Monday, June 14, 2021

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...

Butterflies Are Pretty...Gross! by Rosemary Mosco and illustrated by Jacob Souva

Butterflies are gorgeous to look at, but readers can find out some pretty gross facts about them, too, by reading this book. The interesting information, the format of the book, and the fun illustrations will all appeal to readers. This book is the first in a series and I look forward to finding out the topic of the next one. 

I Am the Shark by Joan Holub and illustrated by Laurie Keller

Great White Shark thinks he's the best shark in the book, but keeps getting one-upped by sharks who are better at something than he is. This is an amusing book with lots of facts about different shark species. Shark books are pretty popular among my students and they'll love the humor of this one.

When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling and illustrated by Aaron Asis

This is a sweet book about the special moments of summer and the bond between a girl and her grandmother. Lola's grandmother visits from the Philippines and they enjoy many summer activities and meals together until she has to return home. The poetic text and the gorgeous illustrations capture the joy of summer and the love that exists within families. 

Better with Butter by Victoria Piontek

Marvel is a sixth-grader coping with anxiety. She rescues a goat from a group of eighth-graders who are mistreating the animal and is allowed to keep her temporarily. Butter, the goat, helps Marvel deal with her anxiety and becomes her emotional support animal. This is a realistic and heart-warming story about finding courage. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishes in July.

Summer Reading Recommendation


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I have been eager to read this book since back in January, I think, when I heard Taylor Jenkins Reid had a new book publishing. I enjoyed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I think I loved this one even more. The setting, the characters, and the plot are all fantastic. Malibu, surfing, the eighties...perfect summer read!

Monday, June 7, 2021

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...

No Pants! by Jacob Grant

Pablo and his father are going to a party. They are almost ready, except Pablo does not want to put on pants, so his father must convince him. A couple of twists add to the humor of the story.

Percy's Museum by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Carmen Mok

Percy moves to the country after living in a bustling city. Although it seems at first that there is nothing to do, Percy starts exploring and realizes there is much to enjoy about the world around him. This is a sweet story about the wonders of the natural world and friendship.

Toasty by Sarah Hwang

Toasty is made of bread, but wants to be a dog. When Toasty meets a girl who wants a dog, but is allergic, his dreams come true. This book, with its message about embracing one's differences and uniqueness, is both amusing and heart-warming.

Ahmed Aziz's Epic Year by Nina Hamza

Ahmed Aziz is having a pretty terrible school year. He is not thrilled to have moved from Hawaii to Minnesota. His father has a serious illness for which he is undergoing treatment. And being Indian American in a school that is mostly white, he is finding it hard to fit in. I really felt for Ahmed as he navigated a difficult school year and was rooting for him throughout the book. This is a fantastic story with a message about being true to oneself. Thanks to the publisher for a digital advanced reader's copy.

Adult Reading Recommendation


Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

This is a memoir about complicated family relationships and resiliency. There were parts that were tough to read, but it's a very beautiful, honest, and moving book.

Monday, May 24, 2021

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...

Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and illustrated by Fahmida Azim

Amira is excited to celebrate Eid, but she is also disappointed that she will miss picture day at her school. After the celebration, Amira figures out a solution so she can be a part of picture day, too. The author's note at the end includes additional information about Eid. This is a heart-warming picture book with bright and joyous illustrations.

Buck's Tooth by Diane Kredensor

Now that Buck is old enough to enter the talent show he needs a talent, but his tooth keeps getting in the way. This is an illustrated, graphic novel-like chapter book that younger readers will find amusing.  

Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Pete Oswald

This chapter book tells about each of Harry's school days leading up to the 100th day. It's an endearing story that is a realistic portrayal of the life of a first grader and includes some kid humor, too. The book publishes in June.

Beach Read

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

This past Sunday, we had temperatures in the eighties for the first time since last summer, so I got to enjoy my first beach day of the season. My beach read was The Maidens, the upcoming book by the author of The Silent Patient. The mystery was interesting and I enjoyed the setting which was both idyllic and eerie. It was an engaging, quick read for me as I read most of it while at the beach. The book publishes in June.

Monday, May 17, 2021

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...

Hair Twins by Raakhee Mirchandani and illustrated by Holly Hatam 

This sweet, fun story is about a father and daughter, who are Sikh, and the special relationship they have as a result of a shared tradition in which they help each other take care of their hair. The text is poetic and the illustrations are filled with joy. 

I'm On It! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading) by Andrea Tsurumi and Mo Willems

Goat shows Frog the many things he can do and Frog tries to outdo him. While Goat seems to be graceful and confident, the game quickly gets out of hand for Frog. This is an entertaining, funny, and clever story. I think it will be a hit with early readers. 

Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul, written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and illustrated by Rachelle Baker

Written for middle graders, this book introduces readers to the history of racism. The style is conversational and presents powerful and complex ideas in an accessible way for the intended audience. An important book.

Monday, May 10, 2021

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 Bruce Swap by Ryan T. Higgins

Kevin sends a letter to his cousin Bruce to say he's coming over for a fun visit. Bruce never gets the letter and when Bruce leaves to go fishing Kevin arrives. The woodland animals think their wish for a fun Bruce has come true, but soon find out that having fun is not always fun. This is another very fun book in the Mother Bruce series.

Chicken Little and the Big Bad Wolf by Sam Wedelich

Chicken Little is not scared of a wolf until he has an encounter with one in the barnyard. At first, the other chickens decide they need a plan to protect themselves, but after a little investigating they find out they have misjudged the wolf. This is an amusing story about friendship and the importance of not making assumptions. 

Fearless by Kenny Porter and illustrated by Zach Wilcox

Kara misses her friend, Alice, who has moved over the summer and is wondering why she isn't keeping in touch any longer. Determined to find out why, Kara goes on an adventurous bike ride to Alice's new hometown. Readers who are fans of graphic novels about friendship and growing up will enjoy this one. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group with an advanced reader's copy.

Monday, May 3, 2021

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...

Blue Floats Away by Travis Jonker and illustrated by Grant Snider 

Little Blue is an iceberg who gets separated from his parents and floats away. His journey takes him far away and includes a transformation that makes it possible for him to see new things. Little Blue's story of change introduces readers to the water cycle. The illustrations created with cut paper are fun.

The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Bear finds a Thingity-Jig and needs help bringing it home, but his friends are not interested in helping. With creative problem-solving, Bear succeeds in getting the job done himself and both he and his friends enjoy playing with the Thingity-Jig. This is a fun book that may inspire readers to build their own contraptions.

Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn and illustrated by Victo Ngai

This book is incredibly moving and powerful. Inspired by the author's own experiences, it tells of a family's journey as they leave their home in search of a new one. The poetic text, a series of wishes, is enhanced by illustrations that depict the family's emotions. The story is heart-wrenching, but ends with hope. Thanks to the publisher, Scholastic, for providing my book review group with an advance reader's copy.

Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

Two children take a walk and wonder about what they see as they explore. The book is poetic, consisting mostly of questions the kids have as they interact with nature. It will give readers a new way to think about the world around them. The artwork is beautiful. 

Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes

On his eighth birthday, Billy wishes for something exciting to happen. Over the course of the next few days, while missing his father who is away and helping take care of his sister, Sal, Billy's life is filled with interesting situations. This is a sweet story about the joys and challenges of being a kid and the sibling of a younger sister. The book is a companion to The Year of Biller Miller, but can be read on its own.

Monday, April 26, 2021

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...

Hugo and the Impossible Thing by Renée Felice Smith and Chris Gabriel and illustrated by Sydney Hanson

This book is going on my list of top favorite picture books. A bulldog named Hugo is curious about what's beyond the Impossible Thing and, although the other animals tell him getting to the other side is not possible, he's determined to try. Hugo is an endearing character who shows readers that even a difficult goal can be achieved. 

The Smile Shop by Satoshi Kitamura

A boy is excited about buying something with the money he's saved until he loses most of it down the drain at the market. He visits what he believes to be a smile shop and learns how a smile can improve one's outlook. 

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly

Books with quirky, charming characters, like Marisol, are always favorites of mine. An illustrated chapter book about friendship and overcoming one's fears and anxieties, this is a sweet story. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley, I read a digital review copy. The book publishes in May.
 

One Small Hop by Madelyn Rosenberg

This is a science fiction middle grade novel set in the future. It's an adventurous and funny story about friendship and the environment and shows the importance of small acts to make a difference for the planet. Thanks to Scholastic for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion with an advanced reader's copy. It publishes in June.

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

I've been hearing how great this book is and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Ellie’s story is heart-wrenching, but also empowering. It addresses self-acceptance, standing up for oneself, and bullying, making it an important book for middle grade students to read. Written in verse, it's a quick read. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.