Monday, January 8, 2024

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...

Boys Don't Fry by Kimberly Lee and illustrated by Charlene Chua

Jin is never asked to help in the kitchen and when he offers his aunts dismiss him. Only his Mamah is willing to give him a chance. She encourages him to cook from his heart and his confidence grows. A very sweet book.

Hornbeam All In by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

Each of the three stories in this picture book tell about Hornbeam and introduce readers to one of his friends. Hornbeam, the moose, and each of his friends are all endearing. Cynthia Rylant has a knack for creating characters kids will love.

Laolao's Dumplings by Dane Liu and illustrated by Shinyeon Moon

This is another sweet book about a child and grandparent and cooking. Millie loves Laolao's dumplings so together they shop for the ingredients and return home to make them. Soon Laolao is unable to make them, but the tradition is not forgotten. A heartwarming read.

Stinkbird Has a Superpower by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Bob Shea

As a dad hoatzin, also known as a stinkbird, tells his chick about his superpower, the reader learns interesting facts about the species. An amusing and informative book.

Adult Reading Recommendations

Familia by Lauren E. Rico

I picked up this book only because I was looking for something to read set in Puerto Rico before I go on vacation there. I'm so glad I read it. It's a story about two women, one in Brooklyn and one in San Juan, who have never met, but could be sisters. It's also a mystery about a baby who was kidnapped from an alley in the La Perla neighborhood of San Juan about twenty years earlier. With family drama and a mystery, it's a very compelling read.

Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant

This is the first book I've read by Adam Grant and I enjoyed it a lot. I liked how he interwove interesting stories into his insight about effective tips and advice for achieving success. There is a strong message about the importance of growing and improving upon one's skills. The book is about success in general, but there are connections to education.


  1. What a wonderful set of books, Lisa! The plot of Boys Don't Fry sounds poignant, and I added it to my list. I saved Laolao's Dumplings too, in part because the cover is so beautiful! Familia also sounds like a powerful read. Thank you so much for the thoughtful reviews and picks!

  2. Adam Grant's book has been showing up in several of my reading circles. That is usually a sign!

  3. Stinkbird Has a Superpower looks like the humor my son would enjoy and we always like Bob Shea's books. Thanks for the rec!

  4. Familia and Hidden Potential both sound great, as do all the picture books. We were big fans of Cynthia Rylant when our sons were young - we all LOVED her Henry and Mudge series!

    Enjoy your books and your trip to PR!

    Book By Book