Monday, December 7, 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 Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol by Arthur A. Levine and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

With his magic and kind spirit, Nate Gadol helps others by making whatever they need last longer. He was responsible for the Hanukkah miracle that enabled oil to last for eight nights. When two immigrant families are scarce on resources at the holidays, Nate runs into his old friend, Nick, and knows just what to do. This story is an enchanting imagining of how a modern Hanukkah tradition began. Specks of gold incorporated into the illustrations give the book a bright, shimmery feel. 

Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globe Trotters by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Don Tate

This nonfiction book about the Harlem Globetrotters tells the story of how they came to be a team and gives insight into their role in changing the history of basketball. Their story of persistence and talent is fascinating. The author's note at the end is very informative, as well. I also found the illustrator's note, in which he describes the research he did to create the artwork for the book, interesting, too.

Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables Book #1) by Jonathan Auxier and illustrated by Olga Demidova

This short, illustrated chapter book is enchanting and adventurous. Auggie is a caretaker at Fabled Stables which is filled with unique creatures, some magical and some mysterious. When a new stall appears with a sign that says, "Wisp," Auggie goes on a brave mission to save the creature from danger. This book is just as delightful as the author's middle grade novels.

Halfway to Harmony by Barbara O'Connor

In her classic style, Barbara O'Connor has written another middle grade novel about a sweet friendship with quirky characters that includes an endearing dog. Walter is grieving the loss of his brother when he meets his new neighbor Posey and they become involved in an adventure to find a lost hot air balloon. It's a heart-warming story about loss and courage. 


  1. Lisa, Swish is in my stack for December picture reading. Willa the Wisp is one I just added to my stack. Sounds great and perfect for early readers. Always on the lookout for new texts in this band. Thank you!

  2. I have the Hanukkah book on the list & just got Swish from my library, Lisa. Thanks for Halfway to Harmony, now on my list! Have a great week ahead!

  3. The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol sounds wonderful! I love seeing more books about winter holidays besides Christmas. The other books sound excellent as well—I LOVE the cover of Halfway to Harmony! Thanks for the wonderful post!

  4. Oh! A new Barbara O'Connor book! I LOVED How To Steal a Dog and other books by her.

  5. I'm so happy to see Willa the Wisp on your list today. I adored this new series so much I ended up purchasing a couple of copies for my Grandkids. They are only 3 1/2, but I figure their parents can read it to them. I'm also excited about Halfway to Harmony. I have loved every book I've read by Barbara O'Connor.

  6. Willa the Wisp looks especially appealing -- thanks for all the shares.

  7. I need to order Swish and Willa the Wisp! December is usually a quiet book month for me but I actually have quite a few I need to get! Looking forward to reading Barbara's new book next year!