Monday, July 31, 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...

A Book for Bear by Ellen L. Ramsey and illustrated by MacKenzie Haley

Bear loves listening to Ellen read, but wants a book of his own that he has picked out himself. Ellen disguises Bear and brings him to school, the library, and a bookstore, but he is chased out every time. Together Bear and Ellen come up with a better plan. A charming story about the love of books.  

Greenlight by Breanna Carzoo

Whenever Greenlight shines, the cars speed away. This makes her feel lonely and not want to shine anymore. But, when she closes her eyes she hears positive thoughts in her mind. This is a sweet and humorous story about believing in and accepting oneself and realizing that it's how we feel about ourselves that matters.

Sora's Seashells by Helena Ku Rhee and illustrated by Stella Lim

This is a poignant story about a girl and her grandmother that explores both love and grief. Sora also learns about her name and is inspired by her grandmother as she faces teasing from her classmates. The illustrations are so sweet. 

This is Not My Story by Ryan Uytdewilligen and illustrated by David Huyck

The books starts off with a spaceship and a brave captain, but the main character does not believe he belongs in that kind of story. He persuades the author to try out different stories, but none of them seem right for him. As the author and the main character debate what the story should be, the reader is introduced to a variety of genres. Very clever and humorous.

Jasmine Toguchi: Brave Explorer by Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

Jasmine is going on a trip with her family to Japan which she is very excited about. Her sister though has been acting grouchy since before they even got on the plane. Not only does Jasmine realize how brave she is, but she also finds a way to navigate her relationship with her sister. Although this is the fifth book about Jasmine, this one can be read as a standalone. It's the first of four books set in Japan. I am looking forward to introducing Jasmine to a class of second graders this summer. The length of the book is perfect for reading aloud during the week that I will be teaching.

The Magic Lunchbox (Ben Lee) by Hanna Kim and illustrated by Emily Paik

On Ben's first day at his new school classmates make fun of his lunch. Ben wishes he could be more like everyone else and throws his lunch box away. The next day, his mother packs him mandoo for lunch, but when he opens his lunch box there is a sandwich. Not only does his lunch box appear magical, but other strange things start happening, too. This book has a great message about accepting oneself and embracing one's culture. I love the colored illustrations that are sprinkled throughout the book. Thanks to the publisher for an advanced reader's copy of the book.

Adult Reading Recommendation

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

I couldn't have been happier when I picked up an advanced reader's copy of this book at the American Library Association Annual Conference. It had been on my radar since I loved the author's previous book Miracle Creek. I was not disappointed by this book at all. It's a mystery about a missing person, but it's also so much more. The book explores human connection and communication. A really compelling read. The book publishes in August.


  1. This is a great list of books, as usual, in particular I hadn't seen/missed This is Not My Story! and I have some teachers at my school that would love to use that book. Thanks for the post!

  2. What a wonderful set of books, Lisa! A Book for Bear, Sora's Seashells, and This Is Not My Story are all on my TBR list. And I'm so glad Happiness Falls lived up to your expectations too! Thanks so much for the thoughtful reviews, and enjoy your week!

  3. This is Not My Story sounds like a good story, tehe, and a lot of fun. I saw that you shared Happiness Falls on twitter & put that on my list, Lisa. Thanks for all. Glad you also liked A Book for Bear!

  4. A great selection of books, especially This is Not My Story and A Book for Bear. Love books with humor and fresh perspectives, and books about books and libaries. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is Not My Story sounds like a fabulous way to introduce genre to readers. Thanks also for the heads up about Happiness Falls.

  6. I still haven't read any of Carzoo's books even though I feel I may enjoy them.

  7. Sounds like a good reading week! I didn't know Angie Kim had a new novel coming out - it sounds great! I'm late with my weekly visits, so I hope you enjoyed your books this week, too.