Monday, December 11, 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...


Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares

Two cardinals, Red and Lulu, live in the branches of an evergreen tree, but are separated when the tree is cut down and delivered to New York City for the holidays. Despite their home being taken away, the cardinals find a way to be together again. The sweet story, along with the gorgeous illustrations, will bring the magic of the holiday season to readers' hearts.  This is sure to become a Christmas favorite.

Space Boy and the Snow Monster by Dian Regan

Space Boy and the Snow Monster is a picture book written in a graphic format. Niko is playing in the snow in his backyard with his dog, Tag, when he loses his copilot, Radar, who is actually a small robot toy. Niko imagines he travels to Planet Ice where he searches for Radar and has to defend himself from a snowball attack, a killer bunny, and the Snow Monster, who looks a lot like his sister. The story is fast-paced with a lot of action and shows the fun of using one's imagination. I'll put this book out for my students this week and I imagine, with the first snowflakes of the season having just fell this weekend, that this book will be scooped up quickly. I won this book in a giveaway on the Unleashing Readers blog, so thank you to them and Blue Slip Media.

Grilled Cheese and Dragons #1 (Princess Pulverizer) by Nancy Krulik

Princess Pulverizer, her birth name Princess Serena, would rather be a knight than a princess. Her father tells her she must be smart, brave, and kind to be a knight and sends her on a Quest of Kindness. To prove she has what it takes to be a knight, Princess Pulverizer must complete eight good deeds. As she begins her quest to complete her first good deed, she gets locked in an ogre's castle and makes new friends. This is an amusing adventure about three characters, a princess, a knight, and a dragon, who don't quite fit the mold they are meant to fit. This is a book for transitional readers who enjoy fantasy and humor. This book publishes in January.

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano

There is so much to love about this middle grade novel. The characters are wonderful and true-to-life, the plot is interesting and magical, and it will be a book that is relatable to middle grade readers while also giving insight to some who may be reading about a culture different from their own. Read my review of this book, which publishes in January, here

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano


Leo is an eleven-year old many middle grade readers will be able to relate to. She has four older siblings and is constantly told she is too young. She really wants to help with her family's bakery, but she is never allowed because of her age. Leo is determined to convince her family that she can help out. When she discovers a family secret, she has the perfect opportunity to prove herself.

Leo discovers that, not only are all the women in her family bakers, but they are also brujas, or witches. The brujas of Leo's family get their power from magic combined with love and the sweetness of their baking. Even though Leo is not old enough to practice her magic, she tries her hand at the magical recipes. One problem leads to another when Leo's magic does not go as planned. Leo is a true-to-life character, good-intentioned, but not always making the best choices. Many young readers will be able to relate to the fact that, without meaning to, Leo has gotten herself into a really big mess. The element of fantasy and magic make Leo not just believable, but also interesting.

There is warmth to this book, as well, as Leo's family support and learn from each other. The story also gives insight into the Mexican-American culture of Leo's family. Reading the book may give readers a craving for something sweet and luckily there are a few recipes included at the end. This is a charming and fun read.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book at the National Council of Teachers of English convention, thanks to HarperCollins Publishers. The book publishes in January.

Monday, December 4, 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...


Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers wrote this book when his son was in his first two months of life. In the book, Jeffers talks directly to the reader, telling about the planet earth and giving tips on how to live and be within the world. The simplistic, but meaningful advice Jeffers gives is just what our children need to know to navigate our world. The illustrations are as wonderful as the message. The details within them show much about life. I've already bought a second copy of this book to gift to parents-to-be.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgess

Dragons, chocolate, and adventure! This is a delightful fantasy. Aventurine is a dragon who leaves her family's mountain cave to prove she is big, fierce, and can take care of herself. Instead of catching a human like she intended, she is turned into one. As a human girl, who has developed a passion for chocolate, she sets out to become an apprentice at a chocolate house. Aventurine learns about friendship, finds her place in the world, and becomes a heroine.

Snow Lane by Josie Angelini

Annie's life is challenging. She is the youngest of nine siblings and she has some learning difficulties, but she also does not want her friends to know what her family life is really like. The book shows how a young girl deals with some tough issues in her life. This book turned out to have a much more serious topic than I first thought. It is set in 1985, which I found interesting having grown up during the 80's. The book is marketed for grades four to seven, but I think the sophistication of the themes and the language used throughout the book make it more appropriate for the upper end of this range. This book publishes in January.

Granted by John David Anderson

This is a book I put on my to-read list as soon as I heard about it, so I was glad to pick up an advanced reader copy at NCTE a few weeks ago. It's an enchanting and magical fantasy. It's very different from the last two books I read by Anderson, but just as interesting and well-written. Read more about my thoughts here. This book publishes in February.