Monday, February 10, 2020

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...

Cyclops of Central Park by Madelyn Rosenberg

Cyclops is missing one of his sheep, so he must venture outside of his cave, through the streets of New York City, to find him. This is a quirky, imaginative story about finding the joy in adventure and appreciating the place one calls home. Reading the book feels like a tour through New York City as it features a few popular landmarks. Fun and clever.

Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén's family is torn apart when his mother is deported. While his Apá works all hours to support the family, Efrén takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger twin siblings. Efrén's situation impacts his school life and friendships, but he will do whatever it takes to help his family and get his Amá back. This is a touching and compelling read, as Ernesto Cisneros has created realistic characters who seem so real you can imagine the love and pain they feel throughout every page of the book. It's a powerful and important read. Thanks to the publisher, I received an advance reader's copy of the book. The book publishes in March.

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar

Forty years after writing Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar has written the fourth book about Wayside School. Personally, it was fun for me to revisit the students in Mrs Jewls's class on the thirtieth floor after reading the first book at the beginning of my teaching career, but I also think the absurdness and humor will appeal to many young readers, both those who have read the series before and those to whom it will be new. As silly as it is, there's a lot that can be learned from the students of Wayside School about friendship and the importance of striving to be one's best self. Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in March.

Wink: Surviving Middle School With One Eye Open by Rob Harrell

I read this book in one sitting because once I started, I did not want to put it down. Ross is navigating the ups and downs of middle school, but he's doing it while battling cancer. He is going through an intense therapy for his eye cancer that causes some physical changes and leave Ross just wishing he was "normal" like his classmates. It's a poignant story about fitting in and learning to embrace differences. The author based the story on his own experiences with eye cancer. Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in March.


  1. I just received an email that shared about Wink & it does sound nice, Lisa, as does Efren Divided. So many books have come out I haven't read & now new ones are appearing! I guess that's a good thing! Thanks for all of these!

  2. I loved Sideways Stories from Wayside School and those books were always very popular with my students. I'll definitely have to look for this one. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  3. Wink sounds amazing. I will definitely be on the lookout for that book!

  4. I think Efren Divided looks really interesting. Thanks for bringing that one up this week!

  5. Lots of interesting books this week Lisa. I'm mostly keen on Wink and Efren Divided.

  6. I was thrilled to see there was a new Sideways Stories. It definitely took me back to the 90's reading this latest one.

  7. Efrén is coming up in my pile to read. I've heard so many good things about it. I have Wink on my checklist.... hope it comes one day, lol!

  8. I'm enjoying reading the reviews of Wink: Surviving Middle School With One Eye Open. I may have to order this one for my home library. Thanks for all the shares, Lisa!