Monday, December 31, 2018

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. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. You can also follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


My Heart by Corinna Luyken

Simple, but lyrical text and beautiful illustrations convey the different emotions of the heart. The author describes the heart with metaphors that celebrate the ways in which the heart can change us, guide us, and fulfill us. The book also affirms the power we have over our own hearts. The illustrations show different children during heart-filled moments that range from quiet to sadness to joy. Heart shapes are cleverly drawn into the illustrations which can be found by careful readers throughout the pages such as in the rain clouds, a puddle, or the leaves of a tree. This is a lovely book. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy of the book.

Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham

Miss Fancy, an elephant, is moving to Avondale Park in Birmington, Alabama and Frank, who loves elephants, is excited. When she arrives, Frank is disheartened when he reads the sign at the entrance to the park that states, "No Colored Allowed." Frank is determined to find a way to get close to Miss Fancy and with cleverness he succeeds. Young readers will root for Frank and this book will provide some insight into the injustice of segregation. The author tells the story of the real-life Miss Fancy who actually lived at the Avondale Park in Alabama from 1913 to 1934. Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy of the book.

Monday, December 24, 2018

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. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. You can also follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera

Lyrical and full of possibility, this book is the story of how Juan Felipe Herrera, former Poet Laureate, became a poet. He tells how he picked flowers, migrated to another country, slept under the stars, learned to spell in English, and read his book of poetry on the steps of the Library of Congress. As he tells his story, he encourages readers to imagine all that they can achieve. Herrera's words are filled with hope and inspiration and the illustrations, by Lauren Castillo, are gorgeous. Thanks to Candlewick for a review copy of the book.


Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise

Pura Belpré was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City who wrote her own stories about Latinx characters because she could not find any on the shelves of the library. In 1921, Pura traveled from Puerto Rico to Manhattan with the stories her abuela had told her. As a bilingual assistant in the library, she led story hour, planting seeds of the folktales she had heard in Puerto Rico, and later authored her own books, so that children could remember the place they once called home. This is an inspirational story of a woman who influenced children's literature, but it also highlights the importance of books in which children can see themselves and their culture. The detailed illustrations are both warm and joyous. Thanks to the publisher, I received a review copy of this book at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention. The book publishes in January.

Monday, December 17, 2018

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. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. You can also follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings by Richard Byrne

The chalks have fun drawing until they discover someone has been stealing their creations. There is not only a mystery to be solved, but this story highlights creative conflict resolution. The bright illustrations against a black background bring the chalks and their drawings to life. An amusing story.


The Day War Came by Nicola Davies

This is a book that took my breath away. The book is written as a poem, honest in its depiction of the tragedy of war. When war strikes, the young girl becomes a refugee, alone and searching for safety among the streets of her new country. War seems to have overtaken her until a boy arrives offering her a chair and some hope. In the endnote, the author tells of the news story that inspired her to write the book as a reminder that kindness has power. This is a heavy story, but very moving.

The Storm Keeper's Island by Catherine Doyle

Fionn and his sister have been sent to Arranmore, an island off the coast of Ireland, to live with their grandfather for the summer. As Fionn unravels the secrets of the island, he learns of the magic it holds and the powers his grandfather possesses as Storm Keeper of the island. Fionn's bravery is put to the test as he finds himself fighting for his family and the good of the island. This is an enchanting tale of family and good versus evil. It's adventurous, humorous, and heartfelt. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in January.

Monday, December 10, 2018

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. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. You can also follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


Best Friends in the Universe by Stephanie Watson

Hector and Louie write a book featuring themselves as best friends. When Hector reveals Louie's secret, the book they are writing goes awry and soon it is titled, "Worst Friends in the Universe." As stories of friendship go, Hector and Louie don't stay mad at each other too long. With two kids writing and drawing themselves into their own book, this is a creative story with humor kids will love. 

I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison

A little girl celebrates the spirit of the season as she walks through the city with her mother. The sights and sounds bring her joy, as does giving to others. With onomatopoeia and beautiful illustrations depicting a snowy day before the holidays, this is a lively and festive read. The message about kindness and giving can lead to discussions about the true spirit of the holidays. Thanks to the publisher, Bloomsbury, for a review copy of the book.

Freya and Zoose by Emily Butler

Freya, a rockhopper penguin, hides away in a hot-air balloon so she can secretly join the crew on an expedition to the North Pole. She is surprised when she discovers a mouse named Zoose is also along for the journey. Freya and Zoose are stuck with each other and although neither one expected the other they learn to get along. This is an adventurous tale of friendship and survival. Thanks to the publisher, Random House, for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reading copy of the book. It publishes in January.

The Whispers by Greg Howard

Riley wants to find his mother and he thinks the Whispers, magical creatures in the woods that he has heard stories about from his mother, can lead him to her. Riley is also struggling to understand his attraction to boys which he fears is what caused his mother to disappear. As Riley takes a journey to find his mother, the true story of what happened is revealed to the reader. This is a touching story exploring grief, family, and friendship. I received an advance reader's copy of the book from the publisher at the National Council of Teachers of English Convention.

Monday, December 3, 2018

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. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. You can also follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


The Girl With a Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca

Despite challenges due to her race, Raye Montague achieved her dream of becoming an engineer. This is an inspirational story of determination. The end pages of the book provide additional information about Raye's life.


Mapping Sam by Joyce Hesselberth

Sam takes a nighttime journey and in the process teaches readers about different kinds of maps. The book features a variety of maps and the author includes a bit more information about each at the end of the book. Part informational and part narrative, readers will learn from this book and also be amused by the adventurous, curious cat. This book will be helpful when teaching young students about the uses of maps.


The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk

This book gives an introduction to the sun and the jobs that it does. It's both factual and humorous. The illustrations are really amusing, too.


Click by Kayla Miller

All of Olive's friends have formed groups to participate in her school's annual variety show. Olive hasn't been invited to be a part of anyone's group and is feeling left out and unsure of how she fits in among her friends. With the help of a supportive family member, Olive learns about the challenges of friendship and gains confidence. The book, written in graphic novel format, is relatable and will help readers see possibilities for navigating the challenges of friendship. I received an advance reading copy of this book thanks to the publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers. This book publishes in January.




The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have been traveling around the country in a school bus for five years. They live on the road to leave their past, the loss of Coyote's mother and sisters, behind. When Coyote learns that the park in her hometown is going to be demolished, she knows she must return to keep the promise she made to her mother and dig up a memory box buried before her mother and sisters died. The passengers Coyote and Rodeo pick up along the way not only become friends, but help Coyote on her journey. This is a book that will tug at your heart strings. It's a story about dealing with grief and letting go of the past. It's also a story that shows we all need help at times in this world and we can also be the help that others need. Engaging and beautifully written, this book draws you in and sticks with you after you've finished it. I received an advance reader's copy of the book thanks to the publisher.