telling, part civil rights mini lesson. All lovingly told and illustrated. Great for grades 1 and up. (2011/HMH Books for Young Readers)


This cute book has a great message about being true to yourself and following your passions. I love Hector’s style and his animals are especially expressive. It would be great to pair with Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. Great for Kindergarten and up. (2008/Hyperion)


A good intro to Goodall and her work in Africa and her conservation efforts. I liked the artistic style and little hidden details Winters included in her illustrations. (2011/Schwartz and Wade)


A Little Red Writing Hood fractured fairy tale with some writing tips creatively thrown in. I’m not sure I’d read this again after using it in a writing lesson, as the story didn’t wow me. As always, Melissa Sweet’s illustrations are terrific. Good for grades 2 and up. (2013/Chronicle Books)


I adored Yoon’s other penguin books, but this one felt too forced to me. On a few page turns I even felt confused about the story line. But the penguins are so cute! (2013/Walker Children’s)


I adored the art for this more than the story about team work. I want to frame some of these pages for my “someday” cabin! (2013/Kids Can Press)


Finished Graphic Novels . . .

This is a well-researched telling of China’s Boxer Rebellion with amazing illustrations. I learned a lot about the time period in China and would certainly recommend it to those interested in the time or culture, but I just wasn’t in love with this one. The uprising was extremely violent and is portrayed as such in the books, so I’d recommend this for grades 7 and up. (2013/First Second)


Finished Middle Grade Novels . . .

I finished this as a read aloud with Small, my fourth grader. She LOVED it. I enjoyed this interesting story about Dewey and her friend Suze who are both children of scientists working on the secretive Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, NM during World War II. I loved the portrayal of smart and creative girls and the challenges they needed to overcome to build and maintain their friendship. The only real complaint I had was on the amount of time it took for the girls’ paths to really cross in the story. Readers should have some background knowledge in the atomic bomb project before diving into this one. I’d recommend as a read aloud in grades 4 and up, or alone for fifth grade and up. (2006/Viking Juvenile)


I am to blame for a not giving this more stars. I listened to it as an audiobook over many months rather than in concentrated blocks of time. As a result I had a hard time connecting with the story and it’s humor about life on Earth after it has been invaded by aliens. I must say, though, Bonnie Turpin is a fantastic audiobook narrator. (2007/Disney Hyperion)


A fractured fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin filled with lots of magic and a likable main character. Fantasy fans will enjoy this story and the doses of middle grade humor laced throughout. While I read it alone, I’ve heard from many that it makes a great read aloud, and I can see why. Recommend for grades 3 – 7. (2013/Knopf Books for Young Readers)


This week’s reading . . .


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


13 comments on “01.20.14 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. carriegelson says:

    Oh – enjoy Fangirl! Such a great read. I read Rump on my own and then to my children and WOW, loved it even more. Now I am reading it to my class and they ADORE it! They beg me to read more everyday. I loved the book These Hands – such a special title with beautiful flow.

  2. Ooohhh, enjoy Fangirl!! Love the books you featured this week!

  3. Michele says:

    I have Better Nate Than Ever in my pile too! The pile that won’t end 🙂 Sounds like you have some good books in front of you!

  4. Lorna says:

    Yes, can’t wait for Fangirl!

  5. Lorna says:

    I can see why Rump would make such an enjoyable read aloud. Have fun with it in your class! And heck, yes, so looking forward to Fangirl!

  6. Lorna says:

    Yes, that TBR pile is always daunting. So many books, so little time, but its nice to know that a good book title is never far!

  7. Linda Baie says:

    Thanks for the picture books-I know some, but love the look of George Flies South and These Hands, Lorna. And I loved Penguin In Love-so cute! Enjoy Fangirl-someday I’ll get to it!

  8. I agree with you about UP A CREEK. The illustrations are adorable but the story is just “meh”

  9. More reading synergy–I read Boxers this week and am reading Saints today. My 5th grader asked if it was a book for kids, and at that point in the story, I was on the fence. Then I kept reading and decided no. It’s definitely not for kids! I thought I was going to find Little Red Writing much more charming than I actually did–though of course the illustrations by Melissa Sweet are superb. I’ll be book talking The Watcher at some point in Children’s Lit. Your other PBs are new to me–I always enjoy discovering new books!

  10. Hi Lorna, Up the Creek looks funny. It has Maine animals too! I am ordering that one and The Watcher from my library right now. Thanks so much!

  11. Lorna says:

    Yeah . . . Boxers and Saints. Not for kids. I might recommend it to a friend who is married to a Chinese national for her twin boys as they are doing Chinese school and the like.

  12. Lorna says:

    Linda, I think you would especially like the multi-generational elements of These Hands. Beautifully illustrated as well.

  13. Beth says:

    My kid and I really liked Green Glass Sea a few years ago. I read the sequel but I don’t remember if he did. I’ve also met the author — she’s really funny in person even if the humor in her books is more understated.

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