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!


  1. I liked the Yep and Anderson titles more than I thought I would. So much fantasy out there now, and some of it is just...odd! Looks like you have some good choices, though.

  2. I've had a hard time getting into fantasy, especially if they are the first books in a series. I wanted to like The Witch's Boy just for its cover!

  3. I would love to hear that conversation between Tubman and Anthony. Grimes' books looks fantastic. I haven't read The Witch's Boy yet. I wonder what I will make of it when I do.

  4. I really was kind of glad to read your review of The Witch's Boy. That is one I have kept putting off for some reason-- I just didn't feel like it was going to be a "me" kind of book. I think I'll wait a bit longer (LOL!). I'm very interested in Chasing Freedom and The Dungeoneers. The first would be great for integration of SS with ELA, and you grabbed my attention when you mentioned Harry Potter and the Iron Trial! Liked both of them. Thanks! Happy reading!

  5. I had the same issues with Witch's Boy. My son and I got about 150 pages in and he asked to abandon, which he almost never does, but it's just sooooo leisurely paced. I haven't gotten around to finishing it either but need to. I want to get that Calef Brown book--love the cover!

  6. I've got The Witch's Boy on my to read list and I really appreciate the heads up about it. It looks like you've got some interesting books coming up next week!

  7. Feeling better now that I returned Witch's Boy to the library unread. Just wasn't time to read it and it wasn't calling to me. Love, love, love Calef Brown. Did you read about our visit with him?


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