Pages

Monday, January 24, 2022

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Perfect Valentine by Amy Young

This Valentine-themed addition to the series about Lucy and her unicorn, Sparkle, is sweet. Lucy's making Valentine's cards to tell all her friends what she loves about them and Sparkles decides he wants to make one for Lucy. Although Sparkle's card is not as fancy as everyone else's, he gets his message across.

Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives by Dav Pilkey

Another meeting of the Cat Kid Comic Club is in session and the frogs are getting a drawing lesson to learn about perspective. The frogs not only learn about drawing, but also the importance of seeing things through another's perspective. The comics within a comic structure of this book is creative and the story is humorous with lots of kid appeal.

 

Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott?: Rosa Parks by Insha Fitzpatrick and illustrated by Abelle Hayford


Who Was the First Man on the Moon?: Neil Armstrong by Nathan Page and illustrated by Drew Shannon

These books are part of a new line of graphic novels in the Who Was? series. They each tell an intriguing tale of an important historical figure. The graphic novel format will make learning history accessible for those students who are motivated by shorter texts and illustrations.  

Candidly Cline by Kathryn Ormsbee

Cline dreams of becoming a musician. When she learns about a singer-songwriter workshop she is determined to attend even though her mother insists it's not worth her while. Cline is also trying to make sense of her grandmother's memory issues and navigate a changing friendship after she reveals that she is not interested in boys. This book addresses some important issues and challenges of growing up such as first crushes. Cline is a character who readers will root for.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads


The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López  

The creators of The Day You Begin have given us another beautiful story with an empowering message. Listening to their grandmother's advice, two siblings use their imaginations to lift themselves out of their current situation. In the note at the end of the book, Jacqueline Woodson tells about her inspiration for the book and includes these powerful words, "Sometimes the first step toward change is closing our eyes, taking a breath, and imagining a different way." 

J.D. and the Hair Show Showdown by J. Dillard and illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts

Eight-year-old J.D. the Kid Barber is off to Atlanta with his mom for the Beauty Brothers Hair Expo. As in the previous books in the series, J.D. shows what's possible when following one's passion.

Secret of the Storm by Beth McMullen

This fantasy adventure is also a meaningful story of friendship and having the courage to be oneself and do the right thing. After two schoolmates, Cassie and Joe, find a kitten in a dumpster after an unusual storm they team up to solve a mystery. It's an engaging read and I think readers will be eager for the follow-up. Thanks to the author for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reviewer copy. The book publishes in March.

Adult Reading Recommendation 


Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

I was captivated by this book and I think it will end up being one of my top favorites of 2022. Two estranged siblings are brought together after their mother's death. Through a recording their mother has left, the siblings learn about their family's secret past. This multigenerational story alternates between the present and the 1960s and is set in the Caribbean, America, and Britain. The family drama and the mystery of the mother's life had me hooked, but it's also beautiful and moving and an exploration of many themes including loyalty, resilience, and identity. The book publishes in February.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


Group Hug by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Joey Chou

A slug, in need of a hug, gives one to a bug and gradually more and more animals join in a group hug. This is a warm and endearing story about kindness.

Millions of Maxes by Meg Wolitzer and illustrated by Micah Player

Max believes he is the "one and only Max" until a trip to the park where he discovers there are two other kids with his name, as well. The Maxes work together to find a missing pink pine cone which leads them to another Max. This is a fun read.

Winter Lullaby by Dianne White and illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

Mama Bear convinces Small Bear that it's time for them to go inside and sleep. This sweet rhyming story is great for the winter season or bedtime. 

When Winter Robeson Came by Brenda Woods 

In August of 1965, Eden's cousin Winter is visiting her in Los Angeles. She is expecting to spend the time visiting Disneyland and the beach, but instead Winter reveals he wants to find his father. This is a heartfelt story about family, but also gives insight into the Watts Riots and the racial inequality of the time period. Written in verse, this is a quick and accessible read. Thank you to the publisher for sharing an advance readers copy with my book review group, #BookExcursion. The book publishes this month.

Adult Read


When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

I read this over the holiday break in about two days. It's a compelling psychological thriller with some interesting twists. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Books I Plan to Read in 2022

We know January is a time to think about intentions we have for the new year. As part of thinking about the year ahead, I have made a list of books I plan to read. The list includes titles that publish in 2022 that I think are must-reads. These are books that most pique my interest right now. I limited my list for the purposes of this post, but there are many other books that I hope to read and there are others that will come across my radar as the year goes on. To check out other must-read lists, follow #MustReadin2022 on Twitter.

Picture Books


Snow Angel, Sand Angel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka and illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 

Dear Reader: A Love Letter to Libraries by Tiffany Rose 

Tía Fortuna's New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey by Ruth Behar and illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

Apple and Magnolia by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Patricia Metola

Powwow Day by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight 

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

A Penny's Worth by Kimberly Wilson and illustrated by Mark Hoffmann

Creepy Crayon! by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

Middle Grade Books


Wayward Creatures by Dayna Lorentz

Worser by Jennifer Ziegler

Dream, Annie, Dream by Waka T. Brown

Just Harriet by Elana K. Arnold

Wild Ride by Keith Calabrese

Wreck at Ada's Reef by  Michael D. Beil

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall

Those Kids From Fawn Creek by Erin Entrada Kelly

Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros

Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas


Adult Reads


The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

The Good Son by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski

The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark


Monday, December 20, 2021

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson and illustrated by Reggie Brown

Kids at Deja's school have told her that Santa Claus is not real and she is beginning to have doubts herself. She has many questions and the adults around her give her answers that make sense. Although she doesn't get to see Santa herself, she finds out that the magic is real. 

Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O'Neill and illustrated by Brizida Magro

Molly doesn't understand why she and her mom have so little food and have to visit the food pantry. When Molly sees a classmate there, as well, she learns that everyone needs help sometimes and it's possible to both accept it and give it. This is a book that is both heart-warming and affirming.

Penny and Clover, Up and Over (The Lucky Dogs) by Erica S. Perl and illustrated by Leire Martín

A boy and his grandma are taking their dogs for a walk in the woods. When the come across a log, Penny can jump over it, but Clover needs some help. This is a cute series for early readers.

Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

Madi and her friends have rescued two beaver kits, but because her mom has told her that she is not allowed to bring home any more stray animals she must keep it a secret. The three friends are also determined to find out who has killed the beaver parents. This is an interesting wildlife adventure that includes information about animal rescue and beavers.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


The Three Latkes by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Feronia Parker-Thomas

On the first night of Hanukkah, three latkes argue about which one of them is the best and they ask a clever cat who knows a lot about food to help them decide. This is a humorous story with fun illustrations.

The Longest Storm by Dan Yaccarino

A very unusual storm comes to town and a family is stuck inside for an undetermined amount of time. Being together all the time becomes difficult for the family until one night when the lights go out and their attitudes towards one another change. This book features a weather-related storm, but the "storm" could be a variety of difficult times that one may go through. The message of resilience and hopefulness is very relevant.

Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan and illustrated by Mercè López

Set in Zanzibar, two siblings are heading to the shore in a minibus. As they travel along, one sibling invites more and more people to join them on the bus while the other sibling worries there is not enough room. This is a fun rhyming book about community and kindness. 

The Swallows' Flight by Hilary McKay

This book tells the story of four young people and a dog leading up to and during World War II. The insight into the impact of the war on these characters and how it leads to the intersection of their lives was interesting.

Adult Reading Recommendations

I read digital review copies of both of these books through NetGalley and I couldn't put either one of them down. They both publish in January.

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner 

Helen attends her first prenatal class and meets another expectant mother. They develop a friendship, but Helen begins to get the sense that something is not quite right. Throughout the book, it's never clear who can be trusted and the mystery is slowly revealed. It's really twisty, too.

The Maid by Nita Prose

I've read a lot of murder mysteries, but never one that was this charming. Molly is a dedicated maid whose world gets turned upside down when she finds a man dead in his hotel room. There are a few interesting twists and a heart-warming message about friendship and fitting in.