Monday, April 26, 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...

Hugo and the Impossible Thing by Renée Felice Smith and Chris Gabriel and illustrated by Sydney Hanson

This book is going on my list of top favorite picture books. A bulldog named Hugo is curious about what's beyond the Impossible Thing and, although the other animals tell him getting to the other side is not possible, he's determined to try. Hugo is an endearing character who shows readers that even a difficult goal can be achieved. 

The Smile Shop by Satoshi Kitamura

A boy is excited about buying something with the money he's saved until he loses most of it down the drain at the market. He visits what he believes to be a smile shop and learns how a smile can improve one's outlook. 

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly

Books with quirky, charming characters, like Marisol, are always favorites of mine. An illustrated chapter book about friendship and overcoming one's fears and anxieties, this is a sweet story. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley, I read a digital review copy. The book publishes in May.
 

One Small Hop by Madelyn Rosenberg

This is a science fiction middle grade novel set in the future. It's an adventurous and funny story about friendship and the environment and shows the importance of small acts to make a difference for the planet. Thanks to Scholastic for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion with an advanced reader's copy. It publishes in June.

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

I've been hearing how great this book is and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Ellie’s story is heart-wrenching, but also empowering. It addresses self-acceptance, standing up for oneself, and bullying, making it an important book for middle grade students to read. Written in verse, it's a quick read. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Monday, April 19, 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...

Bindu's Bindis by Supriya Kelkar and illustrated by Parvati Pillai 

Bindu loves wearing the bindis that her nani sends her from India. When Nani visits, Bindu witnesses xenophobic behavior at the airport and later feels hesitant about getting on stage for a show at her school. Nani helps Bindu to rebuild her confidence. Both the story and colorful illustrations are beautiful.

Doggo and Pupper by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Charlie Alder 

Doggo's life is the same every day, but he is happy enough. His humans think differently, so they bring home Pupper who, unlike Doggo, is full of energy and questions. Pupper learns to behave at charm school, but also helps Doggo realize the importance of having fun. This is an amusing and charming early reader book.

Too Small Tola by Atinuke and illustrated by Onyinye Iwu

This is a delightful chapter book that is the start of a new series. Tola is an endearing character who is small, but determined and kind. The writing is wonderful, with lots of figurative language, pulling the reader into Tola's life in a large city in Nigeria. I'm looking forward to reading more about Tola. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Bea is For Blended by Lindsey Stoddard

I have loved every one of Lindsey Stoddard's books and this one is no exception. Bea is adjusting to her new life as part of a blended family now that her mother has married. In addition, she has formed a girls' soccer team and is dealing with unfair treatment from a coach who favors the boys' team. This is a heart-warming story about family, friendship, and fighting for what's right with lots of soccer action. Thanks to the author and publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in May.

Adult Reading Recommendation

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

My school is on break this week, which means I can spend a little bit more time reading. This was the first of my vacation reads. It was a quick read and really sweet and poignant. I thought it was going to be a love story, and although it was, it was also much more. It is the story of a woman (who happens to be a second grade teacher) and the extraordinariness of living what, is in many ways, a normal, ordinary life. I loved so much about it including the fantastic writing, the quirky characters, and the small-town setting. 

Monday, April 12, 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...


If Bees Disappeared by Lily Williams

This book introduces readers to honeybees, a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder that is causing bees to die, and the chain reaction of consequences that would result without bees. There is a strong message about the importance of bees, but also one of hope for the small creature that makes a big difference in our world. The illustrations are lovely.

The Little Library by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

Jake is reluctant to visit the school library, but once there, with the help of the librarian, he finds a treasured book. When the library is closing for the summer, Jake uses his book to work on a project to surprise his class and the librarian and make it possible to continue borrowing books. This is a lovely celebration of books and libraries.

A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu, and You by by Mike Barfield and illustrated by Jess Bradley

This book contains one- or two-page comic book style spreads providing a brief informational snapshot of interesting things related to the human body, the animal kingdom, and earth and science. Written from the perspective of the thing being described, each of the snapshots is amusing. This book is probably one that readers will revisit again and again rather than read all in one sitting. Educational and entertaining.

Knight of the Cape (Definitely Dominguita) by Terry Catasus Jennings and illustrated by Fatima Anaya 

Dominguita is going to prove to a bully at school that girls can be knights. An adventure to do good deeds leads her to new friendships. This is a sweet and charming chapter book.

Ways to Grow Love (A Ryan Hart Story) by Renée Watson

This is a chapter book that I absolutely love and along with the first book, Ways to Make Sunshine, think is a must-have for elementary classrooms and libraries. In this book, Ryan is navigating relationships with friends as she spends time at a summer camp. She's also awaiting the arrival of a sibling. It's a sweet, heart-warming book about friendship, kindness, and love. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy.

Leonard (My Life as a Cat) by Carla Sorosiak

This is a story about being human as told by a cat who is actually an alien. On his 300th birthday, he wishes to be a human park ranger at Yellowstone, but ends up as a cat in South Carolina. Olive rescues him and helps him learn about being human and what it means to be part of a family. It's fun and heart-warming. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. 

Monday, April 5, 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...

Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea by Kelly Jordan and illustrated by Sally Walker

Written in verse, this book tells of a loggerhead turtle's extraordinary journey to the sea from the dune where it hatched. The turtle encounters various predators along the way, but continues on with determination. The story is informative, suspenseful, and beautiful.

Give It! (A Moneybunny Book) by Cinders McLeod

Chummy's gran gives him ten carrots for his birthday and tells hime to spend some on himself and some on helping others. With the help of his gran, Chummy decides who he wants to help, but he must figure out how to make the best use of his money. This is a sweet story about charitable giving and making a contribution that will help the world. 

Mr. Complain Takes the Train by Wade Bradford and illustrate by S. Britt

Mr. Complain is not very pleased with his train ride to Dullsville for his vacation. A very patient conductor tries to help, but there is only one thing that will change Mr. Complain's attitude. The interactive nature of the book adds to the fun.

Merci Suárez Can't Dance by Meg Medina 

I loved reading about Merci and the entire Suárez family again in this sequel to Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Merci is in seventh grade and faces many new challenges in her family and school life. The exploration of friendship and first crushes are especially heart-warming and relatable. Thanks to Candlewick for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishes this week.

The One Thing You'd Save by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng

This is a poignant book of verse and illustrations. A teacher asks her class to think about the one thing they would save if their houses were on fire and then they have a discussion about it. In the note at the end, the author describes her use of sijo, a traditional Korean poetry form, in writing the book. I think this is a book that will spark a lot of thinking and discussion.