Monday, December 23, 2019

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...


Dasher by Matt Tavares

This is an enchanting story of how a little doe, Dasher, and his family came to guide Santa's sleigh. The stunning illustrations capture the wonder and magic of the Christmas season. I read it to second graders last week and they were captivated with the story. 

No One Likes a Fart by Zoë Foster Blake

This is a surprisingly heart-warming book, considering it's about a fart. It's a story about self-acceptance and friendship that kids will find humorous. 

Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor

Snail's determination and kind heart will charm readers. Snail sets out to cross the road and get the cabbage that is at the other side. Snail encounters dangers along the way giving the story some suspense and an unexpected turn in the journey also provides some humor. The end goal may be the cabbage, but Snail also finds friendship. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of the book, which publishes in February.

Karen's Witch (Baby-Sitters Little Sister #1) by Katy Farina

The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels have been very popular with students, so I am excited that there is a spin-off that will appeal to a bit younger audience. Young readers will be able to relate to Karen's curiosity and imagination and be amused as to how it gets her into a bit of hot water. I predict this series will be a big hit. 

Pixie Pushes On by Tamara Bundy 

This historical novel gives insight into the 1940s and is also a story of resilience as Pixie deals with grief and guilt after her mother's death and her sister's polio diagnosis. Pixie learns important life lessons with the support of her family and friends. Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for a review copy. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

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...

Humpty Dumpty Lived Near a Wall by Derek Hughes

In this twist on the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty lives in an empire where the King forbids anyone from dreaming. In spite of this, Humpty builds a ladder and sets out one night to make his dream of looking over the wall that surrounds the empire come true. This story is both dark and hopeful, but also thought-provoking. It's the type of book that needs more than one read. Although there is a connection to the popular nursery rhyme, which young readers may know, this book would be more appropriate for older children. The illustrations, done in black and white, are intricate and if readers look closely enough they'll recognize characters from other classic tales. Thanks to the publisher, Penguin Young Readers, for providing #BookExcursion with a review copy.

The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City by Tara Lazar

Private I's detective skills are needed when all the other capital letters go missing. There is lots of word play and punctuation-related puns. Like the author's previous book, 7 Ate 9, this is an amusing detective story.

Smell My Foot! (Chick and Brain) by Cece Bell

Brain wants Chick to smell his foot, but Chick thinks Brain should be more polite. The two are involved in an amusing dialogue as Chick tells Brain what to do and Brain takes it literally. In the middle of their conversation, a dog appears and invites Chick to lunch. Savvy readers will know the dog's intentions and, luckily for Chick, Brain knows, as well. Kids will find the silliness and the graphic novel style of this early reader book very appealing.

Monday, December 9, 2019

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 Best Kind of Bear by Greg Gormley

Bear does not know what type of bear he is, so he travels west, north, south, and east in search of a bear who is similar to himself. Bear is not exactly like any of the bears he meets on his journey and he begins to worry that he is simply ordinary and uninteresting until his new friend, Nelly, helps him realize the kind of bear he is and just how special that is. This is a sweet story, but also one that explores identity and belonging.

Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

This is a beautiful collection of poems written in voices of different girls who have their own unique perspectives on friendship, family, and life. The poems celebrate the many ways there are to be and the ways we can lift each other up. The poems are simple and lovely and the illustrations are bright and joyful. Thanks to Random House for a review copy. The book publishes in January.

The Runaway Princess by Johan Troïanowski

This graphic novel is a lot of fun. A princess runs away, sometimes on purpose and sometimes accidentally. Her journeys bring lots of adventures and she meets friends, as well as some interesting characters including mermaids and pirates. Sprinkled throughout the book, there are some puzzles and mazes that invite the reader into the story. The book publishes in January.

The Starspun Web by Sinéad O'Hart

Tess has grown up at Ackerbee's Home for Lost and Foundlings since she was left there as a baby and she is quite happy with her living arrangements. When a strange man shows up, claiming that he is a distant relative, Tess is reluctant to go with him, but hopes that he might have answers to her questions about who she is and where she came from. She moves into Roedeer Lodge and discovers that a strange device she was left with as a baby is a portal to an alternate world. As she tries to unravel the mystery, she finds herself at the center of a dangerous scheme. This is an engaging and mysterious story about a brave heroine that intertwines science, history, and friendship.

Monday, December 2, 2019

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 Cool Bean by Jory John

This is the third book from Jory John and Pete Oswald, the creators of the Bad Seed and the Good Egg. Students have loved both previous books and I think they will enjoy this one, as well. There are lots of puns and bean-related humor. A book with the message that small acts of kindness are cool is a nice addition to the series. 

Emergency Kittens! by Jody Jensen Shaffer

Mimi, Twee-Twee, and Adorbs are the cutest superheroes ever. They save the day with their irresistible fluffiness and purring. Cat lovers will be delighted with this book. Thanks to the publisher, Random House Kids, for a review copy. The book publishes in January.

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles

A young girl is helping her Ti Gran make Freedom Soup in preparation for a family celebration to ring in the New Year. While they cook, Ti Gran shares the story of the soup and the Haitian Revolution. This book provides insight into history while celebrating the joy of a grandchild and grandparent spending time together and the spirit of the Haitian culture.


Roly Poly by Mem Fox

Roly is the only child in his polar bear family and is not happy at all when a brother appears. Roly tries his best to ignore Monty until the day his little brother really needs him. This is a sweet story of rivalry and love between siblings. The artwork, which consists of photographs of bears made with wire and wool, is interesting, too. 

Normal: One Kid's Extraordinary Journey by Magdalena and Nathaniel Newman

Nathaniel was born with craniofacial deformities and difficulties hearing, breathing, and eating due to Treacher Collins Syndrome. Alternating between his perspective and that of his mother, this memoir tells how the disorder has impacted his life and family. Nathaniel's positive outlook and his belief that he is just as normal as any other kid is inspirational. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, I received an advance reader's copy of this book at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention.

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Realistic fiction, with a touch of magic, this is a suspenseful and tender story of family and finding one's voice. When Lily and her family move in with her halmoni, she starts seeing a magical tiger. There is a connection between the tiger and the Korean folktales that Lily's grandmother has told her and Lily believes the tiger can make her grandmother better. Lily learns about her grandmother and what it means to be brave. Thanks to Random House for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy of the book. The book publishes in January.