It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-27-13

Stop by Teach Mentor Texts to link up with other bloggers taking part in Jen & Kelle's meme!

Books I Read this Week:

MageFable by Heimdall Thunderhammer
Eagershelm, 2013
216 pages
Recommended for grades 5-7

An epic adventure around a mouse mage named Clove as she searches for the necessary elementals needed to bring down villain Sinvicious.  Clove has help from other small creatures, all with their own large personalities.  Hunting Clove and her friends are an army of rats that are out for blood.  The illustrations are sweet at times, and rather gruesome at other times.  Let it be noted that there are some bloody battle scenes that younger readers drawn to the colorful cover might not be ready for.
I work with the author of this book and was happy to be given a copy for review (I even got a cute bookmark to go with it, complete with tassel!).  

Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
Delacorte, 2013
Historical Fiction
240 pages
Recommended for grades 6+

I went into this story not having read Hattie Big Sky.  So here's what a Hattie newbie has to say:
I LOVE Hattie!  She is bold and hardworking, smart and thoughtful.  I love historical fiction, and Larson has done her research here, as she assures us in her author's note!  Larson's writing is so rich, she created characters and scenes I could vividly imagine.  I wasn't done with Hattie by the end of the book, truth be told, I'm kind of missing her!  
And I must mention that the cover is a perfect match for Hattie's new city outfit in the story.  Not only do I appreciate a detail like that (you know how many covers are not that related to the story), but I also love that ensemble! 

The Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Walden Pond Press, 2013
227 pages
Recommended for grades 3-6

I have to admit, I was pretty doubtful about a book featuring detective platypuses...could he pull it off, I wondered.  My answer: Yes!  Not only is the book funny, but it is thoughtful and intriguing   The story doesn't drag for a moment, and the characters are continually being developed throughout the story.  I'm excited to add this title to my classroom library, and I foresee a lot of interest in this series. 

My only beef, and I can't keep it to myself, are some inconsistencies between the text and the pictures.  But what really gets me here is the fact that the author and illustrator are one in the same... **I read and reviewed an ARC, these inconstancies may not exist in the published version**

Some of my noticings:

Shawn Freeman is described as being lanky, but this character is far from that in my opinion, perhaps confusing young readers on the meaning of the word.
A character at the police station is said to be drinking coffee in the text, a soda is shown in the illustration.
Joey is said to be wearing a cap in the text during a football game, no cap in the illustration.
There were other minor things, but the story was good enough for me to not be turned off by these slight errors.

This week I also enjoyed some of Carrie's picture book recommendations at There's a Book for That, and I am pleased to say they were all a hit with the kids and myself! 

I'm Currently Reading:

I'm Currently Listening to:

On Deck:


  1. I keep moving Hattie Ever After up in the TBR pile but I haven't gotten to it yet. Platypus Police Squad sounds like one my kids would adore--my older son is a reluctant reader and needs lots of pictures to keep his attention! I just bought Doll Bones this week--how are you enjoying it? Thanks for the reviews and happy reading this week!

    1. Hi Elisabeth, I am loving Doll Bones!! What a perfectly creepy cover, huh? Holly Black knows how to draw her readers in, I believe in her characters so strongly. PPS would be good for your son because there are plenty of cute pictures as the story moves along. You must move Hattie up, it was such a wonderful story! Thanks for stopping by, and a happy reading week to you!

  2. Good stuff Nicole! I also enjoyed Hattie's story. I am really interested in Primates. Enjoy your week!

    1. As soon as I saw Primates I suspected I would love it, and I've got a feeling kids will too. Of course I'm saying that before I've read it, so I guess my first impressions of this book are strong! Hope you have a great week! It's almost summer!!

  3. Nicole - I'm so pleased that your students enjoyed these books! Yippee! I just got the second title in the Little Wolf series. I am a big fan of Hattie. I asked my mother in law to pick up both titles for my daughter and give them to her in a year or two. At 10, she's a little young but I want her to have this wonderful role model that is Hattie. I liked Beholding Bee a lot. I think it is such a personal and introspective book. Is Doll Bones a little freaky? I will look for your review.

    1. A second title for Little Wolf?! Cool! I love that bit about your hopes for your daughter finding role model in Hattie. You're one thoughtful mum! I'm enjoying Bee, the second part of the story feels like a different book! Doll Bones is a bit freaky, but not overly freaky...yet. I'm about half way through it. That cover (and the fact that Holly Black wrote it) made me instantly want to nab a copy of this book! Hope you're having a great week!

  4. I just got The Platypus Police Squad. I can't wait to read it.

    1. I bet you'll love long as you love humor, classic detective shows and witty writing! :) Thanks for joining the blog!!

  5. Oooooooh, Doll Bones looks good! And maybe Hattie, too. Since you have introduced me to YA books, I have found them to be better written than most regular adult fiction. I gave my mom Okay For Now, and she loved it. Better written? Did I say that? More well written? Hmmmmm...über good!

    1. Hi Kendra!! Your comment is the best ever because you're right, YA books are über good!! Thanks for stopping by and putting your two cents in :) You know I love Okay for Now. And I bet you would love Doll Bones, and Hattie! You should also hunt down Dead End in Norvelt.


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