Monday, June 1, 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...

I'm Trying to Love Rocks by Bethany Barton

This is another brilliant book in the I'm Trying to Love... series. It provides a fun introduction to rocks and geology. I imagine lots of readers are going to want to start their own rock clubs after reading this one.

What About Worms!? (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!) by Ryan T. Higgins

Tiger is not afraid of anything except worms. He seems to be worrying for nothing until some actual worms appear and these worms aren't a fan of tigers (at least they didn't think they were). I read this with first graders and they were amused. This is a book early readers will want to read over and over again.

History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate Messner and Dylan Meconis

The truth behind the story of the Pilgrims is revealed in this well-researched book. In a conversational and engaging style, this nonfiction book provides details that dispel common misconceptions about the time period in which the Pilgrims left England and arrived in America. There is also information in the book about primary sources and the role they play in understanding history. The history of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony is a big part of the elementary social studies curriculum in my state of Massachusetts so I see this as a useful and necessary book. Thanks to Random House Kids for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy.

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

I could not tear myself away from this book. To escape violence, three teens leave their home in Guatemala and travel through Mexico to get to the United States. It's both heart-wrenching and hopeful. The story and characters will stick with readers long after finishing the book.

Summer Reading Recommendation

If you are looking for a grown-up read to add to your summer to-be-read list, this is a book I've recently read and enjoyed.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

I loved Brit Bennett's The Mothers, so I was thrilled when I saw that she has written a second book. In this book, twin sisters, together, leave their small hometown when they are teens. In spite of a close relationship they had growing up, the decisions they make eventually lead them to live different lives apart from each other. The story alternates between the perspectives of each sister and each of their daughters, whose lives intersect with one another. Very well-written and engaging, this is a stunning exploration of family, identity, and race. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley, I read a digital galley.


  1. We Are Not From Here sounds like an important and compelling book—I actually saw another recommendation for it today from Shaye Miller. The History Smashers book sounds neat, especially considering that it was written by Kate Messner (I loved her book All the Answers) and illustrated by Dylan Meconis (her book Queen of the Sea is STUNNING!). The Vanishing Half sounds quite compelling as well. Thanks so much for the great post!

  2. The Vanishing Half does sound interesting, Lisa. Several of you have recommended We Are not From Here, so on my list! I've enjoyed the "I'm trying to . . ." books so this one will be good and informative, too! Thanks for sharing each one!

  3. We Are Not From Here was mentioned on Shaye@MillerMemo's blog too. Looks like a compelling, timely read. Thanks for sharing. I know my library has it, so I may have to request it once they open.

  4. We Are Not From Here was already on my want to read list, but everytime I read a review, I want it even more.

  5. Lots of good books. I picked up "I'm Trying To Love Spiders" in a library and it was a big hit, so I'll see if they have the others.

  6. I felt the same way about We Are Not From Here -- so hard to put down and, yes, these characters really will stick with me a long time!