Monday, April 27, 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...


Do Not Eat the Game! by Matthew McElligott

This picture book shows that games are fun when there are more players and when everyone follows the rules. The text is written to sound like game directions and the monsters' antics are amusing. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. The book publishes in May.

A Hatful of Dragons: And More Than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems by Vikram Madan

My favorite part of this book is the fill-in-the-blank poem with lists of words to choose from so readers can actually make up billions of different poems. I also love the variety of poems - there's even a rebus and one partly written in comic-book form. These nonsensical, silly poems, some which have a bit of suspense, will surprise and amuse readers.

Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli

After finishing this book, the only thing I am disappointed with is the fact that I can't share it with students until fall since schools will not be reopening in Massachusetts this school year. Early readers will love the graphic novel format and the personalities of Baloney and his friends. The book has three different stories (and a few mini-comics thrown in) and the last one, which is a sweet story of friendship, is my favorite. Readers can also draw the characters by following the directions at the end of the end of the book. This will be a much loved book, so I hope it doesn't take too long for the next one in the series.

Santiago's Road Home by Alexandra Diaz

Twelve-year-old Santiago wants to escape the abuse of his abuela so he decides to head to the United States with a mother and daughter who he has recently met. In the United States, Santiago is separated from those he now considers family and is put into an immigration detention center. This book provides a powerful glimpse into the experience of a child immigrant who is torn from the people who care about him and is at the mercy of an unjust system. Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

Monday, April 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...



The Yawns Are Coming by Christopher Eliopoulos

Any kid who has tried to stay up all night will be able to relate to this story. Two friends have a long list of things to do at their sleepover, but eventually the "yawns" arrive. It's a humorous book with amusing illustrations. Great for bedtime or anytime, really.

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo

A group of friends is formed when one hedgehog takes a brave journey to find her lost dog. This is a really sweet story of friendship with a cast of characters who all have a lot of personality. The illustrations are lovely, too. I am eager to see what adventures the animal friends have in the next book in the series. Thanks to Random House Kids for sharing an advance reader's copy with my book review group. Look for this one in May.

The Elephant's Girl by Celesta Remington

Lexington Willow has lived at a zoo since she was found there after a tornado when she was just a toddler. She rarely leaves the zoo, preferring to spend her time with her foster father and her friend, Fisher, who also lives there. She realizes one of the elephants at the zoo can communicate with her and this leads her to a mystery involving a ghost and a missing treasure. As she uncovers secrets, she learns about her past. This is a magical and sweet story of family and friendship. Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in May.

Trowbridge Road by Marcella Pixley

This is a powerful novel about mental illness, grief, and friendship. Set in 1983, June Bug's dad has died from AIDS and her mother spends most of her time in her room or cleaning the germs that she fears may put her and June in danger of getting sick. June befriends Ziggy, a boy who has moved in to the neighborhood and is dealing with his own family challenges. Their friendship gives them a way to escape their problems, but also the strength and courage to face and work through them. Thanks to Candlewick for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in May.


Grown-Up Reads


As I've written about previously, I had a difficult time concentrating on reading at the beginning of the pandemic situation. Since then, I started limiting the amount of news that I watch and trying some mindfulness strategies before reading and I think that has helped. I've been enjoying reading a lot more and am once again finding it to be a good escape. These are some of the books I've read in the last few weeks.


Monday, April 13, 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

Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds

This is an inspirational read about being oneself and living a positive and successful life. The pages are filled with wonderful guidance about all the ways to be and joyous illustrations that celebrate uniqueness. I read this aloud to fifth graders last week and they appreciated the message. 

The Infamous Ratsos Camp Out by Kara LaReau and Matt Myers

Students have loved reading the Infamous Ratsos books and I know they will be excited to see a new one out in the world. Each book is charming and has a great lesson. In this book, the Ratsos and their friends learn the importance of asking for and accepting help from others. I think the combination of humor and sweetness is what makes this series a delight for kids to read. Thanks to the author for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in May.

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate 

I've been anticipating this book for a while and fans of The One and Only Ivan will not be disappointed. The story is told through the voice of Ivan's best friend, Bob, who has a great personality and sense of humor. This book will touch readers' hearts. Thanks to the publisher for a digital review copy. The book publishes in May.

Gold Rush Girl by Avi

When Tory's father loses his job, he plans to travel to California to find gold with her younger brother. Although it's decided that Tory stay home in Providence, Rhode Island with her mother, she yearns for adventure and secretly makes her way onto the ship that is taking her brother and father to the west coast. San Francisco is not at all what Tory and her brother expected and her father leaves them alone while he goes off to find gold. When her brother goes missing, Tory begins a dangerous search to find him among the abandoned ships in the bay. This is a historical tale with lots of excitement and adventure.

Orphan Eleven by Gennifer Choldenko

This book transports readers to a traveling circus in the 1930s. Lucy and three other orphans have escaped from the Home for Friendless Children and are searching for a place to belong when they happen upon the circus. If Lucy wants to work with the elephants and continue on with the circus, she must learn to use her voice again. As Lucy tries to shake her past at the orphanage, others are determined to bring her back there and it's a mystery as to why. An adventurous and heart-warming read about a girl with the courage to find her true home. Thanks to Random House for providing my book review group with an advance reader's copy. The book publishes in May.

Monday, April 6, 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...



Hike by Pete Oswald

This is a beautiful book to add to a collection of wordless books. It celebrates the bond between a father and child and the wonder of nature.


Sorry (Really Sorry) by Joanna Cotler and Harry Bliss

Cow is in a bad mood and when she kicks mud in Duck's face it causes one farm animal after another to act rudely to a friend. An act of kindness breaks the chain of bad feelings and the animals learn to say sorry and actually mean it. This is a very sweet story that will help readers understand the impact one's actions have on others and the importance of friendship and kindness.


Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

This is a fantastic historical fiction novel set in Dakota Territory in 1880. Hanna, who is half-chinese, is adjusting to being in a new place after she and her father move, but also dealing with the prejudice she is facing. She is determined to get an education and make dresses in her father's shop. An honest and hopeful story, readers will gain insight into what life was like during this time period.


What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado

Stephen, an eleven-year old, biracial boy, living in Brooklyn, wants to do all the things his friends can because he believes he can have any lane he wants. As he confronts peer pressure and microaggressions and learns about acts of racism that have recently taken place, he strives to understand himself, his friendships, and the world. This is a relevant and important read that will help readers explore racial injustice. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy.