Monday, September 28, 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...

A Bear is a Bear (Except When He's Not) by Karl Newson and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz

After waking up from hibernation too early, a bear is confused about what he is and tries to figure it out. Luckily, the narrator of the book can help. This is simply a fun rhyming book about a very silly and charming bear. 

Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747 by Chris Gall

This is a fascinating nonfiction picture book that details how the Boeing 747 was made. There is also insight into the history of air travel. The illustrations capture the enormity of the aircraft. Those young readers who have an interest in aircraft will especially enjoy this one.

Northbound: A Train Ride Out of Segregation by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein and illustrated by James E. Ransome

Michael takes a train for the first time as he travels with his grandmother from Alabama to Ohio to visit cousins. When he first gets on the train he is only allowed in the "colored car," but after leaving Atlanta the restriction is lifted and Michael meets and befriends a boy who has been traveling in the car for whites. The authors' note provides background information about policies related to railroad travel. This book explores the injustices of the segregation era while portraying a friendship that offers hope. Thanks to the publisher, Candlewick, for a review copy. The book publishes in October.

Speak Up, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow

The spunky and quirky Molly Lou Melon is back in a follow-up to Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, which I can't believe was published nineteen years ago. The message about standing up for friends and remaining true to oneself is heartfelt. 

Closer to Nowhere by Ellen Hopkins

This book is told in verse, alternating between the perspectives of two cousins who are the same age but have grown up in very different families. Cal's mother has recently died and his father is in prison so he moves in with Hannah's family. Hannah does not understand Cal's behavior and is having difficulty with the changes that are happening with her family. The characters are engaging and realistic. The book explores some difficult topics and is also a heartfelt story about family in which two cousins grow to understand each other. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes next month.


  1. I'm glad to know about Northbound & Closer to Nowhere, Lisa. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for sharing these books today Lisa. Closer to Nowhere by Ellen Hopkins was already on my list, but I'm happy to be adding Northbound to my list.
    Happy reading this week.

  3. "Closer To Nowhere" sounds like a really fascinating book!

    Here's my post for this week:

  4. I am looking forward to Closer to Nowhere - what age range do you think? I also love Molly Lou will be fun to explore with students - seems like a timely topic as well. I also added Jumbo to my list. Thanks -- as always. Hope you are well.

  5. I'm so glad to learn about Northbound: A Train Ride Out of Segregation -- what an important picture book. And A Bear is a Bear looks really cute. Adding this one to my list, as well. I can't get over the beautiful cover art of Closer to Nowhere. I hope the story is as wonderful as the cover! :) Have a wonderful reading week!

  6. Northbound sounds like a touching and valuable story! Closer to Nowhere sounds fantastic as well! Thanks for the wonderful post!

  7. I have been not so patiently waiting for Closer to Nowhere. I've read some of the author's YA books and they are so well done. I read SEGREGATION too. Thinking about some ways I want to use it! Have a good week.

  8. Closer to Nowhere sounds like an excellent book. I'll have to check it out. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a great reading week!

  9. I love novels in verse so thanks for recommending Closer to Home. I am actually reading speak Up Molly Melon this week to kindergarteners for #classroombookaday.