It's Monday! What are You Reading? 1-19-15

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers.
Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

It's been a while since I've carved out the time to write a blog post. It seems that when I do have a spare minute or two for a blog, it is being dedicated to my classroom blog. Which is fine, because I love updating that space. But I've certainly felt a disconnect with the little world of books and reviewers that I've come to treasure. 
So, amazingly, I sit here on Monday morning: baby monitor by my side, the smell of warm banana bread wafting out of the kitchen, a warm(!) cup of coffee by my side, and a few precious minutes to get back in touch. **Moments after writing this the scene looked a little more like this: Wide-awake baby covered in mushed banana, mama eating overcooked banana bread and sipping on ice cold coffee. So it is ;)

Books I've Recently Read:

The list is far too long since my last post, so I will be choosy here...
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Russell Brand's Trickster Tales) by Russell Brand, 
illustrated by Chris Riddell
Simon & Schuster, 2014
Recommended for grades 5+

Now here's a retelling of the Pied Piper like you've never seen before! Crude, off-putting and crass, or hilarious, clever and thoughtful. You decide. I'm somewhere in the middle. I won't be putting it in my classroom library, that's for certain, my readers are slightly too young. And it's questionable in content. The illustrations are awesome, Riddell and his trademark style are a perfect fit for Brand's writing. Who is Russell Brand? I'll admit, I didn't really know before heading over to Google images for a picture of the book cover. I still don't know much about Brand, just a tad of exploration was done after seeing the images of a slightly terrifying and intriguing man with amazing hair. I think his Gretchen character channels his own feelings of his hair...

Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler
illustrated by Zack Giallongo
First Second, 2014
Graphic Novel
74 pages
Recommended for grades 3-6

What fun! A lively retelling of Macbeth using zoo animals as actors in their own Midnight Revue. Kids will come to know that Macbeth was foretold that he would take the place as king after killing (eating) the king. And as the themes of guilt and listening to one's conscience come into play, Macbeth must do all he can to get rid of (eat) anyone that might out him. A great introduction to the Bard's famous play.

Found Things by Marilyn Hilton
Atheneum, 2014
Realistic Fiction
234 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

Oh, go find a copy of this quiet yet powerful story. "Wishes are powerful things." In a story all about wishes and mystery, you will feel the need to know more about River and her just-at-the-right-moment friend, Meadow Lark. You'll want to read this one in a single sitting!

Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Clarion Books, 2014
376 pages
Recommended for grades 4-7

If I was the kind of girl that judged books by their covers, I would say this book is AWESOME. And, I'd be right.
A mystery for the reader who loves to get lost and absorbed in a hefty story. As mysterious guests begin showing up at the Green Glass House Inn, an inn known for housing smugglers, it seems that these out of season visitors are all gathering at the house for similar reasons, though non of the shifty characters will fess up to why they are there. 

Also read since I've last visited:
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing *
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
El Deafo *
The Princess and the Foal
The Girls of Gettysburg
Nuts to You
Microwave Man: Percy Spencer and his Sizzling Invention
if...A Mind Bending New Way of Looking at Big Numbers *
Kate the Great: Except When She's Not
The Forbidden Library
The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art *
The Ship of Dolls
A Moose Boosh
Anybody Shining
Fly Away
Hansel & Gretel (Neil Gaimon & Lorenzo Mattotti) *
Aphrodite Goddess of Love (Olympians) *
Lulu's Mysterious Mission
Searching for Silverheels
Ice Whale
Blue Mountain
Absolutely Truly **
Comics Squad: Recess!
Audrey (Cow)

*=Love **=Seriously Love ;)

On Deck:

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Martin Luther King Day!


  1. Wow, that's quite a lot of reading! Greenglass House is on my #mustreadin2015--looking forward to it. It really does have a gorgeous cover. I'm about to cave and order the Stratford Zoo graphic novel--I just know that would be popular among my Children's Lit students.

    1. The cover of Greenglass is gorgeous, and I would find myself flipping it closed while reading, just to look at it again. The Stratford Zoo series will be a good one, I think First Second puts out some great work!

  2. I loved Greenglass House, and I was surprised, because it wasn't until the end that I decided so.
    Thanks for mentioning Found Things. I'll look for it.

    1. It's funny how stories can grab us at different points. I've heard from some readers that just couldn't get into it, whereas I couldn't get OUT of it! I will be curious to see what you think of Found Things, also a story that I've heard mixed reviews on. I wanted to read it again after finishing it.

  3. I love your "moments later" description of cold coffee etc. That first scene just seemed impossible with a little one! Love all of the reading you have been doing - some of my favourites - like Ghosts of Tupelo Landing and El Deafo. Have missed your #IMWAYR updates. So hello and welcome back!

    1. Haha, next time I should stick to less lofty breakfast ambitions if I would like to get through it with warm coffee! I listened to Ghosts of Tupelo, and thought it was just too perfect to be true! And sweet and funny El Deafo! What great books! I hope to stay more regularly connected, but one of the things I've been coming to terms with is that not everything must get done, and somehow...internet time proceeds without me ;) I feel like I've missed such a chunk of great book reviews from others though, time to get my notebook out to start jotting titles again!

  4. That's an impressive list of books. Greenhouse Glass is on my 2015 must read list, but I now also want to read Found Things. I love good realistic middle grade fiction!

    1. Middle grade fiction is the best :) Absolutely Truly is one I adore. It is a mystery set in a small New Hampshire town. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hi there Nicole - looks like you've been busy busy busy reading! I wish I could find the time to just plop down in my bean bag and read to my heart's content! :)


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