Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?! 5-25-15

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! 

Books I've Recently Read:

Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony-Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by Michele Wood
Orchard Books, 2015
Historical Fiction
56 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

Beautiful paintings accompany short vignettes of Tubman's and Anthony's lives, coming together to form an imagined version of how the two powerhouse women might have passed a morning together in conversation. The reader will leave with an introduction to Tubman and Anthony, setting up readers for deeper understanding when confronted with heavier historical texts. 
The art is inspired by African patterns and American quilt designs, which were such an important symbol during the years the underground railroad ran.
I enjoyed this brief and informative story, and fully appreciated the visuals.

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill
Algonquin Young Readers, 2014
384 pages
Recommended for grades 4+

A fellow blogging friend said to be patient with The Witch's Boy. I now know why. This story is slow in developing the reader's expectations-at least that is how I experienced it. I've got to be honest, this one let me down. I had such high hopes: Creepy title + Gorgeously dark and mysterious cover + Stellar online reviews = high expectations. I was let down in the way the story seemed to plod softly along. The opening of the book was also almost too much to bear, and I think adults should beware of which child they might be  recommending this book to, as the book begins with the scene of a drowning death of a young boy. The image of the mother holding her lifeless son hurt me, and I felt angry at the unexpected pain the book brought me.  There is so much to this story, I'm just not the one to do it justice. I'm sorry.

The Dungeoneers by John David Anderson
Walden Pond Press, 2015
448 pages
Recommended for grades 4-8

Full review to come closer to publication. I will say now: fans of Iron Trials and Harry Potter and The Ability, etc, will enjoy this story of kids being round up for an ability, then put to the test as they refine their skills. Hopefully the start of a new series!

I'm Currently Reading:

On Deck:

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Friendship Riddle-A Book Birthday!

The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Bloomsbury, 2015
368 pages
Recommended for grades 5-8

Ruth Mudd-O'Flaherty has two mothers, her ex-best friend Charlotte, has two fathers. That's where their similarities end now. Ruth and Charlotte have drifted apart, and Ruth is trying to figure out if she wants things to be more like they used to be, or if she is better off with new friends. One day Ruth finds a folded riddle inside an ugly old library book. This riddle sets Ruth on a wild hunt through her small coastal Maine town to find the rest of the riddles. Along the way Ruth needs to let people in to help her, and here is where Ruth's friendship journey begins.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-4-15

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!

Books I Read this Week:

The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett
illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Amulet Books, 2015
217 pages
Recommended for grades 3-6

Oh my word, this book annoyed me so much from the first page to the....well, I don't know when. But somewhere along the way the annoying cow references and the annoying principal and the annoying writing style of staccato sentences and the not endearing characters, clicked for me, and then I loved it. How did they do that, that trio of guys?
I will surely be sharing this one with students, I can see it being a big hit for readers that love Wimpy Kid, Timmy Failure, and the likes.

Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker
illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
Balzer + Bray, 2015
Picture book: Humorous

What to say about this book...odd. And strangely sad. Though it's not meant to be sad, that is just my weird take on the book. I'm going to read it to my 3rd graders at Morning Meeting to get a genuine kid reaction. I am sure they will think it is quite funny!

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
illustrated by Abigail Marble
RiverWood Books, 2003
Picture Book: Realistic Fiction
Recommended for grades 2+

I requested this book from the library in hopes of reading it to my students. I was excited to find a book featuring a bully that isn't the typical mean tough kid. This bully is a close friend of the main character. Girls can be pretty rough on each other, and this book exemplifies that. I am anxious to see the reactions of my students after sharing this book together.

I'm Currently Reading:

(on audio)

On Deck:

(As soon as a student finishes it!)

Thanks for visiting! Happy reading!