Monday, January 20, 2020

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...

Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez

This book explains that a Mexican jumping bean is not a bean at all, but a seedpod into which a caterpillar has burrowed. This is a fun and informative book with Spanish words sprinkled throughout and an Author's Note at the end that provides additional facts about the jumping bean and the moths that emerge from them. I learned something I didn't know, so I'm sure many kids will, also.

Old Rock (is not boring) by Deb Pilutti

Tall Pine, Hummingbird, and Spotted Beetle think Old Rock's life must be pretty boring because he sits in the same spot day after day. Old Rock tells them the tale of his life starting with when he formed under the earth's crust and shot out of a volcano and it turns out he's seen and done a lot more than they thought. Old Rock's story isn't just entertaining, but it also provides insight into the history of the natural world. This clever and humorous story will ignite students' thinking about how planet Earth has evolved. Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy of the book.

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner

Silas, a sixth-grader, admires Glenn Burke, a baseball player who invented the high-five. Like Glenn Burke, Silas is a baseball player and also gay. Silas wants to come out to his friends and his teammates, but he also fears that he won't be accepted. This is an important story about identity and acceptance with characters who middle grade readers will be able to relate to. Thanks to Macmillan for an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in February.

Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun

This is an engaging story about navigating friendships and the struggle to fit in. Now that Pippa has transferred from her public school to a prestigious private school, she wants to keep the fact that she is a scholarship student a secret. She must also keep her grades up, so she can continue playing basketball, while helping her family with their laundromat business. Managing family and school life presents challenges for Pippa, but she learns the importance of being herself. This is another book that will be relatable for middle grade readers and also appeal to those who are sports fans. Thanks to the publisher and Media Master's Publicity for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in February.


  1. Old Rock (is not boring) looks great -- adding this one to my list right away. And I have Pippa Park on my list, but I haven't yet read Great Expectations. Based on your review, it sounds like it'll be just as enjoyable with or without that book under my belt. Thanks so much for sharing, Lisa!

  2. I wondered about that book 'Old Rock' & now I understand. What fun it would be to show some geology to younger readers that way. High Five & Pippa Park sound good & will connect to a number of different readers! Thanks, Lisa!

  3. I love Old Rock is Boring and thought it was both humorous and informative. Not a Bean is a new title for me so it sounds like a read aloud so I will definitely look for it! Have a great week!

  4. I swear I have read Old Rock, but I can't have since it is not being published til February. I am eagerly anticipating getting a copy into my hands.

  5. Old Rock looks good to me as well, and I might try Pippa Park. The cover did not really look great to me, but I thought your description sounded good.

  6. Old Rock looks fantastic. And I think my daughter will enjoy Pippa Park. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  7. Not a Bean looks like an adorable picture book. I'll definitely have to look for it at the library. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  8. Not a Bean sounds really good! I like that it is educational as well. And Pippa Park has me intrigued as well.