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.
Bird Hugs by Ged Adamson
With his long wings, Bernard is not like other birds at all. Bernard is disappointed he can't fly until he hears an orangutan crying and he realizes that his wings can be of use. This is a sweet story with fun illustrations about embracing one's differences.
Smug Seagull by Maddie Frost
A very smug seagull is proud of how well he can swipe snacks from humans on the beach until he meets a crab who has some talented skills of his own. I read this aloud to a few classes of students before school closed for the year and they found it really amusing. Living on the coast, my students know how pesky seagulls can be. They also enjoyed drawing the seagull along with the author in this video.
The Very Last Leaf by Step Wade and illustrated by Jennifer Davison
Lance, a leaf on a Cottonwood tree, is a very good student, but he is worried about his final exam which involves falling from his tree. He tries to make excuses so he can stay on the tree, but comes to realize that he must be brave and take the leap. This is a very cute story about believing in oneself and facing one's fears. Readers will also learn some information about trees.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michael Goade
This poetic picture book honors the Indigenous Peoples who have taken action to protect our Earth's water and encourages others to do the same. This is a gorgeous book about ancestry, community, and the environment.
Crabapple Trouble by Kaeti Vandorn
Callaway is very anxious about the upcoming Summertime Fair at which there will be a produce competition since she doesn't think the crabapples are an adequate size. With the help of a fairy and a friend, Callaway enjoys the fair much more than she thought she would. This is a sweet graphic novel about problem-solving and working together. Thanks to the publisher, Random House, for an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in August.
Displacement by Kiku Hughes
This is a historical graphic novel about a teen traveling in time and learning about her family’s experience in a Japanese-American internment camp. It's an important and insightful read. It will not only inform young readers about this dark time in U.S. history, but may also inspire readers to take action to make change.
A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan
This is a beautiful and timely story about friendship, standing up for others, and cooking. The book alternates between the perspectives of two sixth-graders who are each navigating family challenges and grappling with identity and belonging. I think this is a book middle grade readers will enjoy reading, but it will also spark meaningful conversation. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. The book publishes in August.
Grown-Up Summer Reading Recommendations
Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love how a really great historical fiction book can transport me to a different time and place. I enjoyed both of these. The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Harmel is a moving story of courage and compassion about a young woman who becomes a forger during WWII. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton is about three different women and how their lives intersect during the hurricane that hit the Florida Keys in 1935. Both are engaging reads.