Monday, August 2, 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...

Little Bat in Night School by Brian Lies

Little Bat is excited to start school until he gets there and realizes it's bigger than he thought and he doesn't know anyone. He meets a friendly classmate and together they have a joyful first day. This imagining of nocturnal animals attending school will amuse readers, but the book may also bring comfort to ease first day anxieties.

Summer Camp Critter Jitters by Jory John and illustrated by Liz Climo

The companion to First Day Critter Jitters is another book that will help to ease first day anxieties. A group of animals express worries about going to camp. In spite of their fears, they head to camp, and once there they discover their counselor is in a predicament and needs their help. Together the critters realize that camp is quite enjoyable. An endearing read.

Zuri Ray Tries Ballet by Tami Charles and illustrated by Sharon Sordo

Zuri loves trying new things, but when she begins ballet camp with her best friend she believes she isn't very good at it. Her ballet teacher encourages her to use her imagination and Zuri finds the confidence to be herself. This is a sweet story showing that new things can be fun even when they're hard.

Jop and Blip Wanna Know #1: Can You Hear A Penguin Fart on Mars? And Other Excellent Questions by Jim Benton

Jop and Blip, two very curious robots, explore the answers to the many questions they have on their minds. This is a funny and informative graphic novel. I think readers will enjoy the random facts they learn. Each of the three chapters ends with an activity for readers, as well.

The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe by Tricia Springstubb

Loah is in the care of Miss Rinker and Theo, the elderly siblings who live with her, while her mother is on an expedition in the Artic to find a rare bird. Loah knows exactly how many days her mother has been away and wishes she would come home. Her life at home becomes an expedition of its own when Loah must deal with a few problems including helping her mother who might be in danger. This is a sweet, heartfelt story about courage, resilience, and community. There are also some lessons related to the natural world interwoven into the story.

Room to Dream (A Front Desk Novel) by Kelly Yang

I continue to love this series! The third Front Desk book, about Mia and her family, is another heart-warming and empowering read. Mia and her family travel to China and when she returns home becomes involved in helping to save the Calivista, the motel they own. In addition, Mia moves forward with her goal of getting her writing published. There is an important message about using one's voice to make change, but the book addresses many other important and relevant themes. Thanks to Scholastic for sharing an advanced reader's copy with my book review group, #BookExcursion. The book publishes in September.

An Adult Reading Recommendation

The Book of Rosy: A Mother's Separation at the Border by Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo 

This is one of those books that tells a story that sticks with you long after you finish it. It's a true account of one woman's experience being separated from her children after crossing the border into the U.S. The book is a quick read, giving insight into Rosy's life in Guatemala, her journey to the U.S., the challenges and heartache she faced when she arrived, and the support she received from those willing to help her be reunited with her children.


  1. Thanks for all, Lisa. I know I will want to read The Book of Rosy, & the Kelly Yang book is on my list for sure. The Most Perfect Thing . . . sounds like a good story/mystery!

  2. What a great set of books! Zuri Ray Tries Ballet sounds like a great picture book. And I feel so far behind on the Front Desk series—I was reading the first one several years ago and then just gave up for no reason I can discern, even though it was a great read and there's now two different sequels I've missed! I wonder when I'll cram all those books in. Thanks so much for the great post!

  3. I also enjoyed Summer Camp Critter Jitters. I liked what you said about Zuri Ray Tries Ballet so I might have to look at that one. Also, I enjoyed a more non-fiction graphic novel than I am used to this week, and I was thinking of that when I saw your Jim Benton title. Thanks for sharing.