Monday, January 1, 2024

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...

Dear Ruby, Hear Our Hearts by Ruby Bridges and illustrated by John Jay Cabuay

Activist Ruby Bridges responds to letters she has received from kids around the country. The letters show what kids are passionate about, but it's the illustrations in this book that I loved the most. 

Not a Monster by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez and illustrated by Laura González

This informative and poetic book describes the life cycle of an axolotl, as well as the efforts of two amigos to keep the water clean and help protect them. Spanish words, including those for colors, are woven throughout the book. Great illustrations.

Supermoms!: Animal Heroes by Heather Lang and Jamie Harper

This factual book tells about ways different animal moms care for their young. The information about each of the animals is interesting and the illustrations and speech bubbles provide humor. 

A Way to the Stars by David Almond and illustrated by Gill Smith

Joe is determined to find his way to the stars even though his friends don't think it's possible. His dad supports him as they try out ways to get to the stars until finally they achieve their goal. Very sweet.

Drag and Rex: Forever Friends by Susan Lubner and illustrated by Blythe Russo

A charming chapter book about two friends, a T. rex and a dragon. Each of the three stories, one featuring a cake, another that takes place in winter, and the last about reading a scary story, are told in three short chapters. 

Just Keep Walking by Erin Soderberg Downing

Jo and her mother are on a two-week trip during which they plan to hike one hundred miles of the Superior Hiking Trail. The trip is not just a physical one for Jo, but also emotional as she was supposed to do the hike with her dad until plans changed as a result of her parents' divorce. This is an exciting and heartfelt story about adventure, family, determination, and resilience. I enjoyed reading the author's note at the end and learning about her own experience hiking the trail with her teenage son. The book publishes in February. Thanks to the author for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy.

Adult Reading Recommendation

All You Have to Do is Call by Kerri Maher

This novel set in the 1970's in Chicago is about Jane, the underground abortion network that existed at the time. It follows a few different women connected to the network in various ways, including the woman who founded it. The book is based on the true story of Jane, but the characters are fictional. I thought the story was fascinating and felt immersed in the time period. A relevant and timely story about women's rights and activism.


  1. I haven't read any of these, Lisa, so put them all on my list. I like David Almond's books & this one sounds good, too, & will be sure to find Just Keep Walking & All You Have to do is Call, which sounds like an important read! Thanks for all & Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year! Dear Ruby, Hear Our Hearts is definitely on my TBR this month!

  3. I jsut saw something about Just Keep Walking on somone's FB post. Maybe it was their highest rated book they read this year?? Since it keeps popping up, I take that as a good sign that it is a good one!

  4. I am intrigued by All You Have to Do is Call. Last June I read Looking for Jane by Heather Marshall & Sarah Borges, a book on the same topic. I had never even heard of the Jane network until then, and now there are at least two books about it!
    'Thanks for the reminder about Just Keep Walking. I've added to my list of books to read in 2024.