It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8-31-15

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!

The new classroom space is feeling a lot more like home now that the books are settled. There are still some adjustments to be made, but I am feeling ready for school to start. My new school community has been wonderfully welcoming, helping in any and all ways possible. And everyone is so ambitious, I am loving it! I would like to share some classroom pictures-soon!

Books I've Recently Read:

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Bloomsbury, 2015
224 pages
Recommended for grades 5-7

This book opens with force. The recommended age range in the ARC is 3-6. I find myself often wondering if I am too conservative, am I censoring??!! my classroom library, or are some books simply being pushed too soon on readers too young? What do you think: The book opens with a scene in which our main character's mother hangs herself outside the hospital from the branch of a dogwood tree. Pram's mother is pregnant, and as a result Pram also dies, and is then revived. This dying and reviving is part of the backstory to where Pram's ability to communicate with the dead, and to move between the space of the living and the dead, comes from.

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Disney-Hyperion, 2015
Historical Fiction
368 pages
Recommended for grades 7+

Set in the 1920s-1940s, first in America and then in Ethiopia, we are taken on a journey with Emilia and Teo, the children of pilots Rhoda (White Raven) and Delia (Black Dove).  This book offers a different perspective on what was taking place as WWII gained momentum in Ethiopia, not our typical American and European views. Of course the war is only one piece of this story. It is so much more, a story of family and courage, of being true to yourself and also finding who that self is.

I'm Currently Reading:

Thanks for stopping by! Happy back to school time :)


  1. I struggle with recommended ages - parents often ask me what their child "should be reading", to which I respond that because every child is unique and reads in their own way, there really is no quick answer. An emotionally mature grade 5 may be able to handle certain content better than a less mature grade 7. It's definitely a delicate balancing act - we don't want to put limits on what children can read, but at the same time we want to make sure that they have the tools they need to understand and interpret what they are reading in a healthy way. Being an educator (or a parent, for that matter) is definitely a learning process!

    1. Yes, it is a learning process, and a difficult balance at times! I know that kids have the right to be exposed to the world around them in the safety of a book, but I also struggle at handing over scary and raw ideas that might truly trouble a child. I guess the biggest thing I keep in mind as a classroom teacher is that the students are not my own children, and I need to be careful with what I expose them to in some regards. Do public librarians feel less stress about this sort of thing than people that house books in schools? I don't know...

  2. Oooh - a new Elizabeth Wein book - I'm in! I know what you mean about the content in kids' books. I always tended to be more lenient in what my kids read than what they watched. It's a difficult issue!

    1. This is my first Elizabeth Wein book! Since she writes for older readers I hadn't read any of her work. I take it you love her?!

  3. Nicole I am so happy that you are happy at your new school! I have been wondering how you are settling in. I can't wait to see photos when you are able to share them. I am reading Black Dove White Raven right now and a number of other books so it is slow going!

    1. Thank you, Carrie! Today was a long day, I left the house in the morning at seven and didn't get home until 8:30. Another inservice day tomorrow and then the big first day! I will need to catch my breath over the long weekend ;)
      Because of all the back to school activity I am reading less than usual too, even though I love the book I'm reading!

  4. Hi there Nicole. Great to read about your new school and how you're getting along. I am very very crious about The In-Between title - I have a feeling I'd love it.


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