Monday, February 2, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2-2-15

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!

This is the most unbelievable stretch of weather we have been experiencing here in the Northeast! Last week we had school Monday and Thursday snowed out the rest of the week, and here we are on Monday, preparing to get buried in more snow! Cozy up, Mainers!

Books I've Recently Read:

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
Scholastic edition, 2014
Realistic Fiction
220 pages
Recommended for grades 5+

A year in the life of Maggie, a girl that is brainy, up front, dedicated to school and FOOD, and totally unaware of the serious health issues her father is dealing with. Maggie, the youngest of three, is protected by her parents and older sisters, allowed to obliviously live her youth without the burden of worrying about her father's declining health. She's real, she's hilarious, she's addictive.

I loved this book so much that I immediately decided to mail it to one of my best friends. I called her and told her I was sending her a middle grade novel that I had just finished. Then I let her know that she would either LOVE it, or think I am a weirdo for mailing it to her... Over the course of the next few days I got texts letting me know how funny she found the book. Days later, she asked if the book could be mailed on to a friend of hers-a friend that was given Coca-Cola stock* for one of her birthdays. What's my point? My point is that this book might be written for middle grade readers, but that's its clever disguise. Meagan Jean Sovern, why was this book only 220 pages? I miss Maggie!

*If you would like to understand this reference to Coca-Cola stock, well, read the book.

The Secrets of East-Cliff-by-the-Sea by Eileen Beha
Beach Lane, 2014
Fantasy
280 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

Set in a mansion on the seacoast of Maine, three motherless children, a temperamental father, and sock monkeys secretly living alongside them... The sock monkeys are made for each descendent of the children's great grandmother, who is predicting her time on earth about to run out. One of the big events in the story is a gathering of this enormous family to present their sock monkeys to their maker, as a way to determine which family members would be included in the will of the matriarch. If you don't have your original sock monkey, tough luck! Do kids care about wills? I don't know yet. But, the thing that makes me want to crumple some pages is the absent, found-again, abandoning mother! She makes my blood boil.

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times by Emma Trevayne
Simon & Schuster, 2014
Steampunk
307 pages
Recommended for grades 4-7

So cool, creepy, thoughtful and mysterious!
Jack has always been sent off to boarding schools, and feels little connection to his mother. When Jack is home from school, he is often sent to his room during his mother's social engagements. One day Jack follows a strange man, magician perhaps, through a secret door in the center of London. When Jack emerges on the other side he finds himself in a replica of the London he knows, though this new London, Londinium, is smoggy and so very, very different. Jack encounters people with machinery parts, and then happens upon a mechanical girl. Jack finds out that he has been chosen as a perfect boy specimen to be the son of the Lady. With no loving mother back home, Jack is enticed and blinded by the adoration of the Lady. Until Jack becomes damaged by a jealous former son. 

Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World by Nancy F. Castaldo
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
Nonfiction
154 pages
Recommended for grades 3-6

Love the glimpses into all sorts of jobs dogs preform with their amazing snouts! Kids will enjoy meeting so many dogs, reading their personal stories, seeing their pictures, and learning contemporary and historical information.

The one bummer...no airedales! ;)

Underworld: Exploring the Secret World Beneath Your Feet by Jane Price, illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock
Kids Can Press, 2014
Nonfiction
96 pages
Recommended for grades 3-8

With such a span of information, this book will be found interesting to a wide range of readers! The layout and illustrations are engaging. While the pages might appear busy, with a closer look you will notice that there are helpful tips on how to read the information. I plan on using this book in class during my nonfiction unit to support readers as they navigate their own nonfiction texts.

What will you learn by reading this book? How about taking a trip to underground caves, crypts, cities, dens, bunkers, gardens, and on and on! Tons of fun!

And the boy enjoyed:

Peek-a-Who?!

I'm Currently Reading:


(Listening to)

On Deck:



Enjoy the snow!

8 comments:

  1. I also loved The Meaning of Maggie. It's one that has stuck with me. I'm crazy about the cover of Secrets of East Cliff by the Sea. I'd like to get both the nonfiction titles you mention. Thanks! Stay warm!

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    1. I still miss Maggie! I need to read that book again! I am curious to see what you think of East-Cliff-the cover grabbed me as well!

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  2. I am excited to read The Meaning of Maggie - it's on my #mustreadin2015 list. Now, I want to read it even more! Thanks for the great review. Snuggle in and read with that little cutie of yours!

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  3. Thank you for your reviews. I appreciate that you have acknowledged grade interest levels. Your review of Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times, put me in mind of Coraline. Is it that scary? I don't do scary so I'm doubtful I will get to the Iron Man (I couldn't read Doll Bones) The Meaning of Maggie is on my to read list. I'm also hoping to get to I Kill the Mockingbird.

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    1. I would not say Flights and Chimes is as scary as Coraline. The mechanical girl is creepy in the beginning, but she is sweet once "woken up." Nothing as scary as button-eyed non-parents! Doll Bones isn't bad at all, seriously!

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  4. Hi there Nicole. The Magisterium book cover looks stunning - and wow, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black - that would be an interesting combination. I Kill the Mockingbird seems like a must-read especially in light of Harper Lee's upcoming novel. :)

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    1. Isn't the cover to Iron Trial awesome?! If you read Mockingbird, I will be anxious to hear your thoughts! I just finished it.

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