Monday, February 22, 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 Little Butterfly That Could by Ross Burach

This is a humorous follow-up to The Very Impatient Caterpillar about persistence. The dialogue between the butterfly and whale and illustrations are fun. Thanks to the publisher for sharing a review copy with my book review group, #BookExcursion. The book publishes in March.

The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and illustrated by Davide Ortu

Three friends discover there is magic at their library and then must work together to save it from Mr. Salt who wants to destroy it. This is a charming and humorous chapter book with a positive message about reading. This is one of the books from the #MustReadin2021 list I made at the start of the year and have been making great progress with. Thanks to the publisher, I read a digital review copy. The book publishes in March.

Shoe Wars by Liz Pichon 

There are flying shoes, an evil villain, and two brave siblings in this illustrated middle grade novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy silly and fun stories.

Adult Reading Recommendation


The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

Ruth lives in Chicago with her husband who is eager to start a family. After revealing to him that she gave a baby up for adoption when she was seventeen, she returns to her hometown in Indiana to find out what happened to her child. This is a thought-provoking read that explores themes related to racism, social class, and family. 

Monday, February 15, 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...

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

A kingfisher decides it is time to learn to fly, so with bravery and self-confidence she jumps from her nest. As readers turn the pages, they follow Mel as she falls from the tree, splashes into the pond, and makes her way back up to her siblings and Mama. The illustrations and the way the book is oriented to open vertically is really clever. Charming and fun.

How to Catch a Clover Thief by Elise Parsley

Roy is patiently waiting for his delicious clover patch to bloom, but a thief has been stealing it. When Roy realizes he's been outwitted, he gets a little help from a book and devises his own ingenious plan to catch the thief. This is an amusing story about problem solving and the usefulness of books. 

Crocodile Rescue! (Wild Survival #1) by Melissa Cristina Márquez

Adrianna's family travels to Cuba in search of a Mega Croc as part of their TV show. Adrianna is determined to prove that she is capable of participating in the wildlife rescues in spite of the fact that her parents think otherwise. There is lots of action and adventure in this book and it will appeal to readers who like survival stories that take place in the wild. There is also factual information about mangroves and various animals that can be found in Cuba.

Adult Reading Recommendation


The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

This is a heartbreaker of a book, but an amazing read. It takes place during the Dustbowl in the 1930s and tells the story of a woman and her children migrating to California. I was captivated by this story of survival, which gave me insight into what people had to endure during a very tough time in U.S. history. One of my favorite reads of this year.

Monday, February 8, 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...

Seaside Stroll by Charles Trevino and illustrated by Maribel Lechuga

Told entirely with words that start with the letter s, this is the story of a girl, her doll, and her mom taking a walk at the beach on a winter day. The use of sensory and action words and the lovely illustrations capture the beauty and wonder of exploring the seaside. 

Wolfboy by Andy Harkness 

Wolfboy is hungry and on a hunt for rabbits. As he journeys through the woods, rabbits can be seen hidden and out of his view. Readers will be delighted with the happy, surprise ending. The artwork is great - the creator shaped clay sculptures by hand which were then photographed and digitally painted. 

Starla Jean: Which Came First: The Chicken or the Friendship? by Elana K. Arnold and illustrated by A. N. Kang

This is an entertaining and charming early reader chapter book. When Starla Jean's dad tells he she can keep the chicken she finds at the park if she can catch it, that is just what she does. She brings the chicken home and from there their friendship grows. Beginning chapter book readers will appreciate the short chapters and illustrations.

Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter

Readers who enjoy realistic graphic novels about growing up will love this one. It's a story about a girl who is about to get a dog and then realizes she is allergic. It also explores friendship and sibling relationships. Really sweet.

The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q. Raúf 

Aniyah and her younger brother are in foster care after their mother has died. Aniyah is convinced her mother is now watching over them as a star. A contest to name the star, leads Aniyah and the friends she's made at the foster home where she lives on an adventure to get to the observatory in London before someone else names the star. This book deals with sensitive issues related to foster care and domestic abuse, but it is a beautiful story.

Monday, February 1, 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 Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne and illustrated Julia Kuo

Based on the author's experiences, this is a story of a girl moving to the United States from Taiwan and the connection she maintains with her popo even in spite of the physical separation. It's a poignant story.

Moose, Goose, and Mouse by Mordicai Gerstein and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein and Jeff Mack

This silly rhyming book about a moose, goose, and mouse searching for a new house will give early readers a chuckle. Jeff Mack includes a note at the end about how he collaborated with Mordicai Gerstein, who passed in 2019, to create the illustrations.

No Buddy Like a Book by Allan Wolf and illustrated by Brianne Farley

As a book lover and reading teacher, books about books are always near and dear to my heart. This is a fun book that celebrates books and their power to fuel the imagination. Very fanciful illustrations.

The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold

Ten-year-old Gabrielle goes to live with her uncle in New York City, leaving her family behind. She finds living in America harder than she thought and desperately wants to fit in. When a witch offers to grant her three wishes to help her fit in, Gabrielle takes her up on the offer, but soon realizes that this creates even bigger problems for her and her family. This is a sweet story about belonging and self-acceptance with a twist of magic.

An Adult Book Recommendation...


Chatter: The Voice in Our Heads, Why it Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross

I found this to be an insightful and helpful book about our inner voice and what we can do to better control it. The combination of stories and research make it an interesting and readable nonfiction book. There are some practical strategies related to calming anxiety and increasing happiness.

Monday, January 25, 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...

Time for Kenny by Brian Pinkney

This is the story of Kenny's day told in four parts. The text is simple, but the story realistically portrays a a child's experiences and feelings. The youngest of readers will be able to relate.

Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover) by Helen Yoon

This is one of the picture books on my #MustReadin2021 list. Wolf disguises himself as a sheep and blends in with the herd in an attempt to get himself a tasty dinner. His plan to help out and be friendly doesn't turn out the way he imagined. Clever and humorous.

So You Want to Be an Owl by Jane Porter and illustrated by Maddie Frost

The book begins with Professor Olaf welcoming the human reader to Owl School and then giving nine lessons for being a good owl. Each lesson provides factual information about owls. The illustrations and comparisons that are made between the reader of the book and owls makes this nonfiction book engaging and amusing.

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

This book is intense and heart-wrenching. It gives insight into the events that took place on 9/11 and those in Afghanistan that took place post 9/11. Alternating between two different narratives, each story and the way they connect is powerful. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group with an advanced reader copy. They book publishes in February. 

Monday, January 18, 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...

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho

A young girl notices that some others have eyes that are different than hers, but also that hers are similar to those in her family. This is a heart-warming story about self-acceptance and the appreciation of one's heritage.

The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer and illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio

After the fairground closes for the night, woodland animals sneak in and enjoy the rides, games, and treats in this wordless book. Whimsical and captivating.

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

In the note at the end of this book, the author describes it as "a time capsule of our moment in history" and it truly captures the events, details, and feelings of the lockdowns that occurred due to the coronavirus. A beautiful and hopeful story about community and connection.

The Comeback by E. L. Shen

Maxine Chen is a competitive figure skater who is dealing with challenges on and off the ice. There is a new skater at the rink who is really good and seems like she will be tough competition. At school, Maxine is facing racism and bullying from a classmate. As she navigates her skating and school life, Maxine grows in her confidence. In addition to giving insight into the sport of ice-skating, there are relevant and timely themes. 

Adult Reading...

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

This is a heart-wrenching and gripping book set during the pre-Civil War era. It tells the story of Pheby who is anticipating her freedom when she turns eighteen, but shortly before is sent to a jail for enslaved people known as Devil's Half Acre and becomes the mistress of the jail's owner. The author was inspired to write Pheby's story after learning about the life of Mary Lumpkin who lived at Lumpkin's jail, a slave holding facility that existed in Virginia. This book gives insight into a grim time in our history, while being a story of courage and hope.

Monday, January 11, 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...

Most Days by Michael Leannah and illustrated by Megan Elizabeth Baratta 

The minutes of an ordinary day  are filled with extraordinary things if one takes the time to notice. This is a lovely book about embracing the wonders of our world and appreciating the good that surrounds us. 

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcolm Mitchell and illustrated by Michael Robinson

Henley comes up with a creative solution when his teacher gives his class an assignment to bring in their very favorite book in the whole wide world. This is a sweet book about finding the stories in ourselves. 

The Runaway No-Wheeler by Peter Stein

Truck enthusiasts will love this book. It's a silly story of a 18-wheeler that loses one wheel after another while on the way to make a delivery. Amusing illustrations and a humorous ending make this a fun read. 

The Magical Reality of Nadia by Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly and illustrated by Douglas Holgate

This is a fun and heartfelt book about navigating friendship and identity. Working on a class project becomes complicated when Nadia, who is Egyptian American, finds herself being teased by the new student in her class because of her culture. With courage and resilience and a little bit of magic, Nadia works through the difficulties she faces. There are illustrations included in the book and a few pages are written in comic book style. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with a review copy. The book publishes in February.