Monday, June 26, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading.  For more information and to find out what other bloggers are reading check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers


What I've Been Reading...

Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan 

This is the first in a series about Barkus, a loyal and loving dog, and Nicky, his owner. Five short chapters tell the tale of how Barkus became a part of Nicky's family and how that family grew to also include a cat named Baby. Each chapter is amusing and sweet. In one, Barkus follows Nicky to school. In another, Barkus's dog friends join him at his party where they eat cookies and dance in celebration. In the last chapter, Nicky tells Barkus the story of how he came to live with here, which is a retelling of the events that took place throughout the book. The illustrations are colorful and capture Nicky's joy and Barkus's energy. I'm always looking for new early reader chapter books and this one is perfect.

Elly and the Smelly Sneakers: A Rags to Riches Story by Leslie Gorin 

Elly does not like her royal life very much. She never gets to have any fun and, worst of all, she can't play baseball. Elly's dreams finally come true when she is visited by her fairy godfather, Lefty Lou. But when she races away to be home by noon, she loses a sneaker. Similar to the story of Cinderella, she is visited by a prince charming, of sorts, who is looking for the owner of the sneaker. This is a fun twist on the story of Cinderella and is a great addition to my collection of fractured fairy tales. I was lucky to receive a copy of this book from Michele Knott, who hosted a contest on her blog, Mrs. Knott's Book Nook

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City by Jodi Kendall

Josie immediately falls in love with a pig her brother has rescued and brought home. Josie's large family is already crowded in their city apartment so her parents will only let her keep the pig, which she names Hamlet, until she finds him a home. The story of Hamlet is charming, with many connections to the book Charlotte's Web. The story is also about Josie, who being a part of a large family, often feels invisible. This is a lovely book about family and growing up. It won't be available until October, but it is definitely one to keep your eye out for. Thanks to T.P. Jagger who writes for the blog From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors and the author, Jodi Kendall, for an advanced reader copy of the book.

Monday, June 19, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading.  For more information and to find out what other bloggers are reading check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

What I've Been Reading This Week... 

Fergus and Zeke by Kate Messner 

This is a wonderful transitional chapter book. The book is divided into four chapters, telling the story of Fergus, a classroom pet, who sneaks into a student's backpack so he can go with them on their field trip to the Museum of National History. While there Fergus meets another mouse, Zeke, who is not so good at following the rules. There are lots of colorful, interesting illustrations throughout the book. The ending is sweet and will leave readers looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson

The book alternates between the story of two middle school girls, Emmie and Katie. Emmie is shy and quiet and would like to be more like Katie, who is outgoing and popular. When Emmie unknowingly drops a note and it gets into the wrong hands, the stories of Emmie and Kate intertwine. The book also alternates between a diary-like text format and a graphic novel format which will attract readers of books such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder 

I read this book quickly because it was quite engaging and beautifully written. The plot, nine children living alone on an island, and the setting, a charming and picturesque, but mysterious island drew me in and captured my imagination. The book addresses themes such as loss and change and is one that makes you think about and question the choices of the characters. The ending does leave questions unanswered, so hopefully Laurel Snyder will write a sequel.   

Monday, June 5, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading.  For more information and to find out what other bloggers are reading check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.


What I've Been Reading This Week...


Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing by Dean Robbins

Most know about the first lunar landing, but few probably know about the scientist, Margaret Hamilton, who had a huge part in its success. As a girl, Margaret studied hard, asked questions, and found solutions to problems. Margaret discovered computers, taught herself to code, and got a job at NASA. Her expertise in coding is what helped the first spacecraft land safely on the moon. This is an interesting biography told with just enough detail to make it accessible and interesting for elementary readers. Margaret's story shows the importance of hard work and problem solving. 

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

Arturo is determined to save his family's Cuban restaurant, which they've owned for many years in their Miami neighborhood, when a developer wants to take over the lease. He is also confused about his feelings for Carmen, an old friend who moves into his apartment complex. The author has created an interesting character in Arturo, but also in the characters who make up Arturo's large, close-knit family. This is a wonderful story of family, community, love, and courage. 

You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis

Olivia yearns for a better life. One in which she has more money, one in which her dad will be present, one in which her mother takes more responsibility for caring for her and her sister. In spite of this, Olivia does her best to do the right thing and take care of her family. I had to read this book carefully because there are times that the story switches from what is presently happening to what is happening in Olivia's imagination. Olivia's strength and determination in the face of challenges will make you want to root for her and keep reading to find out if it all works out for her and her family. This is a sweet, hopeful story about family and community. Look for this book in July.