Monday, July 17, 2023

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...

Bibi by Jo Weaver

This beautiful picture book tells how Bibi, the oldest of the flamingos, helps out the youngest and when she is in need they are there to support her. The illustrations, done in shades of pink and gray, are amazing. 

Our Pool by Lucy Ruth Cummins

The narrator of this book tells about a day at a community pool. The text is written with interesting language and descriptions and shows how joyful a day at the pool can be. It's a lovely book.

Papá's Magical Water-Jug Clock by Jesús Trejo and illustrated by Eliza Kinkz

Jesús is excited to help his Papá work and be in charge of the water jug which also serves as a clock that when empty tells them it's time to go home. Jesús, at the direction of his mother, drinks lots of agua and also splashes it on his face and shares it with thirsty animals. When the jug is empty, he learns that he misunderstood what his father meant about the jug. This is a sweet and fun story about a father and son. 

Wombats Are Pretty Weird: A (Not So) Serious Guide by Abi Cushman

A snake is introduced to a wombat and learns all the weird and wonderful facts about them. The facts in the book are interesting and the dialogue and illustrations add plenty of humor. 

Owl and Penguin by Vikram Madan

Owl and Penguin are good friends who help solve each other's problems when the other is sad. Each of the three short chapters in this early reader graphic novel about these two kind and caring friends are cute and fun.

Ghost Book by Remy Lai

This graphic novel is about a girl who is easily forgotten by others and can see ghosts and a boy who is stuck between life and death. They form a friendship and go on a mission to save each other. It's a ghost story that's also heartfelt. There is just enough spookiness and creepiness for elementary readers. Thanks to the publisher for an advanced reader's copy. The book publishes in August.

The Probability of Everything by Sarah Everett

There is a very high chance that an asteroid is going to collide with Earth in four days. Kemi and her family are spending the days together and she is collecting items to put in a time capsule so future beings will know what their life was like. Then there is a twist and the book becomes about so much more, but it's hard to say too much about that without spoiling it. I have seen a lot of positive comments about this book on social media which is what led me to read it. For more than half of the book I wasn't getting what the buzz was all about, but the turn that it takes definitely helped me make sense of my thoughts about the beginning. 

Adult Reading Recommendation

The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange

I loved Tracy Lange's previous book, We Are the Brennans, so my expectations were high for this one. The book far exceeded those expectations! The Connellys are three siblings, one who has just gotten out of prison and is trying to rebuild her life. Their lives are filled with lots of drama and secrets, but most important, love for each other. I was captivated reading about the challenges each of these siblings faced and the complex relationship between them. I enjoy books about dysfunctional families which this definitely was, but this one had lots of heart to it. The book publishes in August. Thanks to the publisher for an advanced reader's copy.


  1. Sometimes even twists aren't going to make a book appeal to middle grade readers. I've read so many books this summer that just make me scratch my head, because no one would read them if I bought them. My budget is much reduced because we'll hvae fewer students in the fall (new school opening), so if a book doesn't seem appealing to students, I won't be buying it. Looks like you had a nicely varied reading week!

  2. I feel like I'm adding your whole post to my TBR, Lisa! Ghost Book sounds phenomenal and totally up my alley, and it reminds me that I really need to try out Remy Lai's books. I also made note of Bibi and Our Pool, and it was interesting hearing your thoughts on The Probability of Everything—it always aggravates me when books are good in the second half or so but couldn't muster up that energy for the start. Thanks so much for the thoughtful post, as always!

  3. So many of these books I should read but,of course, there are so many others on my TBR already.

  4. I am going to try to find Owl and Penguin, I had forgotten about that one. I had more kids reading the early graphic novels last school year and I had forgotten about this one. Your picture books look great too. I agree with what Ms. Yingling wrote about the twists. I have had problems getting some kids to try a book that I know would hook them at the end. More of my readers seem to be impatient since Covid (might not be because of Covid, I just notice it more now), something has to hook them right away. If not, I probably shouldn't buy it.
    My budget is not lower, but it is flat and has been for twenty plus years ($18 per student). It just doesn't do as much as it used to with inflation. Probably other people notice that too.
    That being said, The Probability of Everything is likely one I would enjoy. I am trying to read these ones as ARCs more often now. Thanks for the great reviews. Off to add them to my lists.

  5. I was absolutely taken by the book cover of BIBI - that looks absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing that. Unfortunately, we do not have it in our library. :( I have OUR Pool on hold on Libby - but will only be made available in a month's time (cross fingers). :)