Monday, December 11, 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...

The Concrete Garden by Bob Graham

After a very long and tough winter, children in an urban neighborhood go outside and draw on the pavement with chalk. This is a sweet story about community, healing, and optimism. 

A Story No One Has Ever Heard Before by Avi Steinberg

The narrator declares that the reader is going to be the one to tell the story which leads to an explanation of how this can be done. Examples, in a comic-like style, show different elements to include in a story. This is a humorous book that gives readers a framework that they can use to write their own stories. I'm sure it will inspire some writers.

A Voice in the Hollow by Will Hillenbrand

The library closes early because of a blizzard, and with the storm getting worse, a mouse decides to take a shortcut through the spooky hollow. A winter-themed story that is both enchanting and a little suspenseful. 

Wintergarden by Janet Fox and illustrated by Jasu Hu

This beautifully illustrated book shows the joy of growing plants on a windowsill in winter. It's really lovely and many readers will be eager to grow their own indoor gardens after reading it.

Hidden Truths by Elly Swartz

Dani has finally made the boys' baseball team, but when she is injured in an accident she is unsure if or when she will be able to play. She was camping with her best friend Eric at the time and he believes the accident could have been his fault. This heartfelt story explores how Dani and Eric navigate their friendship with each other, as well as others, after the life-changing incident. There are lots of layers to this story and it is an engaging read with realistic and relatable characters. A great middle grade read about friendship and moving forward in the face of challenges. 


  1. What a wonderful set of books, Lisa—I'm really intrigued by all the picture books, especially The Concrete Garden and Wintergarden. Thanks so much for the thoughtful picks!

  2. Happy to see your review about Hidden Truths, Lisa, sounds nice! I liked the 'hollow' a lot, & will look for The Concrete Garden. I like Graham's books! Have a nice week ahead!

  3. I'm intrigued with A Voice in the Hollow. Thanks for the review.

  4. Well after Linda B talked about this last week, and now you lauding Voice in the Hollow, I figure I better find a copy to read. Of course the rest of the books on your list look delightful too, especially The Concrete Garden.

  5. These all sound great, Lisa! I grow microgreens on my windowsill in the winter, so I can definitely relate to Wintergarden. A Voice in the Hollow and the many-layered Hidden Truths sound intriguing, and I love picture books that feature urban settings, so I’ll have to check out The Concrete Garden, too.