Monday, March 11, 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...

The Blue Pickup by Natasha Tripplett and illustrated by Monica Mikai

A girl helps her grandfather fix cars and inspires him to get his old Blue Pickup running again. I enjoyed the Jamaican setting of this intergenerational story and the theme related to the importance of preserving stories and things of the past.

Don't Trust Cats (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog) by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt

Chip shares wisdom to help others be their best dog self. His first piece of advice is not to trust cats, but he also tells who can be trusted and gives other tidbits of advice. The illustrations are amusing.

Forever and Always by Brittany J. Thurman and illustrated by Shamar Knight-Justice

As Olivia waits for her dad to return from work in the evening, the hours seem to pass endlessly. This is a relatable story about anxieties and worries when a parent is away at work. It is lyrical and poignant and includes an author's note that gives further insight into the meaning behind the story.

Gravity is Bringing Me Down by Wendelin Van Draanen and illustrated by Cornelia Li

Leda's day begins with her falling out of bed and continues with many mishaps that include tripping and dropping things. She blames all of it on gravity. When she leaves school, her mother knows how to help Leda and gravity get along again. In addition to a cute story, this book will introduce readers to the concept of gravity.

When You Have to Wait by Melanie Conklin and illustated by Leah Hong

Waiting is hard, but there are benefits, too. This is a sweet book about learning to have patience. The illustrations are lovely.

Not Quite a Ghost by Anne Ursu

Violet is starting middle school and her family is also moving to a larger and older house. As she is adjusting to changing friendships and a creepy attic room that gives her nightmares, she also faces some health challenges. The book addresses chronic illness and the frustration of having health issues that can't be diagnosed. 


  1. Thanks for this introduction to Not Quite a Ghost. I've added it to my list because I love Anne Ursu.

  2. What a wonderful set of books, Lisa! I love that no one is ever old enough to stop learning from kids' books—I can think of reasons in my own life right now why I would benefit from reading When You Have to Wait. (Patience is...still not my strong suit!) And Gravity Is Bringing Me Down looks like way too much fun as well. Also, I love that Not Quite a Ghost addresses the idea of health concerns that are hard to diagnose, because that is definitely a difficult experience. Thanks so much for the thoughtful picks and reviews, as always, and have a great week!

  3. I'm also a big Ursu fan, and I had no idea van Draanan wrote picture books! Thanks for the recommendations.