Monday, May 10, 2021

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 Bruce Swap by Ryan T. Higgins

Kevin sends a letter to his cousin Bruce to say he's coming over for a fun visit. Bruce never gets the letter and when Bruce leaves to go fishing Kevin arrives. The woodland animals think their wish for a fun Bruce has come true, but soon find out that having fun is not always fun. This is another very fun book in the Mother Bruce series.

Chicken Little and the Big Bad Wolf by Sam Wedelich

Chicken Little is not scared of a wolf until he has an encounter with one in the barnyard. At first, the other chickens decide they need a plan to protect themselves, but after a little investigating they find out they have misjudged the wolf. This is an amusing story about friendship and the importance of not making assumptions. 

Fearless by Kenny Porter and illustrated by Zach Wilcox

Kara misses her friend, Alice, who has moved over the summer and is wondering why she isn't keeping in touch any longer. Determined to find out why, Kara goes on an adventurous bike ride to Alice's new hometown. Readers who are fans of graphic novels about friendship and growing up will enjoy this one. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group with an advanced reader's copy.

Monday, May 3, 2021

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...

Blue Floats Away by Travis Jonker and illustrated by Grant Snider 

Little Blue is an iceberg who gets separated from his parents and floats away. His journey takes him far away and includes a transformation that makes it possible for him to see new things. Little Blue's story of change introduces readers to the water cycle. The illustrations created with cut paper are fun.

The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Bear finds a Thingity-Jig and needs help bringing it home, but his friends are not interested in helping. With creative problem-solving, Bear succeeds in getting the job done himself and both he and his friends enjoy playing with the Thingity-Jig. This is a fun book that may inspire readers to build their own contraptions.

Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn and illustrated by Victo Ngai

This book is incredibly moving and powerful. Inspired by the author's own experiences, it tells of a family's journey as they leave their home in search of a new one. The poetic text, a series of wishes, is enhanced by illustrations that depict the family's emotions. The story is heart-wrenching, but ends with hope. Thanks to the publisher, Scholastic, for providing my book review group with an advance reader's copy.

Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

Two children take a walk and wonder about what they see as they explore. The book is poetic, consisting mostly of questions the kids have as they interact with nature. It will give readers a new way to think about the world around them. The artwork is beautiful. 

Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes

On his eighth birthday, Billy wishes for something exciting to happen. Over the course of the next few days, while missing his father who is away and helping take care of his sister, Sal, Billy's life is filled with interesting situations. This is a sweet story about the joys and challenges of being a kid and the sibling of a younger sister. The book is a companion to The Year of Biller Miller, but can be read on its own.

Monday, April 26, 2021

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...

Hugo and the Impossible Thing by Renée Felice Smith and Chris Gabriel and illustrated by Sydney Hanson

This book is going on my list of top favorite picture books. A bulldog named Hugo is curious about what's beyond the Impossible Thing and, although the other animals tell him getting to the other side is not possible, he's determined to try. Hugo is an endearing character who shows readers that even a difficult goal can be achieved. 

The Smile Shop by Satoshi Kitamura

A boy is excited about buying something with the money he's saved until he loses most of it down the drain at the market. He visits what he believes to be a smile shop and learns how a smile can improve one's outlook. 

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly

Books with quirky, charming characters, like Marisol, are always favorites of mine. An illustrated chapter book about friendship and overcoming one's fears and anxieties, this is a sweet story. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley, I read a digital review copy. The book publishes in May.
 

One Small Hop by Madelyn Rosenberg

This is a science fiction middle grade novel set in the future. It's an adventurous and funny story about friendship and the environment and shows the importance of small acts to make a difference for the planet. Thanks to Scholastic for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion with an advanced reader's copy. It publishes in June.

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

I've been hearing how great this book is and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Ellie’s story is heart-wrenching, but also empowering. It addresses self-acceptance, standing up for oneself, and bullying, making it an important book for middle grade students to read. Written in verse, it's a quick read. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Monday, April 19, 2021

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...

Bindu's Bindis by Supriya Kelkar and illustrated by Parvati Pillai 

Bindu loves wearing the bindis that her nani sends her from India. When Nani visits, Bindu witnesses xenophobic behavior at the airport and later feels hesitant about getting on stage for a show at her school. Nani helps Bindu to rebuild her confidence. Both the story and colorful illustrations are beautiful.

Doggo and Pupper by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Charlie Alder 

Doggo's life is the same every day, but he is happy enough. His humans think differently, so they bring home Pupper who, unlike Doggo, is full of energy and questions. Pupper learns to behave at charm school, but also helps Doggo realize the importance of having fun. This is an amusing and charming early reader book.

Too Small Tola by Atinuke and illustrated by Onyinye Iwu

This is a delightful chapter book that is the start of a new series. Tola is an endearing character who is small, but determined and kind. The writing is wonderful, with lots of figurative language, pulling the reader into Tola's life in a large city in Nigeria. I'm looking forward to reading more about Tola. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Bea is For Blended by Lindsey Stoddard

I have loved every one of Lindsey Stoddard's books and this one is no exception. Bea is adjusting to her new life as part of a blended family now that her mother has married. In addition, she has formed a girls' soccer team and is dealing with unfair treatment from a coach who favors the boys' team. This is a heart-warming story about family, friendship, and fighting for what's right with lots of soccer action. Thanks to the author and publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in May.

Adult Reading Recommendation

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

My school is on break this week, which means I can spend a little bit more time reading. This was the first of my vacation reads. It was a quick read and really sweet and poignant. I thought it was going to be a love story, and although it was, it was also much more. It is the story of a woman (who happens to be a second grade teacher) and the extraordinariness of living what, is in many ways, a normal, ordinary life. I loved so much about it including the fantastic writing, the quirky characters, and the small-town setting. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

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...


If Bees Disappeared by Lily Williams

This book introduces readers to honeybees, a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder that is causing bees to die, and the chain reaction of consequences that would result without bees. There is a strong message about the importance of bees, but also one of hope for the small creature that makes a big difference in our world. The illustrations are lovely.

The Little Library by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

Jake is reluctant to visit the school library, but once there, with the help of the librarian, he finds a treasured book. When the library is closing for the summer, Jake uses his book to work on a project to surprise his class and the librarian and make it possible to continue borrowing books. This is a lovely celebration of books and libraries.

A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu, and You by by Mike Barfield and illustrated by Jess Bradley

This book contains one- or two-page comic book style spreads providing a brief informational snapshot of interesting things related to the human body, the animal kingdom, and earth and science. Written from the perspective of the thing being described, each of the snapshots is amusing. This book is probably one that readers will revisit again and again rather than read all in one sitting. Educational and entertaining.

Knight of the Cape (Definitely Dominguita) by Terry Catasus Jennings and illustrated by Fatima Anaya 

Dominguita is going to prove to a bully at school that girls can be knights. An adventure to do good deeds leads her to new friendships. This is a sweet and charming chapter book.

Ways to Grow Love (A Ryan Hart Story) by Renée Watson

This is a chapter book that I absolutely love and along with the first book, Ways to Make Sunshine, think is a must-have for elementary classrooms and libraries. In this book, Ryan is navigating relationships with friends as she spends time at a summer camp. She's also awaiting the arrival of a sibling. It's a sweet, heart-warming book about friendship, kindness, and love. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy.

Leonard (My Life as a Cat) by Carla Sorosiak

This is a story about being human as told by a cat who is actually an alien. On his 300th birthday, he wishes to be a human park ranger at Yellowstone, but ends up as a cat in South Carolina. Olive rescues him and helps him learn about being human and what it means to be part of a family. It's fun and heart-warming. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

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...

Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea by Kelly Jordan and illustrated by Sally Walker

Written in verse, this book tells of a loggerhead turtle's extraordinary journey to the sea from the dune where it hatched. The turtle encounters various predators along the way, but continues on with determination. The story is informative, suspenseful, and beautiful.

Give It! (A Moneybunny Book) by Cinders McLeod

Chummy's gran gives him ten carrots for his birthday and tells hime to spend some on himself and some on helping others. With the help of his gran, Chummy decides who he wants to help, but he must figure out how to make the best use of his money. This is a sweet story about charitable giving and making a contribution that will help the world. 

Mr. Complain Takes the Train by Wade Bradford and illustrate by S. Britt

Mr. Complain is not very pleased with his train ride to Dullsville for his vacation. A very patient conductor tries to help, but there is only one thing that will change Mr. Complain's attitude. The interactive nature of the book adds to the fun.

Merci Suárez Can't Dance by Meg Medina 

I loved reading about Merci and the entire Suárez family again in this sequel to Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Merci is in seventh grade and faces many new challenges in her family and school life. The exploration of friendship and first crushes are especially heart-warming and relatable. Thanks to Candlewick for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishes this week.

The One Thing You'd Save by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng

This is a poignant book of verse and illustrations. A teacher asks her class to think about the one thing they would save if their houses were on fire and then they have a discussion about it. In the note at the end, the author describes her use of sijo, a traditional Korean poetry form, in writing the book. I think this is a book that will spark a lot of thinking and discussion.

Monday, March 29, 2021

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 Am Not a Dog Toy by Ethan T. Berlin and illustrated by Jared Chapman

Bear is excited when he is given as a present to a kid, but she tosses him aside without any thought of playing with him. Dog finds him and wants to play, but Bear insists he's not a dog toy. This is a fun story about realizing the value of a true friend.

My Day with the Panye by Tami Charles and illustrated by Sara Palacios

Fallon is invited to go with her Manman to the market and she desperately wants to be able to carry the panye on her head. This is a sweet story about a mother and daughter and a beautiful celebration of Haiti. The colorful and lively illustrations are gorgeous. 

Something's Wrong!: A Bear, A Hare and Some Underwear by Jory John and illustrated by Erin Kraan

I have yet to meet an elementary-aged reader who does not giggle at the mention of underwear in a picture book. With a bear who leaves his house wearing underwear, knowing that something just isn't right, this book will have readers laughing for sure. Luckily, Jeff the bear has a good friend who helps him realize what's wrong and overcome his embarrassment.

Sugar and Spite by Gail D. Villanueva

Jolina is adjusting to her new life living on a small island in the Philippines and struggling with a girl in her Bible class, Claudine, who is bullying her. In spite of her grandfather's warning about the consequences of spells, Jolina uses a love potion to get Claudine to be nicer to her. This heart-warming book with a dash of magic explores some important themes. Both the characters and the setting will charm readers. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishers in April.