Monday, November 14, 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...

I Cannot Draw a Horse by Charise Mericle Harper

The narrator draws a shape and turns it into a cat. The cat wants a horse, but the narrator explains that would be too hard to draw. As the narrator tries to please the cat with different drawings, the cat keeps insisting on a horse. The cat has a clever solution that convinces the narrator to try a horse. A fun story about creativity and the power of encouragement.

The Incredible Shrinking Lunchroom by Michal Baby and illustrated by Paula Cohen

A school principal helps students change their perspective about their lunchroom when they complain that it is too crowded and loud. Each action the principal takes when students write to her about their problem only seems to be making the situation worse, but she ultimately leads them to see that the lunchroom is not crowded at all. This book is based on a Yiddish folktale and the Jewish term "sameach b'chelko" which means to be happy with what one has. Be sure not to miss the very last page of the book that provides a glance into the teacher's lounge.

Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta by Jennifer Torres and illustrated by Sara Palacious

Lola who is always being told to be quieter observes an injustice in her neighborhood and decides she must speak out and help. The end note in the book tells more about Dolores Huerta and how she became an advocate for farmworkers. This is an inspirational book about compassion and making a difference in the world.

Night Lunch by Eric Fan and illustrated by Dena Seiferling

In the dark of night, a lunch cart stops and nocturnal animals gather to feast on delicacies the owl chef cooks up for them. When the sky starts to brighten, it's time for the cart to move on, but a mouse, busy sweeping, has had only crumbs to eat. The story about kindness and gratitude is told in short sentences and illustrations that are magical and dreamy. 

Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne

This is an important middle grade book to help young readers understand harassment and empower those who experience it to speak out. Twelve-year-old Hazel wants to redeem herself by winning the annual speech competition after losing to her nemesis, Ella Quinn, the year before. This gets complicated when Hazel finds out Ella Quinn is being harassed by a classmate and they develop a friendship and start working together to prove it. Not having any middle school friends previously, Hazel is learning the ins-and-outs of friendship and also striving to be comfortable with her own identity. I loved Hazel's humor and confidence and I think middle grade readers will, as well. A very well-written, engaging, and empowering book about a topic relevant to the lives of young readers.


  1. All new to me, Lisa. I Cannot Draw A Horse sounds great for encouraging students to try things they believe they cannot do. I will be sure to find Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One, seems important. Have a great week!

  2. These all sound great! I don't see many picture books these days, with my sons grown. I do still read middle-grade sometimes, and Hazel Hill sounds excellent. Enjoy your books this week!

    Book By Book

  3. One of the best parts about books for younger readers is the artwork, and all of these look like fun reads. Particularly the “Incredible Shrinking Lunchroom” and “I Can’t Draw a Horse.”
    —KA Cummins