Monday, August 8, 2022

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...

Ballewiena by Rebecca Bender

Rather than sit, stay and roll over, Dotty would rather plié, assemblé, and pirouette. Her dance moves are not appreciated until a squirrel, Louis-Pierre, invites Dotty to his workouts and provides a way for her to show off her skills. A cute story that will delight fans of dog stories, especially those with an interest in ballet. 

Bessie the Motorcycle Queen by Charles R. Smith Jr. and illustrated by Charlot Kristensen

Bessie Stringfield was a daredevil biker, surprising many with her speed. In the 1920s, she faced racism as she traveled the country on her bike. Not letting anything stop her, she continued to flip a penny, see where it landed on her map, and travel on. This is an empowering and adventurous biography. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. The book publishes in September.

Not So Small by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Paola Escobar

Small actions make a difference. One person's voice can have an impact. Together we can do big things. An empowering book about taking action. 

Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet by Barbara Dee

Haven is a seventh-grader who has anxiety about climate change and the environment. When she learns that the river in her town is polluted, she takes action to raise awareness and help make change. Middle grade readers will be interested in Haven's efforts to solve a real-world problem and find her relatable. As in Barbara Dee's previous books, mental health is sensitively handled. A timely book. Thanks to the author for providing my book review group with an advance reviewer copy. The book publishes in September. 

Search for Treasure (The Islanders #2) by Mary Alice Monroe with Angela May

Jake is visiting his grandmother on Dewees Island in South Carolina and, along with two of his friends, is on a search for treasure believed to be located there. Jake, whose dad recently lost his leg in Afghanistan, and each of his friends are all dealing with family challenges. This is a sweet and fun adventure story with a setting that immerses the reader in nature. 

Professional Read

Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students by Afrika Afeni Mills

This is a very informative and practical book that provides the why and the how of becoming an educator engaged in anti-bias, antiracist teaching. There are many ideas for practice and suggestions for ways to engage in reflection. Afrika Afeni Mills writes from her own experience and discussions with educators and includes examples of work from classrooms. A much needed professional resource. 


  1. I love everything Barbara Dee writes. Thanks for pointing out a new one.

  2. It seems like Barbara Dee churns out one amazing MG novel after another—I really need to try something by her at some point! Ballewiena seems like a delightful story, and Not So Small looks excellent as well. Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Lisa!

  3. All of these books look really good. I have Haven Jacobs Saves the World ready on my tablet when I catch up. I am looking forward to it and am glad you enjoyed it. I have a few students waiting for me to buy that one for the library. I am anticipating making a few connections between it and the book I am reading right now, Berani by Michelle Kadarusman. Thanks for the post!