Monday, July 10, 2023

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...

Bitsy Bat School Star by Kaz Windness 

Bitsy Bat has big star dreams before her first night at her new school. When she starts to think she doesn't fit in with the others at school, she doesn't feel like such a big star any more. I look forward to reading aloud this sweet book at the beginning of the school year. The author has included information at the end of the book about autism and being neurodivergent.

How to Count to One:(And Don't Even Think About Bigger Numbers!) by Caspar Salmon and illustrated by Matt Hunt

Throughout this book readers are encouraged to count up to one, but they will probably be eager to count much more. This is a fun and clever book with delightful illustrations.

The Together Tree by Aisha Saeed and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Some kids in Rumi's new class are treating him unkindly because they think he is different. Another classmate notices what is happening and finally makes the decision to offer comfort to Rumi. Exploring friendship, kindness, and belonging, this book will be very useful to start discussions about what to do when someone is being treated badly. In the note at the end, the author tells about a family experience which led her to write the book in hopes that it can help others.

The Story of Gumluck the Wizard by Adam Rex

This is a book about a little wizard, but there are big lessons. Gumluck, although he is always helpful to those in town, has never been crowned Harvest Hero and he would really like to earn the recognition. It's a story of a hero and also of friendship. There is some magic and some silliness in this book, but most of all there is lots of charm. The book publishes in August. Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Juniper has lived with her family off-the-grid in the woods in California her entire life. When her brother gets sick her family must leave the woods so he can get the care he needs. Living with her uncle and cousins in an apartment and attending public school, Juniper must navigate a vastly different world from the one she is used to. This engaging and heartfelt book explores family, friendship, belonging, and resilience. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. The book publishes in August. 

Adult Reading Recommendation

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

I picked up this book to read only because I wanted a book set in Chicago before a trip there. I was surprised by how much I liked it. It is a poignant story about the complex relationship between four sisters and one man who has married into the family. I felt immersed in the life of these characters and enjoyed the setting. I made sure to check out the Pilsen neighborhood which is where the book is set when I was in Chicago. 


  1. These look like wonderful books, Lisa! Bitsy Bat, School Star and The Together Tree are on my TBR list, and How to Count to 1 sounds totally amusing as well. And I'm glad Hello Beautiful ended up being surprisingly engrossing! Thanks so much for the thoughtful post, as always!

  2. Each one sounds good, Lisa. Many children have to experience big changes in their lives, those migrating and then like The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry. What a challenge that must be. Thanks for all!

  3. I loved Bitsy and agree it is a great back to school read aloud. Gumlick looks like a lot of fun! Hello Beautiful has been on my summer reading list so may now add it to mine.

  4. I'm kind of sad that Bitsy Bat is not in my library. I've noticed how much my grandchildren changed once they started school.
    I'm happy I was able to put a hold on The Together Tree.

  5. Adam Rex always seems to put out the most ot there books. I love it!

  6. I agree with others that they all sound really good. The premise of The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry has my interest and I am going to look that one up. Thanks for the great reviews.

  7. I've added to my library request list, and I love the idea of reading books because you are traveling to the setting. We find some unexpected gems that way!