It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Jen & Kelle at Teach Mentor Texts

This Week I Read:

Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull
Dutton Children's Books, 2012
344 pages
Recommended for grades...Well, I don't really know!

Some quick things first:  Catmull pulled the lucky card on her cover art, because this cover is stunning. And can we just take a moment to mourn all the excellent books out there that have the most awful covers EVER?  I truly don't know what some publishers are thinking.  Anyway, the cover is what drew me to this book at the book store.  The blurbs were enticing, and I was truly wanting to find out what this debut novel would bring.  

Summer and Bird are two young girls that wake one morning to find both parents mysteriously gone from their small cottage home.  Summer, as the eldest, feels all decisions weighing heavily on her shoulders.  Should they venture into the woods, or seek help with another adult down the road?  We know what they should do, but they don't.  Setting out into the forest the girls have no idea which way to go, but go they do.  As this wild tale unfurls readers learn the true identity of the girls' mother, and what their father did to keep her grounded with the family.  To enjoy this book you must suspend reality and face the notion that you have absolutely no idea what is coming next, and it may or may not please you.  In a Through the Looking Glass style of what is, is not and what is not, is, we travel all over a land below our own, where birds are help captive.  

The writing is stunning, I even found a line to weave into my wedding vows.  But I truly cannot pin this book to what age it is best suited for.  I would say 8th grade and up and up and up.  

The Giant and How He Humbugged America by Jim Murphy
Scholastic, 2012
112 pages
Recommended for grades 5-8

I love a good hoax book!  See my loving review of The Fairy Ring.  Oh wait, bah!  I read that before my blog.  Shucks, I really love that hoax.  

In this splendid hoax we meet some men carrying out a dastardly plot to unearth and show off a petrified giant, found in Cardiff, New York in the late 1800s.  The giant becomes the talk of the country, with visitors paying lots to glimpse the giant.  The giant is a miracle, proof of ancient civilizations, even proof that the giants in the Bible were real, no one knows whether the giant is a petrified man, or a statue, but all agree that he is OLD.  Of course, they were all wrong.  

The back of the book has a few pages of other hoaxes, that stood a chance at changing the way mankind understands his roots.  And the book reminds readers that while the hoaxes are intriguing  they are all rooted in deception, period.

Give this book to a history buff, or someone that just enjoys strange histories.

The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
Harper, 2012
400 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

The kingdom of Arribitha is ruled by a nasty Sultan that has outlawed all use of magic.  But doing away with magic is nothing compared to what the sultan does to his praisemakers.  Praisemakers are young unwed girls in his kingdom that he imprisons and orders to sing his praises each morning for the city to hear.  But only for ninety days.  At the end of the ninety day term the praisemaker is released on his grounds to be hunted down, in the Sultan's own most dangerous game.
When 13 year old Zardi watches her sister dragged away by the Sultan's men, she is dertermined to stop her sister from becoming the Sultan's prey.  Zardi knows she cannot bring down the Sultan herself, so she plans to stowaway as a boy on a ship that will lead her to the Black Isle, an island rumored to be home to sorcerers.  But Zardi won't be traveling alone, her best friend Rhidan wants to set out to find out where he came from.
Filled with dangerous tasks and beasts, this adventure is a page turner for certain!

What I'm Currently Reading:

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012
Folklore/Realistic Fiction
304 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

This Week I Plan to Read:


I'd love to hear your thoughts about any of these books!



  1. Starry River is on my TBR list. I have seen The Giant... on many blogs, I need to find a copy.

    1. Hi Gigi,
      I haven't heard much love about The Giant when talking to people that have read it, but I really enjoyed it. I think I loved Fairy Ring even more though. The format of Fairy Ring reads more like a novel, and I found it so amazing that two young girls pulled off a hoax of that magnitude!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Chloe and the Lion is such a great picture book. One that kids can't help but giggle through. I find that when I read it aloud they instantly want me to reread it so they can focus on all of the little details they missed first time around. Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Carrie,
      I love books that kids beg to hear again before you've even finished it the first time! Have you read Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show? Another funny read aloud!


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