Monday, June 29, 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...

First Day Critter Jitters by Jory John and illustrated by Liz Climo

A book about first day of school anxieties, this will be a comforting read aloud for the beginning of the school year. On the way to school, various animals express their concerns about starting school. When the animals get to school they realize they are not the only ones who are nervous and they help each other to overcome their worries. This book is both amusing and sweet. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Keith Among the Pigeons by Katie Brosnan

Keith prefers pigeons to cats, but they fly away every time he tries to get near them. Keith attempts to be more pigeon-like in various ways, but that doesn't help. This is a lovely story about being accepted and accepting oneself.

Southwest Sunrise by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Wendell Minor

Jayden is unhappy about moving from New York to New Mexico where everything is brown and tan. As he takes a walk through his new home, he finds joy in the surprises of the desert. This is a gorgeous book about the wonders of the natural world.

Your Name is a Song by Jamila Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Luisa Uribe

This is a joyous celebration of names. A child meets her mother after school, upset that her classmates and teacher can't say her name. The child's mother helps her appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of her names and of others. This is an empowering and meaningful book that provides a reminder about how important it is to learn to pronounce and to honor people's names. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy.

Letters From Cuba by Ruth Behar

Esther and her father are refugees in Cuba after leaving Poland in the 1930s. Esther misses her family and worries about them since, being Jewish, it is not safe for them in Poland. As she embraces her life in Cuba, Esther sets out to help her father earn enough money so the rest of her family can travel to Cuba. This story, which is based on the author's own family history, is heart-warming and inspiring. Thanks to the publisher, Nancy Paulsen Books, for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishes in August.

Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz

This is a must-have for my graphic novel collection. Middle grade readers who enjoy graphic novels with realistic storylines about fitting in and navigating friendships will enjoy this one. With a mystery to be solved and an unlikely friendship that makes summer a little less lonely, it's a fun and heart-warming read. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.


  1. Looks like I've gotta load up on my wish list, yet again. I'm especially looking forward to Keith Among the Pigeons and Southwest Sunrise. But these all look wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

  2. I used to have my students research & write about their names. I would have loved "Your name is A Song" for that, Lisa. I am looking forward to Southwest Sunrise & Letters from Cuba, know they will be good. And thanks for the others too!

  3. These books sound great! Keith Among the Pigeons looks like a wonderful picture book, and Your Name is a Song sounds like it has a very important message! I'm also looking forward to reading Letters from Cuba, as I enjoyed Behar's book Lucky Broken Girl. Thanks for the great post!

  4. Can't wait to read Your Name is a Song.

  5. You have shared so many wonderful sounding books this week. Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer is one I"ll be looking for. Southwest Sunrise and Your Name is a Song also look great. Sigh.. If only I had more time for reading.

  6. Some really great looking books here. I hope to get to Letters from Cuba at some point soon. Southwest Sunrise looks great as well. I have been hoping to get First Day Critter Jitters too. Thanks for all the great shares.