Monday, August 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...

The Bear in My Family by Maya Tatsukawa

This is a sweet and humorous story about living with a bear, aka an older sibling. Those with siblings will be able to relate. Charming illustrations.

Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage by Jerdine Nolen and illustrated by James E. Ransome

Based on African American folklore, this is a lyrical and powerful story of two enslaved children who escape to freedom. Gorgeous illustrations.

A Journey Toward Hope by Victor Hinojosa and Coert Voorhees and illustrated by Susan Guevara

This book tells the story of four migrant children on their journey through Mexico to the United States. It's a heart-breaking and hopeful glimpse into immigration that will be useful to start important conversations. Notes at the end of the book give more information about the journey the children took and the projects that Baylor University, co-publisher of the book, has launched to address issues related to migration and poverty. Thanks to Media Masters Publicity for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy.

She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch by June Smalls and illustrated by Yumi Shimokawara

This is a poignant story of a group of African elephants and the matriarch who guides and teaches them alongside factual information that provides insight into how elephants live. The text and illustrations are a beautiful tribute to this amazing animal.

13th Street #1: Battle of the Bad-Breath Bats by David Bowles

I'm really looking forward to introducing my early chapter book readers to this book in the fall. It's a fun read with illustrations and lots of action and suspense.

Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid by Mikaila Ulmer

Mikaila was four years old when she got stung on two separate occasions by a bee and decided that rather than be afraid of them, she wanted to do something to help save them. She began making and selling lemonade to raise money which then turned into a business and now, at fifteen, she is the CEO of Me and the Bees Lemonade. This is an inspirational and insightful memoir for any kid who is interested in starting a business or being a change maker. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group with a review copy.

Grown-Up Summer Reading

A common thread in my recent grown-up reading right now is the 1918 flu pandemic. I had two books set during this time period on hold at the library and it just so happens that they became available to me at the same time. I finished reading The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman which was a really good story about a thirteen-year-old immigrant from Germany navigating the pandemic in her city of Philadelphia. Currently, I'm reading The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (the author's book Room is one that has always stuck with me). This one takes place in the maternity ward of a hospital in Dublin. I'm halfway through and like it so far, but I'm still trying to get used to the fact that the author does not use quotation marks. 


  1. So many that look wonderful here, Lisa. I put A Journey Toward Hope and She Leads on my list. Thank you!

  2. I have Bee Fearless on my TBR right now. I love that cover!

  3. Thanks for sharing this collection of books. All of them are new to me. I've added She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch by June Smalls and illustrated by Yumi Shimokawara to my list.
    I was never able to read Room. Just the idea of it terrified me. Maybe I will be able to manage The Pull of the Stars.

  4. These books sound great! A Journey Toward Hope sounds beautiful. Bee Fearless sounds amazing as well—how amazing that Ulmer, at only 15, is both a businessperson and a philanthropist! (Talk about a great high school resume.) Thanks for the great post!

  5. I'll have to look for The Orphan Collector. That sounds good.
    She Leads is a book I have had on my list for awhile but the library still hasn't ordered it... I really like the first book in The 13th Street series. Kids are always wanting "scary stories" and it's hard to find books for that level. So glad David Bowles is writing these!

  6. A really great looking selection of books this week. I am looking forward to adding more early chapter books, so I want to check out The 13th Street Series. Thanks for all the shares!

  7. I haven't sought out 1918 flu books but I know a lot of people who have. Maybe I'll dip a toe in, but I think I'll start with a picture book.