Monday, January 25, 2021

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...

Time for Kenny by Brian Pinkney

This is the story of Kenny's day told in four parts. The text is simple, but the story realistically portrays a a child's experiences and feelings. The youngest of readers will be able to relate.

Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover) by Helen Yoon

This is one of the picture books on my #MustReadin2021 list. Wolf disguises himself as a sheep and blends in with the herd in an attempt to get himself a tasty dinner. His plan to help out and be friendly doesn't turn out the way he imagined. Clever and humorous.

So You Want to Be an Owl by Jane Porter and illustrated by Maddie Frost

The book begins with Professor Olaf welcoming the human reader to Owl School and then giving nine lessons for being a good owl. Each lesson provides factual information about owls. The illustrations and comparisons that are made between the reader of the book and owls makes this nonfiction book engaging and amusing.

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

This book is intense and heart-wrenching. It gives insight into the events that took place on 9/11 and those in Afghanistan that took place post 9/11. Alternating between two different narratives, each story and the way they connect is powerful. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group with an advanced reader copy. They book publishes in February. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

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...

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho

A young girl notices that some others have eyes that are different than hers, but also that hers are similar to those in her family. This is a heart-warming story about self-acceptance and the appreciation of one's heritage.

The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer and illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio

After the fairground closes for the night, woodland animals sneak in and enjoy the rides, games, and treats in this wordless book. Whimsical and captivating.

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

In the note at the end of this book, the author describes it as "a time capsule of our moment in history" and it truly captures the events, details, and feelings of the lockdowns that occurred due to the coronavirus. A beautiful and hopeful story about community and connection.

The Comeback by E. L. Shen

Maxine Chen is a competitive figure skater who is dealing with challenges on and off the ice. There is a new skater at the rink who is really good and seems like she will be tough competition. At school, Maxine is facing racism and bullying from a classmate. As she navigates her skating and school life, Maxine grows in her confidence. In addition to giving insight into the sport of ice-skating, there are relevant and timely themes. 

Adult Reading...

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

This is a heart-wrenching and gripping book set during the pre-Civil War era. It tells the story of Pheby who is anticipating her freedom when she turns eighteen, but shortly before is sent to a jail for enslaved people known as Devil's Half Acre and becomes the mistress of the jail's owner. The author was inspired to write Pheby's story after learning about the life of Mary Lumpkin who lived at Lumpkin's jail, a slave holding facility that existed in Virginia. This book gives insight into a grim time in our history, while being a story of courage and hope.

Monday, January 11, 2021

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...

Most Days by Michael Leannah and illustrated by Megan Elizabeth Baratta 

The minutes of an ordinary day  are filled with extraordinary things if one takes the time to notice. This is a lovely book about embracing the wonders of our world and appreciating the good that surrounds us. 

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcolm Mitchell and illustrated by Michael Robinson

Henley comes up with a creative solution when his teacher gives his class an assignment to bring in their very favorite book in the whole wide world. This is a sweet book about finding the stories in ourselves. 

The Runaway No-Wheeler by Peter Stein

Truck enthusiasts will love this book. It's a silly story of a 18-wheeler that loses one wheel after another while on the way to make a delivery. Amusing illustrations and a humorous ending make this a fun read. 

The Magical Reality of Nadia by Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly and illustrated by Douglas Holgate

This is a fun and heartfelt book about navigating friendship and identity. Working on a class project becomes complicated when Nadia, who is Egyptian American, finds herself being teased by the new student in her class because of her culture. With courage and resilience and a little bit of magic, Nadia works through the difficulties she faces. There are illustrations included in the book and a few pages are written in comic book style. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in February.

Monday, January 4, 2021

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...

Bunheads by Misty Copeland

Readers with an interest in dance will be charmed by this story about ballet and following one's passion. At her first class, young Misty learns about the ballet Coppélia and is determined to learn the steps and get a starring role. 

Mr. Brown's Bad Day by Lou Peacock and illustrated by Alison Friend

Mr. Brown has a very important briefcase with very important things inside. One day while eating lunch, his briefcase is accidentally taken and Mr. Brown ends up chasing all over town. This is a very cute story with a sweet and surprising ending. 

Pugtato Finds a Thing by Sophie Corrigan

Pugtato finds a shiny, round thing while digging in the mud and, to figure out what it is, goes around the garden asking his friends. The cast of animal/vegetable characters will intrigue and amuse young readers.

Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable and illustrated by Stephanie Yue

Katie is trying to raise money to attend a summer camp so she takes a job catsitting for a neighbor. After one night with the 217 cats, Katie realizes they are smarter and more evil than ordinary felines. While Katie tries to manage catsitting she also begins to suspect her neighbor is a super villain. Cat lovers, especially, will enjoy this fun and adventurous graphic novel.

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm

Eleven-year old Bell is an ordinary kid except for the fact that he has grown up living in a settlement on Mars. One of the rules is that no one is allowed to leave to visit the other colonies. When the adults become sick with a mysterious illness, Bell has no choice but to go in search of help from neighbors who he is not sure he can trust. This is a compelling and imaginative sci-fi adventure that explores themes relevant to our world today.

An Adult Read I Loved

The Push by Ashley Audrain

This psychological thriller is one that I couldn't put down. It's dark and disturbing, but also a story that will make you think. It explores themes related to motherhood, nature versus nurture, and mental illness. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Books I'm Looking Forward to Reading in 2021

For the past few years, I have joined a community of bloggers to make a must-read list for the year ahead. The community originated with Carrie Gelson of There's a Book for That and this year the torch has been passed to Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life. This year, I have made a list of books, publishing in the first few months of 2021, that I am looking forward to reading. Narrowing down this list was not easy since there are many, many books I would love to read (if only there were more hours in the day!). In addition to the children's literature, picture books and middle grade novels, that I intend to read, I also added some adult novels that are on my radar. For a list of favorite book picks from those I read in 2020, you can check out my list of middle grade books and picture books (as a supporter of local bookstores, I have curated my lists on Bookshop.org and receive a commission on any books purchased through these links). To find out what others will be reading in the year ahead, follow #MustReadin2021 on Twitter.

Picture Books

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho
Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham
I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne and illustrated by Julia Kuo
Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover) by Helen Yoon
Moose, Goose, and Mouse by Mordicai Gerstein and illustrated by Jeff Mack
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson
Daisy by Jessixa Bagley
The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story by Maria Popova and illustrated by Ping Zhu
Something's Wrong by Jory John and illustrated by Erin Kraan
No Buddy Like a Book by Allan Wolf and illustrated by Brianne Farley

Middle Grade

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm
The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q. Raúf
The Comeback: A Figure Skating Novel by E. L. Shen
The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold
The Magical Reality of Nadia by Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly and illustrated by Douglas Holgate
One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu
J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard and illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts
Definitely Dominguita by Terry Catasús Jennings and illustrated by Fatima Anaya
The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell
The House that Wasn’t There by Elana K. Arnold

Adult Novels

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson
Shiver by Allie Reynolds
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross
The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah 
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia