Monday, February 24, 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...

The Bold, Brave Bunny by Beth Ferry

Teetu is surrounded by bunnies in the very crowded burrow in which he lives. His desire to be brave and bold leads him on an adventure through the forest where he discovers new things that inspire his creativity and he realizes that home is a very special place. This is a sweet story about the joys of adventure and the necessity of belonging. 

Cézanne's Parrot by Amy Guglielmo

This book tells the story of the father of modern art, providing insight into the determination and creativity that led to his success as a painter. Readers will be inspired by Cézanne's efforts to improve his skills and be amused by his parrot, who is both his biggest critic and fan.  

Coo by Kaela Noel

This is a unique story about ten-year-old girl who has been raised by pigeons her entire life. In order to help one of the pigeons in her flock, she must venture into the human world. As Coo finds family and friends beyond her flock of pigeons, she learns about life as a human. This is a hopeful story about family, love and loyalty. Thanks to the author for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in March.

Stand Up, Yumi Chung by Jessica Kim

Yumi dreams of becoming a comedian, but she also wants to please her parents who are more concerned with school and academics. When she discovers a comedy camp being taught by her favorite comedian, Yumi pretends to be someone else and secretly attends. As Yumi struggles to get herself out of the predicament she has landed in, she learns the importance of being herself and using her voice to be heard. This is a book with heart and humor. Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for providing my book review group with a review copy. The book publishes in March.

Worse Than Weird by Jody J. Little

This is a story of a girl finding her place in the world as she tries to remain true to herself. Mac really wants to spend the summer at coding camp, but her parents don't think she should be spending her time with computers. To raise the money for the camp, she participates in a food truck scavenger hunt. This book explores family and friendship and some important topics like divorce and homelessness. Thanks to the author for sending my book review group, #BookExcursion, an advance reader's copy. It publishes in March.

Monday, February 17, 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...

Nesting by Henry Cole

This book tells the story of a family of robins over the course of a year. It provides information about the life cycle, but it also celebrates the wonder of the natural world. The illustrations, done mostly in black and white with some blue on various pages throughout the book, are gorgeous.  

Rita & Ralph's Rotten Day by Carmen Agra Deedy 

Rita and Ralph meet under the apple tree between their houses and play together until the day they get into an argument. Saying sorry is not easy for either of the friends, but they find a way to forgive one another. This is a sweet book about friendship and forgiveness. 

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters

Jasmine discovers a runt piglet at a nearby farm and decides to sneak the animal home. With her care, Truffle begins to thrive. Even though her parents warn her that keeping a grown pig will not be practical, Jasmine is determined to prove them otherwise. The first in an early reader series, this is a really sweet book that animal-loving kids will adore. Thanks to Candlewick for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in March.

My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner

Ben thinks he is cursed by potatoes and now that he has moved from California to Idaho his school mascot is Steve the Spud. After breaking a rule in the school cafeteria, Ben, much to his dismay, is forced to fill in for the school mascot. He risks losing his friends and his popularity if anyone finds out, so he schemes to keep it a secret. There is lots of humor in this story about fitting in and navigating middle school life. Thanks to Random House for providing my book review group with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in March.

Monday, February 10, 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...

Cyclops of Central Park by Madelyn Rosenberg

Cyclops is missing one of his sheep, so he must venture outside of his cave, through the streets of New York City, to find him. This is a quirky, imaginative story about finding the joy in adventure and appreciating the place one calls home. Reading the book feels like a tour through New York City as it features a few popular landmarks. Fun and clever.

Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén's family is torn apart when his mother is deported. While his Apá works all hours to support the family, Efrén takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger twin siblings. Efrén's situation impacts his school life and friendships, but he will do whatever it takes to help his family and get his Amá back. This is a touching and compelling read, as Ernesto Cisneros has created realistic characters who seem so real you can imagine the love and pain they feel throughout every page of the book. It's a powerful and important read. Thanks to the publisher, I received an advance reader's copy of the book. The book publishes in March.

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar

Forty years after writing Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar has written the fourth book about Wayside School. Personally, it was fun for me to revisit the students in Mrs Jewls's class on the thirtieth floor after reading the first book at the beginning of my teaching career, but I also think the absurdness and humor will appeal to many young readers, both those who have read the series before and those to whom it will be new. As silly as it is, there's a lot that can be learned from the students of Wayside School about friendship and the importance of striving to be one's best self. Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in March.

Wink: Surviving Middle School With One Eye Open by Rob Harrell

I read this book in one sitting because once I started, I did not want to put it down. Ross is navigating the ups and downs of middle school, but he's doing it while battling cancer. He is going through an intense therapy for his eye cancer that causes some physical changes and leave Ross just wishing he was "normal" like his classmates. It's a poignant story about fitting in and learning to embrace differences. The author based the story on his own experiences with eye cancer. Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in March.

Monday, February 3, 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...

Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots by Michael Rex

This is a fun book that will help kids understand important lessons for living in our world. With some very amusing robots, it explains the difference between facts and opinions, the importance of getting all the facts before taking action, and the necessity of respecting the opinions of others.

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian

I love books like this one that are fun to read and will make kids laugh, but also address important topics. This is a wonderful book about a kid with a great imagination who is starting at a new school with a message about acceptance. Illustrations and word art will appeal to many readers.

Chirp by Kate Messner

Mia has just moved to Vermont where she meets new friends and becomes involved in helping her grandmother save her cricket farm. There's a mystery at the center of this novel, but it's also a story of friendship and family and finding one's voice to speak out. This is a timely, relevant, and empowering novel that will help middle grade readers understand issues related to boundaries and what to do when someone makes them feel uncomfortable.

Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan

This is a poignant story of hope, courage, and compassion. Max wants to know more about his mother who left when he was a baby, but his family won't talk about it. When he learns his family has helped lead those who are fleeing their country to safety, he agrees to be a guardian for a young girl who wants to be reunited with her sister and, in doing so, hopes to find answers about his past. This is a relevant and beautifully written book. Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy. It publishes in March.