It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12-23-13

Visit our hosts Jen & Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their reviews as well as links to all the other blogs participating in the book sharing fun!  Last week there were over 40 blogs participating!  There are so many new books to discover, and so many great conversations to be a part of!

Books I Read this Week:

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Simon & Schuster, 2013
277 pages
Recommended for grades 5-7

A truly unique story about the search for a mother leading a young girl to the rooftops of Paris.  All Sophie knows of her past is that she was rescued at sea by her guardian Charles.  Though she has been told her mother never survived, Sophie has never lost hope that her mother did in fact survive.  When the government steps in to remove Sophie from Charles, the two make a decision to flee to Paris in search for Sophie's mother.
The cast of characters and the drastic change in setting make this book feel magical.  Beautiful language and the desire for Sophie to find her mother propel this story forward. 

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial Books, 2013
Realistic Fiction
380 pages
Recommended for grades 6-8

I know I'm late to this party, so I"m not expecting to impart any new insight into this story, but I can do one thing: I can give this book a whole hearted double thumbs up.
Readers know by page 8 that Willow Chance has lost both of her parents.  I am not spoiling anything by mentioning that, however, I went into this book having no idea what I was in store for.  I should have had more tissues with me, and I should have carried them around for each opening of this book!  I'm not saying that all the tears are from heartache, some are from the beauty of a situation and the miraculous changes people can make in one another's lives.  But, there were certainly heartache tears involved.  
A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful story.

The Mystery of Darwin's Frog by Marty Crump, illustrated by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez
Boyds Mill Press, 2013
Nonfiction Informational
39 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

This title has gotten some great reviews this year, and as much as I am a fan of frogs, I can't say I was enamored by this book.  Yes this book had new information for me, but I will be honest that the names of the various scientist highlighted in the book were not done so in a way that will stick with me.  I found those sections to feel slightly textbookish.  The style used to write about the frogs was much more engaging.  I thought it interesting to pair two very different illustration styles as well.  This book would pair nicely with 2012's The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs.

The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
Graphix, 2013
Graphic Novel/Fantasy
190 pages
Recommended for grades 4-8

I'm not really sure how I feel about this book.  I didn't love it, but I certainly can't say I didn't enjoy it.  It might take a second read of this one to solidify my opinions.  The art style fits the mood of the story, mysterious and dark.  I was intrigued by the beginning section of the book when a young boy moves into an old home and finds some missing tapes left from a lost boy decades before.  The tapes could be clues to where the boy went.  The book turns to high fantasy and ends with a bang, but wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped.  I need to try it out on kids!

I'm Currently Reading:

That's right! :)

On Deck:

Thanks for stopping by!  
Have a wonderful holiday!


  1. What??!!! You are very sneaky to share this amazing news with a book title! WOW!! Big congratulations! So, so happy for you!

    1. Haha, thanks Carrie! :) We are so excited too! Now your wonderful picture book recommendations will be crucial! Time to build a little person's library!

  2. I really enjoy your insights each week, Nicole. Happy for you and your husband with a little one on the way too!

  3. Congratulations! Such a wonderful time for you! I remember using "What to Expect when you're expecting" when I was infanticipating - used it like a bible of sorts! :) Rooftoppers looks really nice, and I've been reading a lot of rave reviews about Counting by 7s, so I hope to get into that soonest. :)


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