Monday, August 14, 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...

Anni Dreams of Biryani by Namita Moolani Mehra and illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

Anni wants to make biryani that tastes as delicious as that served at the café across the street from where she lives. She goes straight to the owner of the café to get help although he seems less than enthused with her questions about how to make the dish. She is determined to get the ingredients just right. This is a delightful story.

The Horseback Librarian by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Alexandra Badiu

Anna Mary travels the backwoods of Kentucky on her horse bringing books to different children who eagerly anticipate her arrival. This fictional story gives a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a pack horse librarian who traveled through remote regions to spread the love of books. Based on the true stories of woman who participated in the Pack Horse Librarian Project started in 1935.

In the Night Garden by Carin Berger 

I love the idea of the night being a garden. The words create an image of night that is peaceful and cozy, making this a great bedtime book. The illustrations, created through cut paper collage, are whimsical and lovely.

Words of Wonder from Z to A by Zaila Avant-Garde and illustrated by Keisha Morris

Spelling bee champ, Zaila Avant-Garde, has written a book in which she describes twenty-six powerful words. For each word she includes meaningful thoughts and a quote. The joyful illustrations help to bring the words to life. This book is sure to inspire readers to think about other powerful and important words. 

Gnome and Rat by Lauren Stohler

This short graphic novel includes five chapters about two friends, a gnome and a rat. Each of the stories tells about their antics and adventures that center around gnome's hat. Cute and charming.

Warrior Girl by Carmen Tafolla

This is an empowering novel written in verse about identity, culture, social justice, and the power of one's voice. I loved the message about being a warrior to make the world a better place. There are great characters in the book who support each other. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in September.


  1. Each one sounds good, Lisa. I love the idea of The Night Garden, too! And the one about the Spelling Bee words will be loved by a lot of kids! Thanks, and have a great week!

  2. I might have to investigate The Horseback Librarians; I have an older nonfiction title, and it's such a fascinating piece of library history. Glad you had a lot of different things to read.

  3. I love all these picks, Lisa! I added Anni Dreams of Biryani and In the Night Garden to my TBR list—the first looks so sweet, and the illustrations of the second look gorgeous. And Gnome and Rat sounds like such a fun read too! Thanks so much for the thoughtful picks, and enjoy your week!

  4. In the Night Garden's illustrations are beautiful, and I love your description of whimsical--perfectly said! The other books are all ones I want to read but haven't gotten to yet; thank you for sharing about them.

    Happy reading this week :)

  5. Thanks for letting me know about Jane Yolen's new book. I'm always curious about those horseback librarians even though I've probably read three or four books about them already.

  6. The picture books look great. I am going to have to look up Warrior Girl to see if it is elementary age focus or higher. Verse novels are still pretty popular at the moment. Thanks for the post!